A new digital conversation…

October 14, 2014

For more than a year now, we have been working on the redesign of and My Account. Throughout this time, we’ve seen the benefits of following lean principles. Instead of developing the new site all at once, we’ve been building out smaller features and releasing them to users to get their feedback. I like to believe that the redesign of has been a “digital conversation” with our customers: we give them a new page, feature or component, and they provide us with their feedback; then we incorporate their ideas and improve our designs, and we release something new again. It’s a never ending process that allows us to test and adjust as we go.

A couple of months ago, we decided to start a new digital conversation with a different set of users – Koodo Mobile customers. We started the process again and kicked-off the redesign of the Koodo Mobile website. Once more, we had to answer the following questions: Where do we start? What are the critical things we have to do? What are the minimum elements required to start the redesign of a new website?

Here are a few tips that we found useful (and that can be applied to similar initiatives) when kicking-off our project:

Establish a vision and guiding principles – “Direction is so much more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast” – Banksy

One of the pillars of any initiative is to clearly define and understand what the vision and guiding principles are behind your desired outcome. A vision is about creating a short statement that will guide the team throughout the project.

In an ever-changing environment where customer needs are continuously evolving, an inspiring but simple and concise vision will keep the team on track and focused on what you’re trying to achieve. The vision should remind the team that it’s not about the project and it’s not about the team – it’s about your final deliverable being as relevant as possible to your end-user. In a nutshell, it’s all about putting customers first.

Create a collaborative space – The Digital Lab

The need for collaboration, innovation and speed of decision-making are the primary drivers behind setting up a collaborative space or lab. Our sprint teams work from the lab every day, and this is where everything happens.

The lab has to be set up in a way that will help improve work by getting the sprint team thinking about the same problem and solution at the same time. It has to be a casual, fun and social environment where the team can bond and build strong relationships. To help create a collaborative environment, we use these tools:

• Whiteboards and tons of sticky notes to encourage ideation
• Empty walls to post key information to enable data driven decisions and to share information such as wire-frames, mock-ups and user journey maps
• TVs for videoconferencing and screen sharing

Create a sprint team – One team, one dream

A sprint team is a multidisciplinary team that will deliver your vision. The skills required for each sprint may vary depending on the desired outcome. Generally, our sprint teams consist of:

• Visual designers
• Interaction designers
• Front-end developers
• Full-stack developers
• Data experts
• Financial analysts
• SEO experts
• Copywriters
• Scrum masters
• Product owners
• User experience testers

While an empowered multidisciplinary team is required to kick-off a sprint, this isn’t enough. Trust and honesty are essential to well-performing sprint teams. A feeling of responsibility and ownership, a positive atmosphere and strong communication amongst all team members will make a team succeed.

Establish tools and processes – Time-box everything to eliminate waste

While the Agile Manifesto values “individuals and interactions over processes and tools”, we believe in the value of using tools and processes to monitor and track your initiative while following Agile or Lean principles. Additionally, as some of our TELUS digital sprint team members are located in various cities, tools are essential to ensure effective collaboration.

Some of the tools we use include:

• User story tracking tool
• Task tracking tool
• User story sizing tool
• Resourcing tool
• Document sharing
• Instant messaging
• Screen sharing
• Prototype development and testing tool
• Defect or bug tracking

Moreover, whether we are following Scrum, Lean or Kanban methodologies, we always time-box everything as part of our process. By time-boxing all activities, we can focus on the “must-have” deliverables, validate and iterate, and it forces us to constantly review our priorities and ensure they are aligned with our vision.

Following these tips to successfully launch our project, we’re ready to kick-off our digital conversation with Koodo customers. Be sure to check back throughout the fall for updates on the new Koodo Mobile site.