Philip Ross - Monitise Case Study
Thank you for the interview about BIBOX. I found the line a little crackly and was a little unsure where on the SDLC you were pitching for a business analysis to operate. Though from what we discussed I was under the impression that you need someone around requirement gathering and definition.
I had done some reading around about the product that you are trying to build from what I understood is :
"BIBOX will be a bank-owned, industry-wide platform. It will use new technology to combine the ‘best of breed’ solutions out there for banks to drive cost savings, standardisation and innovation
BIBOX’s vision is to morph from a shared-services platform to one where Vendors, FinTechs and other Banks engage and integrate each other’s solutions to service their client’s needs in a cost-efficient, seamless manner."
There are a lot of similarities with the FinKit product that we developed at Monitise.
"Monitise FINkit® - A comprehensive cloud native solution built specifically for banks who want to accelerate the delivery of their digital strategies.
Banks are under operational and market pressures; consumer expectations
are growing and competition is becoming intense and agile.
The ability to innovate digitally - safely, securely and with agility - is core to a bank's ability to defend and grow its business. We created FINkit to solve this "
My role at Monitise was initially to have joined a team of 4 people, two were Systems Architects, the other was the project manager. The project would later grow to about 150 people. The architects were in the process of developing a System Architecture Document. This document would detail would the the foundation or core framework would work.
My goal was to build a number to assist with the specification of this and develop a number of business applications /foundation modules that could run on the run on the platform. These would be mobile phone top-up, gift cards, loyalty and rewards and then general banking transactional features. These topics were chosen at a high level.
My role working with product managers from Monitise was to develop in detail the requirements for these business application and in partnership develop their propositions to determine their feasibility. This involved working with the product owners and others throughout the business. At same time working with the Systems Architects to assist with the business requirements of the core platform - for instance working on non-functional requirements, IAM and other controls.
I was soon to recruit additional business analysts into the team, both onshore and off shore. We also worked in partnership with the Monitise team that was there.
We produced a basic Project Background document - which in other organisations is called a BRD. We worked with the Product Director and others to develop up a specification of what the MVP was. We developed EPICS for development and put together user stories and acceptance criteria and rolled these into a backlog. They were picked up by sprint teams. Eventually we had 10 sprint teams in 10 different locations and with people spread over 3 different time zones.
What I was able to deliver to Monitise on this project were three things :
1) Bring my previous experience from fintech and financial services to help with those requirements definitions and put us on a sound footing for understanding the business goals and requirements
2) Deploying my expertise as business analyst in writing up the Project Requirements and developing this as it went forward into a product backlog and as user stories with acceptance criteria.
3) My capabiltity as a stakeholder manager meant I was able communicate well with C-Level executives and down through others in the organisation. I was able to help people to articulate the issues and well them define solutions. I very much feel that this attribute of mine is the glue that brings the other two together and is what leads to success.
This is what stakeholders on the project said :
"The business analysts have been allies in keeping the project focused on business as opposed to just technical requirements. The business analysts helped to clarify requirements and provide a bridge between the technical teams and the product group. Otherwise everything is discussed in a technical framework not a business framework. Our focus is not HOW something is to be done but what is to be done and how it meets out requirements"
Sean Sewell (Programme Manager, Monitise)
"I had the great pleasure of working with Phil on the strategic programme of the FINtech company Monitise designing, developing and implementing digital banking and commerce services operated on a cloud-based central platform. During this time Phil showcased his in-depth industry knowledge when producing most comprehensive solution documentation and providing expert advice on product strategy. Across all delivery cycles Phil has been a great addition to the team as his intuitive approach and eloquent communication style gained him respect from colleagues and managers alike".
Heike Schwarzbach (Business Analyst from Monitise)
With such an impressive professional and personal background, there was no surprise for me that I felt delighted having such a project colleague. Philip is like a book that opens itself up and captivates your attention.
Using non standard ways of capturing and presenting requirements (such as his hand drawn comics) every stakeholder involved in the project would gladly let himself attracted in the process making sure their expectations are met.
Radu Bidiac (Business Analyst from Endava)