558: 2 Keys to Collaboration: How This Company Increased Efficiencies by 186% w/ Dan Reed

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Dan Reed, Head of Digital Content at Barclaycard.

... Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the baby growth show. We are here today with Dan read. He is the head of digital content at Barclay card. Dan, how you doing today? Yeah, I'm very well. James. How are you? I am fantastic, Dan. We have been that we've had this on the books for for a couple months now, so I'm really excited to chat with you today. We're going to be talking about collaboration in a global organization, but before we do that, I'd love for you to set some context for our listeners and just tell us a little bit about Barclay Card and and what your role is there? Yes, sure, so, Buckley Cod. In the US you'll probably be most for thela with Bal clays. I'm Buckley Cod. Is The credit card arm of Barclays and I work on the B Tob side of that. So in the in the business side, there are three main arms of bark the card. So it's around acquiring being able to have people take payments, whether that'd be facetoface or online. It's about making payments, so being able to have corporate cards and of the cards. And it's point to sale finance as well. So if you're taken out your car shopping and you you're looking scared a vehicle, than at that point in time you might want to take out some pointstel finance. So we...

...are part of Barkeley's international so my role predominantly is UK based, but do a little bit of working in Germany and a little bit work in the US as well. Got It, I love it. I love it. So I want to dive into this topic because as we were talking about it offline, we talked through a couple different iterations of how we could gear this conversation and where we ended up landing. It is actually around a pretty fascinating statistic. You said that you've seen a hundred and eighty six percent increase in efficiencies by doing some of the things that you've done just to really get people around the table early on in the process around a specific initiative. Can you go a little bit deeper on that and at a little bit more context as as what the rest of this conversation is going to look like? Yeah, definitely so. So that that, in particular, is a really interesting peace. So I worked with an area of the business around our existing customer management, and what we do with those guys is we look at all the things that they wanted to deliver, whether it's new pieces of functionality or new ways of talking to existing customers, and historically it was very, very linear. So the team would come up with a proposition of what they want to do that would go through all the iterations and finally, say, two months into the process, it comes down to to my team who managed that the website, and we get told Hey, guys, here's what you need to deliver, we need it next week. That be great, and we take a look at it and go, Oh, actually, you need this bit of development work or actually what you're wanted to achieve, we can do it in a different way. At that time in the process it's kind of a well, that's great, but can you just get on with it? So we looked at it, look to the whole engagement model, realize it was very linear and the main issues were that we didn't have visibility of the workload. And...

...so what we what we decided to do, is change those, those our long meetings that we were having once a week, to fifteen minute daily stand up meetings. So we get all the relevant people together fifteen minutes in the morning every day. And it was just what's coming up in your pipeline and where are things that we're currently working on, and from there we're able to see something that that's you know too, is going to hit us in two months, but we know about it and we can say, well, actually, we need to start making these kind of plans, or I need to add resource here, or I need to engage the development team to do to do X Y Z. So you basically created essentially an agile framework around, around the way your kind team works. Pretty much that's it, and we tried it, trialed it with this one area of the business to begin with, and the fundamental was let's get together and work together on a daily basis, all be it just for fifteen minutes, but also let's have real, clear visibility. So the other thing that we did that that your listeners maybe may be interested in is we used something called a can band board and with the one we use, we we had a physical whiteboard in the office, but we also used program called Trelloh Yeah, I love I live inside Chella. It is so good. It is so good. I'm a bit of a techy automation Geek and I'VE HEARD I've created deserts, an APP called if this, then that. Yep, then Yep. So I've I've hooked that up to my Alexa so I can say hey, Alexa, remind me to do x, and then it automatically as a card to my trello. waitless, that's I don't want memory, so pause. So that's how I have to manage my life, unfortunately. So were we introduced Trello into the workspace and it's just a well, as you'll know, it's so great for collaboration because at any one point you can you can just comment and stuff you can see where everything is. You get automated emails to say this has been moved...

...or this documents been added. And what we saw is we did a we did a little test before before we started this trial to see how things were going, and we sized up tasks and we had the classic t shirt size, small, medium, large. Our small tasks went from taking four weeks to deliver to one week to deliver. Wow. A medium tasks went from sixteen weeks to eleven weeks and we didn't have any large tasks during that time. So yeah, overall it did increase a hundred hundred eighty six percent in efficiencies across all the tasks that we did, which was fantastic. And as well as having those hard metrics, we also had some soft metrics around how's everyone feeling? Two people enjoy working as part of this team? Is it fun? Is it does it feel like a safe and and and secure environment? And all those scores were pretty low beforehand, especially the fun. It was like, well, a lot of our works legal and mandatory and regulator. Is Not much fun going on there. But those scores really shifted from from two out of tens to nine and tens out of tens. Wow. So really good to have both that. That that hard metrics, you know what, we're saving the business time and money, but also that soft metric of we're feeling more empowered as a team and working better together. So I think for anyone that's really wanting to look at improving ways of working in any size of organization, I'd say that the two key things that you can do are get together regularly, just for short periods of time, and to also use something like trello. JIRA's fine to any kind of candon board. I just like Trello because it's easy to use and looks pretty. Yeah, but you know, doing those two things, I think would really see some good efficiency. So I've got two follow up questions. I'd love to dig in with you day and one, how has this approach impacted the way you in your team receive jobs from other parts of the organization? Is it shifted the...

