Back in the summer of 2022 we were approached by one of our clients. They shared that they had to deliver a complex digital product for the 100,000+ employees across their organisation in under a year.
There had been a lot of conversation, but very little action.
Nothing unusual to see here.
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We frequently handle complex product development projects, and see clients stuck all the time – in constant ideation, in analysis paralysis, in struggling to get started, knowing how to move forwards.
Except that this was an ethics, compliance and risk management product, and there was a very real and urgent reason to make real and rapid progress. Our client is a multinational, and operates in an exceptionally highly regulated industry. As a result of a series of non-compliance issues in the preceding years they had been smacked with a massive fine.
Over a billion dollars in fact.
Both the commercial and reputational damage was significant and our client could not, and did not want to repeat the scenario.
But for large organisations, especially those in industries that are highly regulated, and where they’re constantly under the spotlight, it can be incredibly challenging to make progress at pace.
At &us, we believe in starting by starting. That means making progress, quickly. We defined the problem, set out a road map and got moving. We conducted collaborative workshops with stakeholders, users of the product, and different people from across the business in legal and ops to get a rich understanding of the requirements and constraints.
We didn’t just do this once. Over the weeks and months, we regularly tested the product as it evolved, and demonstrated the work to our key stakeholders. As the work moves at speed, we communicate the changes and recommendations as early as possible, so there are no big reveals. This means that everyone (including us) can see the tangible progress that is being made every day.
Hold the problem tightly, but ideas loosely.
As the product evolved, it inevitably had to change. Clinging to ideas that look good, but don’t help real people, can be of huge detriment to the overall experience. When this happens, it’s easy to build a product that’s not fit for purpose and doesn’t get used, which defeats the object of the work. Only through consistent user testing did we spot opportunities to provide additional information, remove unnecessary features and refine the entire experience. Through the work we helped the team shift mindsets from a “big rollout” culture to a mindset that encourages continual iterative product development.
Finishing the product is just the beginning of the story.
While many agencies are great at creating usable products, the work often stops there. We’ve found that simply designing a good product doesn’t help people understand why this product is needed and when and where to use it. Internal buy-in is critical for successful adoption.
And this demands great storytelling.
For the global launch we created videos, decks and a clear narrative to position this new tool, the processes around it and the new mindsets needed. Being comfortably uncomfortable, acknowledging uncertainty and letting go of the ‘old ways’ were all part of our story across three days.
Bringing people physically together for the first time in three years also meant we needed to create a safe space. Somewhere teams could share common fears while understanding the iterative and collaborative nature of product design – the tool will make your lives easier, faster and smoother; but it is in beta and we need your help to improve it every step of the way.
We danced like bears, toured stalls of information, heard from leadership about new mindsets and played out real-life scenarios – the user experience brought to life! And at the end of three days, the team signed up to our ‘commitment wall’, publicly pledging things like “I will embrace a ‘can do’ attitude” and “to boldly lead fearless implementation”.
As the global teams now begin the rollout of the tool and new mindsets, we’re continuing to support them on both the design and messaging. We can’t wait to see how it will dramatically impact the organisation and most importantly, the customers they serve.
We partnered with a global organization to define, design, and deliver at pace a risk management tool that helps employees make intuitive and ethical decisions at work.
We upskilled and guided internal product teams, championing an agile and user-centered approach, and in addition built a clear and compelling story around the product launch to bring the whole organisation on board.
Want to make progress on your projects? Let’s talk