While at CSC, I received an assignment as a Digital Architect at a leading property and casualty insurer with a robust agency network. I was assigned to lead their B2E apps design. The team building this app was an experiment for the business. We were a small, co-located team working within the Agile framework.
This app was created to enable agents within the company to learn more about their policyholders' financial lives and then recommend products and services as appropriate. As this app was designed to be used by trained agents, we knew we were designing for iPads under enterprise management. We integrated styles from the corporate style guide, but since that style guide was primarily for the website, we modified the components as necessary for a native iOS experience.
A secondary, possibly more important, goal was to test whether Agile could work in the corporate environment. It had been tried and abandoned in the past, but this was a fresh attempt. We were also one of their first teams to work with an in-house design agency located in the southeast.
The team had come together on a previous Agile iOS app project, but for business reasons that first app was deprioritized. This was our second attempt and we did deliver on time. Because we had already developed some rapport, we were able to move quickly through the forming and most of the storming phases and straight on to performing. Adding in the interaction with the new design agency did complicate the design process, as they were the only remote members of the team.
This project cemented in my mind that small, colocated, empowered teams could deliver value faster than with traditional waterfall project management. Because we were using some established styles, we were able to create minimal designs and then work with our two iOS developers to refine and perfect the layouts and interactions. We were able to whiteboard user flows with common understanding shared throughout the team. We spent time up front creating meaningful user stories and prioritized them well to balance workloads. Design was not forced to be completed ahead of development, nor was business analysis. Unlike so many "agile" teams, we worked together each sprint in real time.
The app was delivered on time to agents and the product owners were pleased with the speed of delivery and quality of development.