Thinking

Process and policy simplification: part one

In this first of this two part blog series, we will look at how understanding your business and identifying areas for simplification can improve your businesses ability to focus on the most valuable changes.  Improving employee experience by understanding value Implementing small strategic improvements focused on user experience can be enormously beneficial to your employee’s day to day experiences.

In this first of this two part blog series, we will look at how understanding your business and identifying areas for simplification can improve your businesses ability to focus on the most valuable changes. 

Improving employee experience by understanding value

Implementing small strategic improvements focused on user experience can be enormously beneficial to your employee’s day to day experiences. But how can you identify the most valuable improvement opportunities? It is important to understand what your business needs and what your users are experiencing, but also to have a structure in place that allows you to move flexibly with the changing priorities of your organisation. Taking an Agile approach to understanding your current organisation will help identify where the highest value can be derived from change.

By taking core components of Agile into your transformation identification process, you can coach project teams and end-users in the benefits of an Agile delivery - taking even the most structured or waterfall organisations on the journey to being Agile. 

Alright, so how do I identify high value transformation using an Agile approach?

Simplicity first

Users often face significant complexity across the processes, policies or organisational structure that they work in. What was probably once quite manageable has become layered in complexity because of growth or new regulations, then likely compounded by an inflexible solution.

So when looking at transformation, find simplicity. Your user’s experience will benefit enormously by taking time to understand your true business needs. To identify the real business needs, talk to users across the end to end and get them to take you step by step through a single process. When things get complicated ask “why?”; it might serve a genuine purpose, but often it doesn’t. Changing these aspects can offer significant improvement to simplify.

Prioritised approach

Change on any scale takes resource. But by prioritising your approach and the delivery of any changes, you can focus on the highest value area for your organisation. Ensure users focus on high priorities from review or discovery by focusing consistently on the most common path or paths. Should this move into a transformation or change, align features to the scenarios to provide a tangible end to end story.

Bring the users together regularly for the prioritisation of features. This helps you to remain focused on the most valued need of your end users, ensuring the product is of ultimate value to them. 

Collaborate with end users 

Collaboration and listening is key to the success of any change. Collaboration is often focused on the delivery team but, just as important, is collaboration with your end users. Bring them on the project journey. Use their knowledge and experiences to define the transformation. 

When users take you step by step through their end to end paths they will offer unique insights into your business processes, what works well and what does not. They will understand the reasons why the processes and policies are in place, so ask them why! Their knowledge will be instrumental in transforming processes and solutions that work for both the business and the users. 

Give the opportunity for, and listen to feedback

Play back your learnings or demonstrate functionality to end users early and often. Whether you have current processes to play back, solution design or even a potential product, their feedback will be instrumental in ensuring future progress meets their needs. 

Try to keep feedback constructive, when someone doesn’t like something it's useful to know why. 

Iterate!

Constructive feedback can be brought into the future development. Whether it is feedback on the process you have outlined, or a feature you have developed, knowing what your users would like to change about it helps build a solution based on your business and user’s needs. 

To summarise, understanding your underlying business needs and flexing to the priorities defined by your users is fundamental to identifying high value transformation opportunities. Our second blog will look more at the benefits of simplification to transformation, giving examples for how process and policy simplification can benefit your user’s experience.

 

Click here to read part two.

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