Neha Datt Product principal / Agile coach

What's New Mon 30th July, 2018

Agility and speed: how we launched a product in Australia in six months

Only 29% of Australian companies can bring a new product to market in six months or less, a recent report has stated. We’re proud that, alongside our client Xinja, we built and released a complex platform and its accompanying app well within that time.

The report – The State of Digital Transformation in Australia – also said that for nearly 50% of Australian companies it took up to 18 months to launch a product, and for a further 11% it took even longer. The keys to speeding this up lie with the right processes, security, tooling, agile methodology and self-organising teams, it added, but for 21% of Australian companies ‘a lack of organisational agility’ was a blocker.

Technical and organisational agility

In fact, we were able to launch Xinja’s prepaid card in such a short time precisely because of our own and Xinja’s technical and organisational agility – something we pride ourselves in.

With teams based around the world working to tight deadlines, we used follow-the-sun methodology to synchronise our working practices and ensure the product could be out the door, quicker. We’re able to release working software rapidly and frequently thanks to our expertise in Continuous Delivery and operability. Being able to call upon our network’s 700+ skilled practitioners across the globe, who combined have huge experience across private and public sectors clients, has meant we could call upon a broad array of skills.

Our mobile team in Calgary worked on the UX, design and app build. Our London-based security practice rigorously tested Xinja’s security features, including running an internal hackathon to see who could find weaknesses in it.  Our MicroDC and DevOps teams have also been heavily involved building the platform out using Kubernetes. We’ve used our product definition and management capabilities, used our knowledge of Platform as a Club gained during our time another client, HMRC, built microservice architecture and employed modern agile techniques to deliver production-ready software within weeks.

Pulling together

Of course, this was a team effort. We worked alongside other talented third parties to make sure integration to their systems was smooth, but Xinja’s leadership was absolutely key to weaving it all together to make it the success it was.  Everyone – from the Marketing, Customer Innovation and Core Technology teams, to Customer Service and also the Risk and Compliance teams – played their part. Agility was not just in the technological delivery, it was right through the organisation from the top down. All of the experience we provided would have been for nothing without a truly collaborative relationship and outcome-driven approach to delivery.

Putting the customer first

Another of the report’s key findings was that, for a majority of organisations’ digital strategies, improving customer experience and engagement was the main objective. At Xinja, creating a brand that prides itself on being ethical, ‘made for people’ and with the kind of personal touch that we used to see with traditional bank managers, who helped you to be mindful of your money, is at the heart of the business. Xinja truly does put the needs of its customers first.  It wants to build a service that customers not only need but that they want. Customers are involved in this process all along the way, from coming up with ideas directly with Xinja, to testing out the ideas in user-testing events, and even to even being allowed to invest in it in the first full retail equity crowdfunding campaign to go live in Australia. Customers of Xinja are on this journey with Xinja and us.

What’s next for us

We’re proud of the progress and contribution we have made to Xinja’s success and to be in the vanguard of technical and organisational agility. The next step for us is to take the experience we have in delivering value quickly to other organisations across Australia, and allow them to gain the successes we have seen both at Xinja and our many other clients in Europe, South Africa and the United States.