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Blending Agile with Lean UX for a better ROI

Posted on: 19 January '17
Jeremy Johnson
Jeremy Johnson
Senior IT Consultant, Travel, Transportation & Hospitality Industry Group

In the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality industry, no two businesses or solutions are the same. Each situation is unique, requiring an evaluation and, at times, optimization of existing tools and product offerings. To add to the complexity, the ‘connected traveler’ now expects to be recognized and responded to in real-time in accordance to his or her preferences. These factors have sparked an uptick in digitization within the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality space. More and more organizations in this industry are looking to personalize their service offerings to stay competitive while delivering the right value to their customers. This revolution has made it important for clients to:

  • Collaborate with other players in the travel ecosystem
  • Build context-aware personalization through data consolidation and integration
  • Maximize the power of social media
  • Empower staff to provide unparalleled customer service

However, with the desire to disrupt the market with new and innovative solutions, clients often have apprehensions if the digital/ technology initiatives they ultimately fund will truly appeal to their customer and provide the expected return on investment for their organization. This challenges the C-Suite to identify what offerings will provide the most value to customers in an age of ever evolving preferences, social climates, and technology. All while maintaining an efficient IT budget and delivering new products at the speed of business.

Mindtree understands that the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality industry is undergoing a major shift from being predominantly retail oriented (focused on selling seats & rooms) to becoming a services economy providing the convenience, at leisure, connected experience travelers now expect. As an anchor partner to orchestrate digital change, Mindtree has developed the Innovation Factory, an adaptive model to clarify our client’s product vision and convert innovative ideas into market ready products faster. The Innovation Factory blends Agile and Lean UX, to provide a customer-first approach to software development. Rapid Prototyping is leveraged to solve modern business and user problems, at speed, to create intuitive products that deliver value and customer loyalty.

We have employed this approach for several of our clients within the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality industry. For the world’s leading low-cost airline, we leveraged a Lean UX approach to develop a native iOS solution digitizing key tasks performed by flight attendants. This mobile solution, developed in a single two-week Agile sprint, enables the flight crew to more efficiently anticipate and meet the needs of their passengers.

During this process, we brought in our airline industry and UX experts to ideate with the client. Together, we uncovered the relevant flight crew journey maps to ensure the app met key business objectives and the desired ROI. The resulting app enabled easy access for flight attendants covering pre-flight, in-flight, and post flight activities including passenger meal preferences, unaccompanied minor details, schedules, plane specifications, paystub info, lodging, and real time incident reporting in flight for expedited remediation and enhanced safety. A reusable code base was implemented enabling the airline to sense and respond to the needs of their flight crew and bring future enhancements to market faster.

For one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America, Mindtree demonstrated our ability to develop a custom solution to streamline the process of planning and tracking work related to maintaining rail infrastructure. After several attempts at trying off-the-shelf products, the client sought a custom solution that would be intuitive, simple, mobile and tied directly to the existing SAP architecture. The goal was to meet the day-to-day needs unique to their business operations related to forecasting, crew scheduling and planning, and tracking work orders.

Collaboratively working with the client’s IT & business stakeholders, Mindtree’s Agile UX experts uncovered “a day in the life of” experience, current pain points, and developed a prioritized list of features to bring this custom solution to life. This workshop spanned a week resulting in a successful prototype which is being piloted across all of their field locations.

With Mindtree’s Innovation Factory, we partner with our clients to collaboratively uncover ways to quickly bring product ideas to life before they commit to fund long-term development. During this process, Mindtree establishes innovative value stream initiatives to successfully address business viability, user desirability, and technology feasibility. Satisfying these three perspectives eliminates waste, decreases product life cycles, and enables continuous improvement. Through rapid prototyping, our client’s ideas become tangible and are piloted to the market, insights are captured, and the solution is refined. This provides the most value and highest ROI. The process is highly scalable and able to handle as many products as desired.

In a fiercely competitive market place where competitors are launching products and new offerings at the speed of business, your brand needs to have IT capabilities that accelerate your product’s go to market in order to attract and retain customers. Reach out to Mindtree to learn more on how we can increase your ROI from IT investments by blending Agile frameworks with Lean UX.

Jeremy is an Agile subject matter expert within the Travel, Transportation & Hospitality(TTH) industry group of Mindtree. As an Agile SME, Jeremy focuses on developing innovative thought leadership in enterprise Agile transformations, Agile cultural adoption, and globally distributed Agile. Jeremy has a wide range of experience across multiple TTH organizations supporting Agile teams develop product backlogs that provide the most value to customers. Jeremy is also a Certified Scrum Product Owner and SAFe Agilist.