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MANAGING THE FRONT END – Scrum to the Rescue

The Story: HSBC – Deposit Onboarding Product

Where does one begin, when providing a very brief story of a very complex effort? In this study, we take a short look at the HSBC – Deposit Onboarding Product effort from a Front-End Development perspective. For this Enterprise-Level Project, HSBC, the sixth largest, British-based, multinational bank, the task was to create a new product onboarding web application which would replace the existing US product onboarding solution.

The product onboarding application would then be integrated with the existing Staff Front End (SFE) system. The product onboarding application will allow the staff users (branch and call center) to open product accounts for HSBC customers. It will be integrated with SFE so that once the staff users log into SFE, they will be able to launch product onboarding application seamlessly within SFE. At a high level, the product onboarding journey will have the following steps:

● Applicant selection

● Product selection

● Product and Funding configuration

● Terms and Charges acceptance

● Product boarding and acknowledgment

The Problem

As the UX/UI Manager for the Deposit Onboarding Work stream, my team was tasked with working with the HSBC business partners to facilitate and coordinate the delivery of quality user interfaces for the new product onboarding application. The user interfaces would then connect into existing HSBC services and back-end systems.

Based on observation and discussing pain points with key stakeholders, a few Key Front-End challenges were identified:

  • UX designers needed stronger relationships with the Product Owner, Business Analyst, and End-Users.

  • There needed to be improvements to the Agile design and delivery process for the Front-End interfaces.

  • Developers (front-end & back-end) were not working in the same development environment.

While there are many challenges on a project of this scale, let’s just look at how the 3 challenges above were addressed.

Address the Key Front End Challenges and implement the processes that would help us maintain the project’s momentum and lead to us creating stronger, more well-informed designs and interactions.

The Process

This was an Agile Project running on 3-week sprints. My road to improvement began by coaching the Front-End Team on Agile Methodologies and strengthen their use of Scrum. Scrum ceremonies were formalized and added to the Front-End Team. User stories and requirements were shared and refined, Sprint Planning was formalized, Daily Scrums were scheduled, Sprint Reviews were held, and improvements were implemented as realized.

With these activities in place, we performed the following process from Sprint to Sprint:

1- Discovery

  • Task Analysis and Requirements Refinement

2- Interaction and Visual Design

  • Prototyping using Axure

3- Development

  • UI Development using HTML/CSS and Angular JavaScript

  • Deployment to centralized HSBC repository

  • Connecting to HSBC backend systems and services

  • QA testing

Working with our HSBC business partners, we eventually transitioned our developers into one single repository/development environment. This allowed developers to collaborate further and deliver code at a faster pace.

Finally, we focused on improving our relationships with the Product Owner. This led to the Front-End resources (UX/UI Manager, UX Designer, and Analyst) attending the appropriate meetings with the PO and being exposed to the end-user. Having a firmer understanding of the users and the requirements led to developing stronger user interactions and designs. User flows and designs were quickly approved and given to development because they met the core need of the user they were built for.

The Outcome

The outcome was a Scrum Team that worked and collaborated better than they had in the past. As a result, the Front-End Team delivered more quality interfaces from sprint to sprint. This efficiency has allowed for the incorporation of usability testing into the overall process.

Unfortunately, the funding for the entire global effort was cut which led to resource reductions and changes to the various Scrum Teams. The deployment of the Deposit Onboarding Product to the US Market is still scheduled for October 2017. We will see how the story unfolds for the effort as further funding is found…


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