Through HCD to your client needs

Reading time: 4 min.

Within the framework of the Komerční banka (KB) project, we have created 40 concepts of new products and services designs. The bank has decided to incorporate these concepts into its already running activities, and to continue working on them. The plan is for the first to be launched and offered to clients within a few months. We are glad that Komerční banka is throwing itself into innovations, and that thanks to cooperation with us the bank has successfully established a culture of innovation, obtained more funds for innovations, modified certain processes and above all inspired its employees with human-centred design. Read an interview with Monika Drobná, Innovation Head at Komerční banka.

Searching for and identifying new business opportunities

Creation of 40 concepts of new products and services designs

Series of creative workshops for the bank’s employees focusing on HCD

Could you recapitulate everything you’ve experienced with us?

I’ve experienced a whole range of useful and inspiring workshops, several hours spent in discussion with clients, identifying their needs and thinking up solutions which would correspond with these needs.

The cooperation between an external innovation agency and KB employees has brought benefits above all in gaining not only capacities and know-how, but also a regular push from Direct People. Every phase had its timing, which we strictly adhered to. It was impossible to make any excuses.
And one more thing: creative workshops full of inspiration have given me energy and I believe the same is true for everyone who took part 🙂

What challenges have you addressed?

The project itself was a big challenge with regards to internal functioning. However, the most difficult part was to ensure that the team working on a given theme was stable. At the same time, it was at first challenging to convince the management to approve the required capacity for the project which – it needs to be said – was not small.

What did you learn?

I learned the basis of human-centred design (HCD), specifically how to create a good scenario for an interview with clients, and how to share the experience I’ve had with clients with my working team. In addition to this I learned to read between the lines – what kind of business opportunity actually ensues from client’s needs.

What did you feel discovering that?

Curiosity – whether the sample of 30 clients was enough for the qualitative part. Exhaustion – when I spent the day thinking up solutions within the framework of a workshop and couldn’t give my brain a rest. Satisfaction – when I saw the amount of final concepts and their quality.

What kind of impact did the joint project have on Komerční banka?

Huge. It was clearly demonstrated that if we test something directly on our clients, it significantly cuts the length of the project. At the same time, the entire process is more effective, which leads to cost savings. The ideas that are generated this way are more relevant and beneficial for the entire target group. Therefore we want to apply HCD in developing more products and services in the future.

What did you succeed at?

Cooperation with Direct People started a new way of working at Komerční banka. It helped us to open an innovation lab, which became a guarantee of the HCD method for the entire bank. The lab has created a positive wave and in general an immense enthusiasm for HCD, so we’re being contacted by more departments that want to test their projects with the aid of HCD and design thinking. And thanks to our excellent results, our budget for this year has been increased.

If you were to briefly summarise what you appreciate most about Direct People, what would it be?

Without doubt the effective leadership of the project, that was excellent.

Why would you recommend us to other firms?

The method of design thinking has long been applied abroad as a successful method for entering the market with new products and services, which are based on in-depth interviews and user testing. There aren’t many companies on the Czech market that have genuine knowledge of the given method. And Direct People is most certainly one of the few.

And what’s next?

More than 40 concepts generated over the course of our cooperation have already been incorporated into running projects. Currently, we are designing some of the solutions with the use of HCD. In future we’d like to speed up the process of testing new ideas, perhaps also in cooperation with Direct People 🙂

About Komerční banka

Komerční banka is one of the leading banking institutions in the Czech Republic and in Central and Eastern Europe with more than 1.6. million clients in the Czechia alone. It employs over 7.500 people and has been voted bank of the year 5 times.