Powerful interactive human centric design-led thinking ... well-defined set of next steps for the...
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At a glance Country: United Kingdom Industry: Postal Service Founded:1660 Website: postoffice.co.uk
Challenge The Post Office introduced Branch Hub to digitise interactions with branches. Many products were prioritised to be deployed via Branch Hub with Cash Management and Agent Onboarding being top of the list. Both are large and complex products with high business value and customer benefits. The Post Office wanted to determine the most efficient way to navigate the complexity and bring Cash Management and Agent Onboarding products onto Branch Hub to realise maximum benefits in the shortest time.
Solution Fujitsu held two ideation workshop sessions, each with around 20 participants, which broke down the candidate ideas into business requirements, prototypes, business benefits and outcomes.
Benefit ■ Provides a clear view of potential business
benefits, while prioritising which areas and requirements to focus on first
■ Lays out a well-defined set of next steps to focus on post-DTC
■ Encourages ongoing support from key stakeholders by involving them from the outset
■ Prototypes revealed new solutions and how users could behave with the solutions
■ Design-led thinking focuses on outcomes more usefully than quickly outdated business analysis
Powerful interactive human centric design-led thinking
Andy Greening Business Hub Product Owner Post Office
“ Fujitsu used creative ideation linked to problem-solving in the context of agile processes, which helped us unlock how to fast track development, identify and resolve pain points and focus on tangible outputs.”
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Digitising core processes The Post Office has introduced a digital platform, Branch Hub, which aims to digitise how branches carry out certain non-customer facing processes, such as IT incident management, real-time sales visibility, and instant inter-branch messaging. The Post Office wanted to explore other areas of the business that could be automated, however, first it needed to identify potential candidates for digitisation.
“Our current branches still largely operate in an antiquated, paper-based fashion but now there is a big push from the top to simplify and automate key processes,” explains Andy Greening, Business Hub Product Owner, Post Office. “If we are going to be sustainable as a business, competitive and able to recruit the best talent, we need an operational revamp and Branch Hub is central to that.”
Greening points out certain processes that are currently over-complicated, such as ordering new stamps which requires navigating 50 screens; cash management, which can only be done over the telephone and requires multiple authentication points; or new Agent Onboarding, which can take up to 12 months to complete. The objective was to find a way to simplify and speed up these processes in an entirely intuitive fashion.
“We had an idea of the areas we wanted to bring onto the Branch Hub platform first – however, there were questions around where we start, and how we do it as efficiently as possible,” adds Greening. “Fujitsu has been our strategic IT partner for many years so it made sense to bring it into the conversation and see whether it could help us clarify our approach to these projects.”
Design-led co-creation At the heart of Fujitsu’s approach to planning and design is its Digital Transformation Centre (DTC), a co-creation workshop space that gives customers the tools they need to enable digital transformation. An eclectic group of experts, including technologists, business consultants and designers, were on hand to help the Post Office embrace the future using original methods and human-centric, design-led thinking.
“The DTC sessions provided a quick, efficient way to prioritise our objectives and take them forward in interactive workshops, which facilitated idea generation,” comments Greening. “It helped us identify key personae and the related indicators of success, which then led to thinking about prototypes.”
This provided an accelerated route to make the potential Branch Hub candidates’ business requirements more tangible and actionable. Fujitsu held two sessions each with around 20 participants, one focused on Agent Onboarding and the other on Cash Management. These DTC sessions were tailored to the needs of the Post Office and broke down the candidates into ideas, prototypes, business benefits and outcomes, as well as a set of next steps for the Post Office and Fujitsu to take away and work together to deliver.
“We used creative ideation linked to problem-solving in the context of agile processes, which helped us collectively unlock how to fast track development, identify and resolve pain points and focus on tangible outputs. It was all about the art of the possible,” continues Greening. “Fujitsu’s approach is unique and flexible. It was certainly a lot of hard work, but it was also enjoyable.”
A roadmap for future development The DTC sessions gave the Post Office a clear view of potential business benefits, while prioritising which areas to focus on first. They laid out a well-defined set of next steps for the teams to focus on post-workshop with the additional benefit of key stakeholder backing.
“The design-led thinking mindset is powerful and has helped us focus on ‘what good looks like’ in a much more useful way than conventional, quickly outdated business analysis,” says Greening. “This approach has led us to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) for Cash Management, which, although it doesn’t draw too much from the DTC sessions, is heavily indebted to design-led thinking.”
With the Post Office making progress on both Cash Management and Agent Onboarding, it is ready to explore other areas of the business which will benefit from digitisation, with a list of 50 potential back-office functions to target.
“It is all about making us more agile and navigating through operational complexity more efficiently and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of Fujitsu, which has spent eight months embedding processes in place,” concludes Greening. “It is helping to drive best practice across the Post Office and giving us a roadmap for future success.”
Customer With a history stretching back over 370 years, the Post Office is the largest retail network and the largest financial services chain in the UK, with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies combined. It also has growing direct channels such as contact centres and online, offering over 170 products and services. There are more than 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK serving over 17 million customer visits every week.
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