Key trends in person-to-person payments

July 11, 2016
/   Insights

The emergence of new technology solutions in the past few years has affected almost every aspect of the financial sector, but one area where this is making a real difference is in the person-to-person...

FI Highlight: TotalBank

June 30, 2016
/   Spotlight

With innovation on the rise at financial institutions both big and small, security has become a hot topic in the financial services industry.

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Most organizations in the financial services industry have the knowledge and the vision to deliver what will delight customers and keep their organizations relevant.  Somewhere though, the majority end up allowing fear to slow them down or even stop them from executing.  They end up asking the responsible questions of “what is the ROI?” or “will this truly meet our customers’ needs?”  The problem is that when they are truly innovating, there are unknowns.  Because of the unknowns, organizations can’t answer these questions to 100% of their satisfaction and fear then prevents them from moving forward.

So how do we solve this?  We need to give ourselves permission to fail faster – not in the Silicon Valley buzzword kind of way, but in a way that removes the fear and the roadblocks, a way that allows us to quit making the statement of “That’s the way we’ve always done it” and allows us to do something better than “which of our peers has already done this?”

Early in my career, I worked for a gentleman that was present when Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland came up with the “Scrum” project management methodology.  That mentor passed along to me a principal that, “Scrum will not solve any of your organization’s problems for you.  What it will do is, it will point them out faster.”  He kept emphasizing that your goal should not be perfection. Your goal should be to fail faster.

He didn’t mean to actually plan to fail.  He was teaching that, for a large or innovative project, you will never know everything before getting started.  Even if you did, the world changes over time and, at the end of large projects, some amount of what was true in the beginning will not be true at the end.  So don’t try to have the perfect vision and the perfect detailed plan before starting because a significant amount of that will be wasted effort.  Instead, create a plan for your vision, start executing and testing the plan in small chunks, and adjust your plan as you go.

Creating a plan for your vision

In creating a plan, take your vision and break it up into themes or large chunks.  Take those themes and ask yourself, if we only completed one, which would create most value for the organization.  Then ask yourself what would be the second, third, etc.  By prioritizing your themes in this way, if your organization asks you to pivot, as they do, you will have delivered the most valuable themes first.

Executing and testing the plan in small chunks

Next, take the themes that you will get to in the first third of your project and break them into small deliverables and start executing.  As you complete each small deliverable, stop and review it with the key stakeholder, and learn from it.  Make sure that you are building what you truly need and not what you said or what you thought that you needed.

Adjusting your plan as you go

As you deliver and review each smaller working part, you will learn.  As you learn you will be able to adjust.  As you plan the other two-thirds of your project, you will see your learnings reflected in your plan and momentum occurring, that fear would have stopped or, at least, slowed in the beginning.

Regardless of the task at hand, whether it is branch transformation or introducing a new technology to customers, it is important to get the ball rolling as soon as you can. From there, learn from it and adjust as needed.  You will be amazed at where getting past the fear and encouraging your teams to fail faster in smaller chunks will take you.

Rob Mills is the Vice President of Technology at Rivermark Community Credit Union


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp