From an idea to reality in less than a week

Max Rae


3 min read

Nutmeg recently hosted an internal Ideation Day to generate ideas to help solve customer problems. The winning idea, voted on by fellow Nutmeggers, was built the following week by the mobile team.

At Nutmeg, we’re committed to helping our customers achieve their goals. That means we look constantly for new methods, techniques and tools to help us do that. As a product team, we settled on the technique of running an idea generating workshop, Ideation Day, with a twist: pitch an idea and build it in a week.

To make sure the teams were focused on the right outcomes, we chose three issues we’re trying to address at Nutmeg.

  • Market volatility causes customers anxiety – how do we help them with this?
  • Demonstrate the value of the investment team to customers – what’s the best method?
  • How do we provide more ongoing value to customers outside of returns?

What we did during Ideation Day

We wanted the day to be impactful, fast-paced and to deliver great outcomes for customers so we structured the workshop into two halves: ideation in the morning and development of the feature in the afternoon.

There are many techniques out there to generate ideas, but we wanted to start broadly on the issue we were trying to address and then narrow our focus the further into ideation we went.

We started with a mind mapping exercise to generate “how might we” statements which we could group into core themes to help improve the customer experience. Teams then chose one theme to focus on for the next task.

Teams then did a “brainwriting” exercise where they generated ideas on that theme and passed the ideas on to the next member to build on top of the idea. This was repeated until the idea made it back to the person who created it. This helped accelerate development of an initial concept.

The final exercise consisted of a technique called “crazy eights” where you have eight minutes (in one-minute increments) to sketch different solutions to a concept or idea. This helps teams work fast to create a concept and allows for another medium to develop ideas.

Once the teams completed their “crazy eighting” they voted on their favourite feature. The winning idea from each team went forward to the afternoon session.

Defining the feature

In the afternoon, the teams worked on mapping the customer journey, completing user testing, writing user stories and collaborating with the engineering team to make sure they kept the idea as simple as possible for delivery the following week.

Company had their word!

Following the definition of the feature the teams created a short pitch, which was filmed and posted on the internal Slack channel for the rest of the Nutmeggers to vote on the next day. And the winner is…

What we delivered to customers: in-app trading updates

The winning idea was a new feature in our Android app that allows us to send tailored trading updates to customers. When the investment team make changes to one of our portfolios, we want to make sure customers are aware of the decisions they have made, and why.

Trading updates allow us to send messages direct to the customer, based on their portfolio type and risk level.

We wanted to make sure the feature was scalable, so it will include a tool to allow the investment team to write and trigger alerts themselves. Trading updates are designed to be immediate – with a click of a button, the customer will see them. We also want to be able to produce them on a regular basis, so we focused on a solution that doesn’t require ongoing engineering effort or app releases.

What did we learn during Ideation Day?

Communication is key

Throughout this process we worked with Nutmeggers from all corners of the company to help shape the feature for customers. The involvement of so many teams – investment, compliance, engineering, design, marketing, customer support – meant we had to have a clear vision for the feature. To deliver something at such pace required great communication between the mobile team, stakeholders and the ideation team.

Focus on the outcome

During this process, many great ideas and interesting approaches were generated, but the teams needed to focus on what was going to have the most meaningful impact. Therefore, the idea that won out was concise, simple and offered tangible value for our customers.

Doughnuts!

Doughnuts helped get the team through an intense stretch. In all honesty, it comes down to creating a great environment for teams to work in and doughnuts never hurt.

A thank you

Lots of hard work went into Ideation Day. I’d like to say thank you to the core organisers Heath, Mati, Karen and Oliver, as well as to all the Nutmeggers who took part. Looking forward to the next one!

Risk warning

As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio with Nutmeg can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.

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Max Rae

Max is a senior product manager at Nutmeg. He joined in 2018 from Barclays, where he was head of account aggregation in digital banking, delivering a range of open banking products. Outside of work he enjoys cooking, cycling and spending time with the family (including his black cat Shadow).


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