...way other parts of the organization give you work? Yeah, definitely so. And this this this leads on to a bit of a pet peeve of mind. So, so we used to receive work through what we call a briefing document, which really is just here is it can be a piece of paper and email or powerpoint whatever, but here is what we want you to do. Now just go off and do it. So you're very much seen as a service delivery machine. For example, here is a product, we want you to create a page for it. Fine, but when it's we want you to create a page and the page needs to look like this, and this should be the user experience from someone that doesn't have that expertise. It kind of a kind of makes your team one MIGHTYAM morale a little bit low because they're they turn into kind of just glorified data entry people, but it also doesn't give the best value back to the business. A really good example of bringing this to life was a project that I worked on where we will launching five new credit cards and we wanted to launch them across six different channels and it was key to be able to look at the user journey and Click through rates and application rates throughout these different products and different channels. So the brief that I got was, well, we need a product page for each product and we need one per channel. So can you create thirty product pages that are all duplicated? And this was to track track the journey to which I said. Well, actually, if the only reason you're doing this is to be able to track the journey, we can do that through something called dynamic tracking, which I won't go into the technicalities of, but basically, depending on where the user lands on the page from where they've come from, that will populate tracking, so we can actually see where they're going. Okay, and in short, it means that we have meant that we actually only...

...needed six pages as opposed to five pages, as opposed to thirty pages, and it actually saved us about six to eight weeks in the build process and we're is, which is fantastic, right. Yeah, and and that. And that came from not having, you know, in the old way, an old world, but would have been here as your here is your brief. Can you build thirty pages? And at which point, where you may stop to question it, you think, well, hang on a second, I really need to get this stuff live, otherwise we're going to miss headlines, whereas, being engaged earlier on, you might still get a bit of a ridiculous request, but at least you can say, well, hang on a minute, there's actually a better way to do this, and not only can we still hit your deadlines, we can hit them a lot sooner and it what cost as mudge and and I think, I think the beautiful part of what you've done you've just set an expectation with the rest of the organization that your team is not order takers, but you guys actually add a tremendous amount of value by just simply asking them to collaborate with you, because you're both trying to reach the same goal and I think that the value you guys bring over the the lifetime of the work that you guys have done and the efficiencies that you guys have figured out, you can obviously bring a lot of that too, early on in the process by setting an expectation of collaboration early on. So I think, I think that's incredibly valuable. My last question for you Dan. I'm curious how you have structured the TRELLO board. I know, I, I, I live and breathe in cello. I think a lot of folks listening to this, I've at least heard of Trello. I don't know how many of them use it, but talk to us about how your team is actually using this tool, because I think that would be really helpful. Sure. So we've we've divided at the trelloboard into several columns. So the first one we call it the weight pen, and this is we know that a piece of work is coming in and we've got no idea what it is, or we a very loose idea. For example, we've...

...got something to redesign contact us page to make it clear, if for users to actually know which part of the business they need to speak to. We don't know what's that get what that's going to look like, but we know it's going to come in and we want to try and deliberate this year. So that goes in the weight pen once we then receive a brief and we kind of know what needs to be done, but we need to scope out a little bit more. We have a next column, which is a brief receipt and then gets assigned to one of the people in my team and it gets them moved to actions required. So we know we need to do something and now kind of the book stopped with us. What happens from there is then the list is prioritized, usually just based on when it needs to be live, and then so a user could have, say, four things away in action. They'll pick one of those things and that will then go into it. It's work in progress. From work in progress, it will then go into the next column, which is it's with a stakeholder for review. Once it's been reviewed, any amends have been done, we're all good. It then goes into the awaiting published column and then finally the best column, which is published, and that's kind of the whole process. And and what I love about Trello is, you know, when I got first introduced to it, it was well, you know, the traditional ways of work management was that your manager said, here's a load of work, let me throw it at you, just keep on throwing it, whereas Trellos all about, well, actually, I am one person. I can only really do one thing at a time effectively, and I guess that's another conversation around multitasking and the myths of it, but it's more around let me pull through work that I have capacity to do and then we can get things moving nice and nice and smoothly. So that's how we structure it, from waiting for something, that we know something's coming in right through to the we've we're action in it. We've done it, it's been reviewed, it's now live. So just a final thought on that. Wait pain has grown massively since started in this...

...new way of working, which could be seen as a negative, but I see it as a real positive because it means we're being engaged much earlier in the process. I had once day, had seven requests come through today from one guy and they're not you know, some of them have for several months into the future and he's just saying, listen, I'm just putting this on your radar because we need to talk about it, and I'm that's that's great. That's what I love it. I love it. Yeah, Dan, this has been fantastic. I think this is going to be incredibly helpful for for the folks listening to this. If there's somebody listening, they maybe they want to dig deeper on this. Maybe they're they're trying to figure out how do they make their team more collaborative, how do they instill some agile methodologies in order to do that? What's the best way for them to to connect with you? Yeah, I'd say Linkedin is probably the best way. So I don't know whether they'll be any by or anything on this, but it is just yeah, linkedincom forward slash in and then forward, slash Dan, read eighty six, which is our double dy eighty six, and I'm more than happy to speak to people. I write a few blogs about stuff light this and and just love sharing information and help. Know this. So just yet. Definitely get into touch. More than happy to wait full D and we'll will. Thank you again so much for your time and I'm really excited to get this out to our listeners. Cool. Thanks so much. James playsure speak with you. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you are someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growth show, email me at Jonathan at sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know we love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom and perspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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