Optimising financial processes

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The Art of Simplicity and Battling Complexity

The battle against complexity is a recurring theme in customer experience and technology systems as well as in the products and services that your own organization provides.

It is particularly challenging in end-to-end business processes in global enterprises today.

The experience of an individual “journey” through a corporate process from start to finish, with all its supporting tech, is often intensely frustrating.

Many of you report that the experience doesn’t get any better after “digital transformation”.

Why is it such a profound challenge? We don’t make things overly complex deliberately, surely?

Steve Jobs once said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions”.

  • Simplicity is not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. 
  • It involves digging through the depth of complexity. 
  • To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. 
  • You have to deeply understand the essence of a product or experience in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.

Jason Leuenberger shared a fascinating article on this theme by Leidy Klotz. It is very thought provoking.

It turns out that “reduction” is counter-intuitive and that we are somehow “programmed” to attempt to improve through complication rather than simplification.

“Subtraction is the act of getting to less, but it is not the same as doing less. In fact, getting to less often means doing, or at least thinking, more.”

The problem is that we neglect subtraction. Compared to changes that add, those that subtract are harder to think of. Even when we do manage to think of it, subtracting can be harder to implement.”

You can read the article here . . . It makes you think and gives you some ideas on how to get your teams thinking more about reduction and simplification.

This discussion on complexity and customer experience reminded me of the lyrics about the mythical Californian hotel . .

“Relax, said the night man
We are programmed to receive
You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave”

Thanks for reading . . . .