Customer-Focused Agile Design of a Mobile Banking Application

Introducing Vlerick’s Triple-A Framework: Alignment - Agility - Architecture

In this age of mobility, developing a mobile application is high on many organisations’ agendas. But a lot of these organisations have difficulty realising both business and customer value from their mobile apps. The true challenge lies in developing a mobile app that leverages your organisation’s strengths and is so convenient that your customers want to use it all the time.

In this research paper, Dr Bjorn Cumps and Prof Stijn Viaene introduce Vlerick’s Triple-A Framework to argue that, when developing a mobile application – and, by extension, IT applications and systems in general – the key success factor in creating value for both the organisation and the customer is to make the app Aligned, Agile and Architected and to have strong management commitment behind it.

The authors use the case of KBC Bank’s customer-centric mobile banking application to illustrate how the Triple-A approach was key to its successful development. They then highlight 5 lessons learned to help managers and CIOs develop killer mobile apps!

The Triple-A Framework

The strength of Vlerick’s Triple-A Framework is that it acknowledges the importance of 3 pillars – Alignment, Agility and Architecture – as the core foundation for delivering a successful mobile application. It is not only about alignment, nor only about architecture or agility: rather, it’s the integration of the 3 A’s – combined with strong management commitment – that leads to success.

Management Commitment

The KBC management board acknowledged the strategic importance of the mobile application and committed to free up the necessary resources, transform the governance process, and further develop the existing digitised platform to make sure the desired results and benefits could be achieved.

Throughout the project, the project team stressed the importance of the explicit management commitment they received. When resources needed to be freed up and procedures accelerated, management kept their word and did what was necessary. This more short-term form of management commitment played an important role in motivating the team – giving meaning, direction and a real sense of importance to the work the team was performing.

Lessons Learned

The authors’ main message is that a successful mobile journey is not only about a good application. The key to success is understanding what the user, the customer, expects from the application. 5 lessons distilled from the KBC case:

1. Go for maximum customer experience

Focus on convenience and leverage the specific functionality of the different mobile devices.

2. Leverage your digital platform

Understand and leverage your existing infrastructure capability to create mobile services. Combine back-end connectivity with front-end convenience.

3. Integrate business & IT in one team

Innovation comes from interaction between people. Blend business & IT into one team to cross-fertilise ideas.

4. Improve time-to-market through agile governance

Go for lean/agile governance in a fast-changing environment. Transform governance into an enabler rather than an inhibitor.

5. Get management commitment

This is the catalyst for change and for motivating & enabling your team.

Download the full article: 'Customer-Focused Agile Design of a Mobile Banking Application'

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