A bank for the future.
Proof of Concept
About the project
At Star Republic, we want to be more than a competent and reliable partner - we want to change and develop the digital commerce of the future for real. To do that, we must do what no one else has done before. When Wasa Kredit came to us in early 2017 and asked if it was possible to digitize a leasing process, we did not have a good answer. We have it now.
Together we created something completely new, which did not exist before. We helped Wasa Kredit to develop a solution that completely automates the leasing process and to take the next step in becoming a future-proof bank. And at the same time, we also helped ourselves to develop as an agency.
Wasa Kredit, which is part of Länsförsäkringar Bank, has been a customer of ours at Star Republic since 2015. Our work to create the leasing checkout started already two years ago, via a request to develop a POC (Proof of Concept). Based on the work with the POC, several important insights emerged, where we saw, among other things, limitations in working in the existing legacy system and infrastructure. The result of the POC gave us the answer that it was very well possible to continue working on, but in a project of this complexity there are challenges, both for us and Wasa Kredit.
At the beginning of 2017, we sat down together again, with the goal of creating a prototype. Instead of producing a specification where functionalities, requirements, procedures and time estimates are noted at a detailed level, we looked at two fixed goals: What we wanted to achieve and when we wanted it to be ready. An agile and iterative work process was then started in order to guide the work and how we were going to collaborate.
Together, the decision was made that the work with the new prototype would be conducted outside the current system and infrastructure at Wasa Kredit, which would give Star the opportunity to work completely disconnected and without restrictions. We got the opportunity to create something completely new, where the user is at the center. Our role in the project was acting like an innovation hub for Wasa Kredit. One of our main tasks was to ensure that there was always progress in the work, and that the necessary decisions were made with such foresight that we could complete the prototype work according to schedule.
One of the main success factors in carrying out this project within such a short time frame can be attributed to the work process. Throughout the project, we have worked with an agile and iterative process, where no stone has been too small or too large to turn over. Problem solving has been, and is, a major focus point. In our work, we have actively worked to break down problems and discuss them together with all stakeholders.
Throughout the project, there were really only two fixed goals. The first: an end date for delivery. The second: that we should always start, in everything we did, from the user's perspective. In between, the agile and iterative work process has guided the work. A major success factor has been the crushing functional working group, where we, by gathering several different competencies, have succeeded in weaving together strategy, design and technology in a fantastic way.
Two major key factors in the project have been leadership and ownership. Ownership in the form of ownership of the product, where we as a supplier had high trust from the customer and were able to make our own decisions based on what we saw as the best possible way forward. Ownership for each individual in the working group has also been important, where team members have had to take great responsibility for their own, specific area of knowledge. Leadership has largely been about distributing and distributing responsibility to the parties concerned so that we can always make wiser and faster decisions.
The biggest challenge, and this also applies to leasing in general, is that there are several steps and parties involved in one and the same process. We need to collect information about the company /lessee, sign an agreement from outside and get all interested parties to sign it and, from the user's perspective, make it happen in just a few seconds.
By working with microservices architecture, we have been able to maintain a high pace throughout the project. We have had several members in the working group who have been able to work, test and deploy at the same time, independently of each other. Working with a microservices architecture versus a monolith also gives Wasa Kredit the opportunity to scale up and add new services as it grows. In this way, we ensure that we have good opportunities to further develop and build on the solution also in the future.
There has never been any doubt that the solution would work technically. What has been the big challenge, however, was to make sure that the solution worked, was clear and instinctive for users to use. That the solution should be user-centered was one of our main goals and we have lived up to that. In all parts of the project, the user's experience has been allowed to guide the work and formed the basis for the technical decisions made.
A unique project
What is extra nice about this project is that it has not only helped Wasa Kredit develop its business, it has also developed us as an agency. The project has been a challenge, just as we want them to be. Given that there has been no actual conclusion, we have been forced to constantly rethink, find new ways and come up with new solutions - which has given us lots of useful experience and strengthened our self-confidence a lot.
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