T. Rowe Price
The institutional investment division of a major financial organization was experiencing issues with its fund information product portal. Slow performance accessing critical fund data resulted in reports of user dissatisfaction and reduced engagement metrics. The historical layering within the technology group’s operational structure further hampered the ability to promptly identify and resolve the issues. The division comprised several main product areas brought together through multiple acquisitions over fifteen-plus years, each with a separate history of development methodologies, technology choices, and culture.
While the team had made strides in aligning and encouraging sharing across all groups, many still felt hampered in their ability to manage and deliver on their product portfolio. Fundamental improvements were needed if the team were to meet their ongoing business requirements and improve their users’ experience. The technology leadership team looked to SitePen as a neutral third party to provide unbiased analysis of the performance and operational problems, propose solutions for the issues identified, and guide the team on the reasoning behind the answers to aid buy-in as to why each area needed fixing.
SitePen’s engagement involved two work streams; one to analyze the investment web application, focusing on performance, and another to understand the technology group’s current operating model and the challenges the team faced with it.
The website analysis stream targeted areas of performance and accessibility, with improvement suggestions extending to overall architecture, technology choice, general quality upliftment, and engineering best practices. The investment portal relied on a third-party content platform which remained invariable in the short term given the significant time and investment needed to replace it. Despite this restriction, SitePen identified many enhancements in the entire web application structure and how the client could better utilize the content platform to improve the user experience when accessing fund details.
The operating model stream first interviewed a wide range of critical stakeholders within the technology, product, and management teams to understand the ownership structure and product delivery pipelines across the group’s verticals. Information gathered from these discussions was collated, summarized, and delivered to the client as a documented record of the current operating state. This record included the main issues the team faced and the impact each had on the ability to design and deliver features within their platform.
Once SitePen had gathered a thorough understanding, including all significant friction points, they prepared a new target operating model. The main goals of the new model were bringing end-user value delivery to the forefront while also addressing many of the current impediments faced within the product and technology delivery pipelines. A set of targeted recommendations, grouped into pillar areas of strategy, operations, and technology, formed the basis for the client to implement the new operating model and realize its benefits.
The fixed-scope nature of the project meant SitePen’s focus was analyzing the current state and providing future state improvement recommendations, with the client handling further implementation activities. SitePen undertook a targeted performance and usability analysis of the investment portal and an in-depth assessment of the division's current operating model to manage its product suite.
SitePen delivered comprehensive recommendations and a new operating model targeting all identified areas. Review walkthroughs were then conducted with the engineering and management teams to ensure everyone fully understood the issues identified and the options available for improving each point. The outcomes were well-received by everyone involved, and the team was left enthused by the benefits to come when implementing SitePen’s recommendations.