Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
c-suite, engineering and quality, project management
Fintech – dealing with increased scrutiny on technology spend in 2022

The expansion of fintech investment in 2021 has been nothing short of staggering. City A.M. has reported that over £20bn has been spent so far this year (2021) by venture capital firms. With unprecedented levels of technology investment, it stands to reason there are sky-high expectations from investors and CXOs that technology will be the bedrock for growth and deliver the outcomes and value expected. 

No such thing as free money

With big smiles on the faces of CTOs who have closed their latest round of funding; the realities of what is expected can quickly darken the mood. Increased scrutiny on spend, outcomes and flow of value will come swiftly into the gun sights of investors. Technology leadership teams can quickly find themselves overwhelmed by management meetings that consume diaries, new reporting obligations as well as long and unnecessary email chains that clutter inboxes. And this is before the day job is started of building a product and expanding and running a team – at scale. 

PowerPoint: the sticky plaster trap 

Pressure from investors can quickly escalate if technology leadership teams do not stay focused and on top of ensuring the flow of accurate, up-to-date and consumable information. This often takes the form of an ever-growing Excel spreadsheet or exports from various tools like jira into PowerPoint decks that need multiple people to maintain and review. 

Ultimately the data is outdated by the time it reaches the stakeholder. Furthermore, different stakeholders and investors need different information presented in specific ways. Before you know it, many hours (and days) have been spent on the production of reporting packs at the expense of actual delivery!

In short, hard-pushed leadership teams are using manual processes, 30-year-old technologies and many “emotional units” just to keep up with simple questions like ‘why are we late?’ So why, therefore, do we do it to ourselves – in an age in which we can automate testing, code deployment and infrastructure? Let’s apply the same best-practice and modern way of working to everything – including reporting.  See our post on jira reporting for more on this.

The beginning of the end

So after working 60-hour weeks for months; balancing home and work life, successfully navigating vendors who are underperforming, tests failing and missed business outcomes; reports still need to be written and steerco packs reviewed. Sound familiar? As technologists, by nature we are fact-driven whether we are looking at backlogs or test reporting. Navigating the political landmines of investors and stakeholders means telling the right story. Get this wrong and the fall-out could mark the beginning of the end. 

More charts do not mean increased success, and too few charts can lead to probing questions. The reporting functionality of commonly used engineering tools often disguises the “so what” of the data – and with many in the workplace suffering from “dashboard fatigue”, key messages are easily lost. A happy medium of data and story- telling is therefore needed that does not consume your entire day and burn ever more emotional units.  

Standing up to scrutiny 

So what should you do as the pressure intensifies? The first thing to remember is Investors and CXOs are often not technologists; they are hugely experienced but and end of the day they have different asks, drivers and pressures. This means you need to:

  1. Establish a common understanding – what is important to them and how can you report on it?
  2. Be clear and upfront on what you measure and how this maps to business goals, priorities and values
  3. Automate your reporting! Platforms like neuro are a one-stop shop enabling you to seamlessly deliver automated reports, centralise data from your tool chain and provide machine-learning-based insights that improve the flow of value.

Do these three simple things and that big smile should stay firmly fixed until the next big funding round.

 

What is value stream management?
Agile, Project, DevOps – each promises to drive process efficiencies, but as software delivery becomes increasingly complex, organisations looking for their next workflow advantage should look to Value Stream Management. The accelerated pace of digital change in the working world means that today’s CTO must deliver more with less, making...

Supporting content

Neuro for Git and Cucumber

It’s time to Git in on the Cucumber action As neuro continues down its product roadmap, frequently adding more great features and integrations, the use cases proliferate. In this blog, I’m focusing on two recently introduced integrations: Git and Cucumber. Cucumber sandwiches anyone?! The Cucumber Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) tool continues to expand its presence in...

How to Get The Best out of Your Remote Quality Engineering Teams

If the last two years have accelerated the shift towards remote work, then it is no surprise that after having moved so swiftly, our remote-ward leap has come with it’s own share of teething problems.

Why Every QA Test Automation Engineer Needs Jenkins

Continuous integration is a game-changer for increasing the effectiveness of Test Automation at every step in the software development pipeline. Continuous integration adoption brings new opportunities into the testing process.