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Agile Delivery With No Business Knowledge : Bonkers

I’ve had a number of client conversations recently where the enthusiasm and drive which has surrounded the adoption of agile methods of project delivery over the last few years has been overshadowed by a topic which used to come up a lot, but has recently been sidelined by the promises of digital transformation and innovation: expert knowledge of the business.

I had been thinking that, particularly in Financial Services, the desire to automate and to absorb knowledge and experiences from other industries had led clients to be neutral as to our firm’s knowledge of the business needs behind technology change programmes, but I was wrong. As has ever been the case, a deep understanding of the business processes, regulations, revenue opportunities and potential cost savings is required to translate customer wish-lists into realistic, deliverable products. Without that knowledge, the business loses faith in the programme’s ability to comprehend the business need, and the technology group, no matter how agile or innovative, can easily disappear down the wrong path, building product iterations which ultimately require dramatic course correction.

At The Impact Team, we advocate the ongoing monitoring and audit of a project’s business case, bringing together independent views from experts who understand the business, and from those who have a view of the specific technology aspects of the programme. This ongoing, iterative review and revalidation of the business case and the associated progress of the workstreams in flight brings clarity to stakeholders, calls out potential risks early on, and engenders confidence that all parties are working towards the same shared goal.

Whether you’re applying AI and Machine Learning to how your capital markets business derives productive analytics from market data, or if you’re looking to deliver the sorts of digital benefits to corporate banking clients that consumers are now starting to enjoy, this ongoing service can help you realise benefits sooner and with greater efficiency.

Mark Rothwell-Brooks

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