Building the right 'it'


This blog is Part One of our series on designing solutions to problems that make a difference.

The zeitgeist


How many times have you found yourself sitting in a meeting thinking, “what’s the point?” Or “will it make any difference?”

Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut straight to what really matters? Focus only on those projects that make a difference to the bottom line and peoples day to day lives.

A shared vision

In fairness, it is often not the fault of the person chairing the meeting. It’s more a reflection that most organizations are not set up in a way that allows everyone to work towards a shared vision.

Many of today’s large organizations (the ones that have been around a few years anyway) are still segmented into reporting lines around capabilities and functions. This means each department is working towards different goals set by their department's director, VP etc.

Blockers to solutions

So how can we create solutions that benefit both customer and business when sales teams don’t talk to service teams, the offline team don’t collaborate with UX, the tech team don’t enable change etc.?

And on top of organizational challenges we have the yearly fight to protect budgets, resulting in spend it or lose it briefs created in a rush to ensure when next year’s budget review happens they don’t lose out.

Failing to deliver

All organisations, both agency and client side, suffer from attitudes that lead to a failure to deliver results. The power hungry types looking to prove they can redesign and launch a new website as a means to get promotion.

Those more enamoured of their own opinions rather than the evidence that comes from focus groups. And those who want what their competitors have without knowing if it will work, what constraints they are operating under or what they are trying to achieve.

With these attitudes in place of course it is still possible to deliver a project viewed as successful - happy clients, happy team - but with no real organisational change. However, as projects get more complicated, ambitious and, dare I say it, transformative these are the issues that can make the difference between a company surviving or stagnating.

The drive to thrive

As an agency full of talented people we can make everything look beautiful and engaging. We can improve the user experience of even the most frivolous ideas. We can build them with some of the newest, innovative technology and to the highest standards.

But it’s not what we thrive on. For us to thrive and for you to get better results we need a challenge, not an implementation brief. Ultimately we want to make a difference to your customers and just as importantly to your bottom line. That’s what really puts a smile on our faces.

Finding the solution


Often the time to get this challenge right is at the RFP stage of a major initiative. It’s not just about being asked to deliver a new piece of work.  We want to be asked to find a solution that increases ticket prices 5% not just redesign a sales flow from six to three steps.

Ask us to increase average basket value by a specific amount not just to increase engagement with product content. Ask us to increase your market share rather than improve the user experience an unspecified amount. Ask us to reduce your support calls, not implement better search in FAQs.

Doing the right thing

With start ups disrupting industries left, right and centre and technology enabling endless possibilities it is imperative we spend our time building the right products to engage and service our customers. It’s time to be open and honest about your goals, needs and operational limitations.

Have you got the right structure and cross-organizational team in place to truly allow you to deliver the best possible result?

Are they empowered to navigate the internal politics of your organization?

Is everyone aligned to the same underlying KPIs no matter where they sit within your organization?

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Does everyone know what you are ultimately trying to achieve, the behaviour are you trying to change and the results are you hoping to see?

Are you in the middle of writing that RFP?

Looking for a new agency to take you to the next phase of your journey?

Want to make a real difference?

Tell us your ultimate business goals and leave the solution open, you might just be surprised by what you get back in return.

C Barnes