09 February 2022
Through years of experience, numerous clients and different projects, Tinext has developed a well-defined work process. This process has proven itself and is now applied to each new project.
Divided into several steps, it allows the teams to segment the work and the client to have an overall vision of the project's progress.
During an exchange with Benjamin, he explained the different phases of this process. Let's discover them together.
The first step is what we call the "Discovery" phase. Its name is evocative since it is the stage during which we discover the client's company.
We need to understand exactly how it operates: who intervenes in the different stages of the processes, what data circulates within these processes, who makes the decisions, etc. This is a step that can take time, depending on the size of the company or the scope of the project, but it is crucial for the rest of our collaboration. It allows us to offer the client a personalized solution and gain efficiency for the next steps of the project.
To take a complete and concrete example, we have different typologies and therefore a range of services and products that are also different. Our support will be as much on the B2C/B2B client side as on the human resources side, management, and organization of internal teams. Therefore, it is important to set up tools to have a 360° view of customers and/or employees.
It is important that these two groups of people can interact with each other so that everyone can be more efficient in their respective daily lives. This requires spending time with the teams! And not only the top management or the managers but especially the "field" teams, since they are often the ones who will best be able to detail the actions carried out on a daily basis.
This is when we set the objectives: where we start from and where we want to go. We define the audiences and targets to reach. Both externally and internally. Then we do a complete analysis of the competition. Next, we start to think about the initiatives to be implemented to complete the project and create new processes: implementation of tools that will improve productivity, the buying experience, etc.
Next, it is time to define a path for the different targets. A "typical path" that will be representative. So that we can really work on it and, above all, see how it can be improved and if it can be reflected in all the other paths of the same targets.
This is organized as a workshop, which lasts about 3-4 hours, and whose number of participants depends on the type of project and its stakeholders. One or two people can be involved, as well as larger groups, up to 10 people. This organization is defined upstream with the company, depending on the project and the parties involved.
Once we have identified the user paths to be addressed, we know who to talk to and with whom we will have to interact. Thus, most of the people involved must be present at the workshop or, at least, there should be representatives of the teams concerned.
There are several workshops. For a small project, 1 to 3 sessions are sufficient. If we are working on a larger project, a minimum of 5 workshops will be necessary.
We spend a lot of time upstream to understand, analyze and have a first overview of the company and its functioning. This is how we will be able to gain relevance and efficiency for the rest of the project.
Once these steps are completed, it is time to enter the analysis part. We analyze the competition, to see how they are positioned in the same sector of activity.
We observe everything that exists from a technical point of view within the company, i.e., software, clouds, interconnections between software, etc. We map the technical architecture and try to understand how the data flows between each of these programs.
We also carry out an analytical study of the tools' performance. This part is very much focused on the digital side, during which we try to understand what the user paths are, via the analytics, which pages are the most efficient, and why.
Then we do what we call an "as-is journey". We combine the information gathered in the "Discovery" phase and the "Analysis" phase, in order to write a report that describes the overall picture of the current situation. This is our starting point for the next step.
We then move on to the "Ideation" part to imagine our finish line. At this stage, we will define the Personas, i.e., the robot portraits of the typical customer or employee.
Then we will imagine what the ToBe journey will be like, i.e., the journey to its finish line. To do this, we start from the "as-is" mentioned in the analysis part, and we envision at which stages improvements can be made or productivity increased, for example.
And finally, once we have an overview of the ideal path to reach the set objectives, we list the initiatives and the particularities and specifics to be put in place. It's a list by the mile that will then allow us to get to the Planning stage.
This step is also aptly named since it is the moment when we define the priorities according to all the specifics identified upstream.
In addition to these priorities, we define the road map to plan how the project will be phased.
We also discuss performance indicators to ensure that what is being implemented meets the initial needs and objectives.
Our last step is called "Governance" and is the equivalent of the backlog: the list of all the initiatives to be put in place. They will be organized according to the priorities that need to be addressed.
This is when we go into more detail about the specifications for each task and each step. Next, we'll look at the design, develop, and test. And when everything is validated, we go live. In other words, we put it into practice in real life. We present it in the form of a loop because it's a continuous improvement approach.
We also establish monitoring indicators that demonstrate that the proposed solutions are effective and provide real added value. If this is not the case, we commit to correcting it. Then we take what was in the backlog, i.e., everything that has not yet been done, to specify it and start integrating it.
