I’m sure you’ve experienced this online shopping. After you found a product at an attractive price and you decided to purchase it. You used internet banking to pay for it. However, an error message appeared, saying, “Sorry, something went wrong, the transaction failed, please try again later.” “Haiya!,” It’s quite annoying. Maybe you’ve had enough and decided to let go of it. But hold on, I’d like you to consider it. “ What is the task at hand, “When you’re using a service or a product. This predicament is crucial to the vendor and you too.
In the past, I worked as a technical lead in a bank. And I realized that the financial industry is rife with acronyms. HSBC, the bank where I used to work, is an acronym; it stands for How Simple Becomes Complicated. You are mistaken if you believe that pressing a button on an internet banking site is simple. You have no idea how difficult this procedure is. The business team gathers the requirements, the design is created by the designer team, and the software is written, tested, and deployed to production by the development team. It takes two weeks on average to alter a single character on a webpage.
I was part of the ASD-ASP team, which stands for Accelerated Scaled Delivery in the Asia Pacific. And it was my responsibility to create regional features. If you’re from Malaysia, you’ve undoubtedly used PayNet’s FPX (Financial Process Exchange) service. A similar service in Singapore is PayNow.
I built the feature and released it to production after months of hard work, and I thought to myself, “Finally! my job is done!” You can choose FPX as a payment option when purchasing an earphone on Shopee. The purchase is complete after you click the “pay” button. I am pleased with my job.
Assume you are blind, unable to see the website, and must rely on your ear to listen to the accessibility tool. You are completely unaware that you have only 10 minutes to finish the deal. Find the timer on the page, and it will read out loud: “10 minutes left, 9 minutes 59 seconds, 9 minutes 58 seconds…” It also reads aloud every second to drive you insane, leaving you with no time to complete the transaction. This is a true pain point for a consumer, and I realized I hadn’t finished my job. I did’t get feedback from real clients till later.
I tried to fix the situation, but it was practically impossible in such a massive company. When I spoke with the business analysts, they answered, “No, my job was done,” implying that they are only concerned with generating a profit from the majority, while the minority is not. When I spoke with the designers, they told me that “no, my job was done” and that they preferred to create flashy animations to attract more clients rather than worrying about the blind. “No, my job was done,” the engineers answered when I approached them. They completed the software and now want to move forward using cutting-edge machine learning and blockchain technologies.
I couldn’t persuade my colleagues because I didn’t understand Aristotle’s three arguments at the time: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. But now I’d like to get your thoughts. Consider this before you hire a product or service: “What is the job to be done?”
Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, has presented this approach. His thesis is based on the question, “What is the task that a person hires a product to do?” When you grasp the work, it’s easy to see ways to improve the product.
Allow me to describe my job when I utilize online banking; I want to complete the transaction. Who cares about the fancy animation or whether it uses AI or cryptocurrencies? The product team had been asking the wrong questions and attempting to solve the wrong problem. We must do better than any of our competitors. Make transactions that are successful for everyone, including individuals who are blind. Every transaction matters and the Malaysian government has a regulatory requirement for FPX transactions to be successful 70% of the time. A penalty would be imposed if the bank did not comply.
The job wasn’t done and there’s an elephant in the room. What should you do if you run into a problem the next time you do online banking? Consider this: what is the “job to be done?” Empathize with those who have experienced the same difficulty, particularly the visually challenged. As a customer, tell the bank what you want. Tell the bank what you’d like to see. Tell the bank to finish their work. By expressing your concerns, you can help to bring about change. It is not to be taken lightly. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Experience in software development, application architecture, and deploying cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Strong hands-on skills with a Master's degree in Computer Science and business acumen with a master of business administration (MBA) in Finance. Certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA) and Scrum (PSM, PSPO) with experience in building banking products from scratch.