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Four Things Product Teams Can Learn from Archery

Posted by Nick Wellner

Mar 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Growing up, I dabbled in archery. My dad bought a cheap fiberglass bow and showed me how to shoot a target on to of a stack of hay bales. When I started bow hunting again in my twenties, archery became a renewed passion. I attempt to shoot my bow every day; and slowly but surely, I’m hitting the center more and more consistently.

This is no easy task. A perfect shot requires your bow’s sight to be properly tuned and exactly aligned when you release. Your bow must be drawn back to the same spot each time, and released in the same exact motion. Most of the time, one of these variables is off, and your arrow doesn’t hit the center of the target. If you want to improve your next shot, you have to figure out what to adjust.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Information Technology

The Right Inputs

Posted by Bryan McCarty

Sep 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM

When you’re a product manager building a platform that involves a mix of enterprise B2B and also B2BC products, the number of opinions you receive – whether you want them or not – can be overwhelming.

We don’t always hear directly from end-users, but we do hear from the businesses, or clients, who purchase our products. Often, clients present us with a smattering of feature requests that represent a portion of their end-users’ pain points. These requests also include their own ideas and features they see from competitors. The ideas coming from clients is only a portion of the forces at play. Product managers also face internal pressure from sales, operations and engineering. It’s the job of the product manager to assess all these inputs and find the greatest good.

With a continuous funnel of opinions, how do product teams ensure they appropriately prioritize what’s next to work on and not simply react to the latest, or loudest, request?

I believe product teams creating the most impact do so by understanding the right inputs. These teams not only ship successful products, they create new waves of innovation that leave other product teams grasping to catch on.

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Topics: Information Technology, Customer Experience

How to Focus Your Product Strategy & Measure Success

Posted by Nick Wellner

May 18, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Why do we build things?

Depending on who you ask at an organization, the responses may vary, but there’s likely a common theme—creating value. Value for customers, resulting in value for the organization.

As product manager for consumer products in the financial industry, I’m responsible for creating value for the users of our products and the financial institutions that purchase them. It’s a win-win scenario, but it starts with the needs of the user. If our users don’t find value in our products, the value chain breaks down.

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Topics: Information Technology, Customer Experience

New Year, New Changes to Digital Banking

Posted by Jennifer Geis

Jan 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

As we welcome each New Year, we welcome change. Hopes of change for the better – better health, better organizational habits, better financial status, etc. We make resolutions for change. We are not the only ones changing. The financial services industry is changing also. The bank and credit union is moving from a place you go, to a thing you do. Financial services used to be all about asking, ”How may I help you”, leaving the answer wide open to a multitude of generic answers. But now, it’s all about ”Did you know”, a much different question that leads to answers that are helpful, insightful, personal and individual to each person asking. This direction is positioning the financial institution as a helpful advisor to the customer or member and putting financial institutions in the driver’s seat to truly improve the consumer’s financial health and well-being. The financial services industry has high hopes of becoming more with this change.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Information Technology

Betting the Bank on Your IT Experts

Posted by Dave Foss

Sep 1, 2015 9:57:17 AM


Ten or fifteen years ago, losing a key IT employee might have put some projects at risk, but not the entire bank. The stakes of this game are rising, however, because of increased sophistication of cyber-attacks, regulatory scrutiny around how banks are managing IT environments, and the growing number of governing entities with their fingers in the compliance pie. As an example, the governor of New York State recently directed his Department of Financial Services to conduct targeted cyber security preparedness assessments for all state-chartered banks and other banks “based” in the state. This may be the beginning of a new trend where state regulators move beyond their traditional role to become increasingly involved in banking cyber security. The more people you need to answer to, the more essential it becomes that all of your processes and procedures are sound and managed by a competent team.

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Topics: Information Technology

The Art of Hosting

Posted by Milton King

Sep 1, 2015 9:50:52 AM

 

Now before you start worrying that you inadvertently stumbled on to Home&Garden.com instead of Strategically Speaking, let me explain the title.  In the life of every organization it has to make the decision on which functions need to be managed internally (in-house) versus those that can be contracted through someone else who specializes in that function (hosted).

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Topics: Information Technology

How to Perform an Acquisition without Losing Your Legacy

Posted by Darlene Stoltz

Sep 1, 2015 9:42:12 AM

As scholar once said: If you fail to take care of your legacy you’re left with nothing! So true, in so many ways. In the last 6 months mergers and acquisitions are once again on the rise in the financial arena. Thus, there is a direct correlation to this phrase and protecting what you have acquired is key. Legacy core banking systems and acquisition data involves multiple data warehouses and various transactional systems, which add up to a high total cost of ownership and require constant integration and interoperability updates.  Increased retention regulations and compliance involving the tracking of financial transactions on acquisition and customer data have augmented banks’ responsibility, forcing them to maintain the data and its accessibility and provide greater transparency to regulators.  Therefore, the ownership of this data and protecting this “legacy” archive becomes very important and should be considered early in your acquisition strategy. Here are several factors to consider:

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Topics: Information Technology, Risk Mitigation

Technology Buzzwords

Posted by Eric Wilson

Sep 1, 2015 9:32:51 AM


There’s no debate that technology is drastically impacting the financial services industry and our daily lives.  As new products and technologies emerge, along with them comes new terminology.  Here are a few buzzwords you are likely to hear a lot more of in the future and why they matter.

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Topics: Information Technology

Data, Data, Everywhere

Posted by Paul Miniutti

Sep 1, 2015 9:29:00 AM


The new National Security Agency’s Data Warehouse Center outside of Salt Lake City, Utah spans 1.5 million square feet.  That’s enough space to fit over ten average sized Costco’s.  Some unconfirmed estimates put the data storage capacity at 500 million terabytes.  And that’s, well, a lot.

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Topics: Information Technology

Compliance, the Missing Piece to a Managed IT Service Puzzle

Posted by Jennifer Roland-Vlach

Sep 1, 2015 9:26:00 AM

As IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, more community financial institutions are looking to outsource monitoring and management of some of their entire IT infrastructure. As anyone who has ever been part of a new product or service implementation knows, there are times when certain items seem to fall off the radar. Of course, this does not always happen intentionally. Given the complexity of implementing new products and services, especially a managed IT service, it is likely that steps to address risk/compliance will either be overlooked or postponed to be dealt with at a more convenient time.

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Topics: Information Technology, Risk Mitigation

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