The advantage of our process is that we do not proceed in a single phase. We don't do everything at once, then deliver and stop there. I think our added value lies in our continuous improvement approach. As well as the fact that we set priorities and have a backlog.
We start with the priority features. Then two different approaches can be taken for the remaining features:
Either we implement them because they are still needed, or we establish that in the meantime business needs have changed, evolved. It’s an iterative approach. We're close to agile methodology: we can adapt more easily and review what has been done or what needs to be done through sprints or development phases.
We accompany our clients over several months, even several years.
It takes about 3 months from the "Discovery" stage to the "Governance" stage. After that, it all depends on the scope of the project and the availability of the client. On average, it takes 6 months between the Discovery and the first deliverables of the Governance.
As for the following steps, it depends. We have been working with some of our clients for over 5 years now because their graphic design has changed, or their needs have evolved. We always try to adjust according to their means, their resources, their needs. This is a major advantage for companies because even if they evolve in their operations, we adapt and so do their tools.
Most of the time, whether it's a website or a CRM, you launch it and you don't touch it for 5 years. Then, little by little, you realize that the system is completely obsolete and no longer meets your needs. The lack of continuous improvement means that you have to start from scratch.
It's a vicious circle: you start again, you are competitive again, and then little by little the curve goes down. Sites are competitive when they are trendy and anticipate the future, and afterward, they have a slow decline. Or at least they stagnate, they don't evolve anymore.
Whereas the way we approach it is like a staircase, we keep going up. It allows us to avoid stagnation and to constantly evolve along with the company and its needs.
From the "Discovery" to the "Planning" stage, there are 3 of us involved. First, Raphaël, who is our digital experience and CRM consultant. We also have Laura, our project manager, and I, Benjamin, having the same skills as Raphaël on CRM and digital experience. Today, however, I am mainly involved as Senior Manager of the French-speaking Swiss agency, as I am the point of reference for our clients.
Once the Governance phase starts, Raphaël and I are only involved in the project specification part. Laura, the project manager, oversees the technical teams for the implementation of the tools.
There are several of us working on the same project because we like to create an emulation between our ideas. Sometimes we all think the same thing, but it's rare. Often, everyone has their own ideas. We like sharing because it often allows us to push the customer experience even further.
Moreover, we regularly lead workshops with 7 or 8 people representing the client. If we are alone, it can become complicated to manage because we have to be involved in the exchange, take notes, etc. The idea is to work as a team and to use this team to have a greater range of ideas and reflection.
As far as the technical part is concerned, it depends on the project. We can either integrate everything internally, or the client can use its own resources once we have delivered the specifications; if the client has the appropriate in-house teams to carry out the work.
We don't have a Geneva-based technical team yet, even though it is one of our objectives for projects in French-speaking Switzerland. The goal is for us to grow, and we currently have several recruitments underway.
Most of the time, the projects are therefore managed by the technicians based in our headquarters in Ticino. However, we try to make sure that we only work with technicians who speak French, so that there is a perfect understanding of the project and the customer.
At the end of each step, as you can see in the illustration, we give something to the client. There are deliverables and milestones.
So, during the Discovery phase, we deliver:
At the end of the Analysis phase, we give:
In the Ideation phase, we deliver:
At the end of the Planning section, we obviously have a schedule, as well as:
And then, on the Governance part, it's mainly the deliverables, the things that work at the end. This is what we will have put in place live.
Yes, we notice similar requests from our clients. Here are the main reasons why companies are looking for a digital transformation provider:
Once all these issues have been listed, several objectives come into play. The first will be to modernize processes and make them more fluid.
Then there is innovation. This is a broad word, but it can mean, for example, offering new services. For instance, a traditional merchant who wants to turn to e-commerce. It could also mean increasing turnover or increasing sales and margins.
Furthermore, improve productivity, both in sales and internal processes. Work better, move faster, automate tasks that are done manually, etc.
Or create new synergies between entities. There are companies that work with partners, with service providers, with suppliers, or with subsidiaries and that do not communicate data at all. The objective here is to create synergy between these different players to share information and be even more efficient.
And finally, to make up for the delay in digital transformation.
All these points show the importance of being accompanied in the digitalization process of the company so that the outcomes meet the expectations.