PostNord Group’s market websites in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway are the largest channels for meeting customers with about 5 million visitors per month. Products and services are becoming increasingly competitive and therefore it is critical that the new interface was a best in class solution with a competitive advantage in the market place.
The main objectives of the development was to support PostNord Group’s strategic priorities by creating solutions that promote sales through improved interfaces for services and reduce the burden on customer service through support with features that increase the use of self service. PostNord wanted personalised content to improve the presentation of functionalities, offers and services that a visitor may find most relevant, enabling them to engage and convert with further sales.
The project began with a short stage to ensure we started with a shared understanding of the business vision, project objectives, scope for project and agree on a measurement plan. This rapid initiation stage mobilised the team and established working processes.
During this stage, we setup the project governance by confirming the roles and responsibilities; establishing who is involved and when; agreeing the project communications plan in detail; undertaking a project risk assessment and setting up project collaboration tools and controls. In addition to reviewing existing documentation, we met with key stakeholders, scoped priorities and prepared the roadmap.
From a technical perspective, the recommended process is designed around releasing common “functional drops” for all markets using the same code base built upon Episerver. These new experience features were then ready to be administrated by all markets (SE, NO, FI, DK). The next step was for market site managers to administrate the newly inherited features to meet the local market business requirements and user’s needs. Any newly available pages/modules were customised and populated with content by the site administrator. I engaged with each country site manager to keep them informed and training was continuously conducted along with providing documented editorial guidelines.
The key principles we set out to achieve were:
- Build the brand through dialogue
- Create compelling content based on user needs
- Meet customer needs
- Support business goals
- Personalise the experience
- Reduce the burden on customer service functions
- Provide a foundation for growth
A short definition stage was conducted to agree prioritisation for requirements and undertake swift, but robust enough specification work to begin immediate and continuous implementation. In our approach this stage consisted of foundational analysis and planning activities where we prepared for the following agile delivery sprints by defining the requirements in story format. Established the user experience rules and made technology architecture decisions to ensure a fast and efficient start to implementation
The recommendation was to tackle the development with an approach based in Agile Software Development. Agile uses tighter sprints that apply integrated iterations of analysis, design, and development to smaller “chunks” of the product, building up to the full requirements step by step, with potentially shippable code available after every iteration. Agile is rooted in the philosophy that innovating new experiences takes collaboration and feedback from real people, helping to correct the course along the way and ensure ultimate success.
Working with PostNord collaboratively to assess and prioritise the requirements and prepare them in a consistent format for agile implementation – input was required from stakeholders to ensure alignment and minimise the risk of key requirements being missed.
Requirements were written as user stories, i.e. in the form “As a <user type> I want to <do some action> so that <desired result>”. Prioritisation was based on business value and continuously assigned to each user story. I wrote requirements for end users, authors, operational teams, technical requirements and non-functional requirements. The product backlog was managed within the shared requirements management system (Jira software).
The following provides a high level classification applied to determine the solution through the process:
- Super Search
- New site architecture
- New written content
- Related Offers
- Modular based Pages and blocks
- Help & FAQ
- Integrated Tools
- Chat widget
- Continuous Integration
Incremental releases inherited by all markets were continuously launched on the same code base to build the new experience and ensure engagement with all markets swiftly and with minimum disruption.