Case Study: A Budget Airline

The customer need

One of Australia’s most successful budget airlines saw the need to review their digital team’s work practices and capabilities to embark on an accelerated path.  The airline recognised that while they were delivering a solid flow of new products and features to market this often relied on “individual heroics”.  They believed this was caused by their pace of growth - resulting in a lack of process as well as communication challenges across the group. 

Our approach

Using our proprietary framework, Digital Frontier Partners undertook a review of the digital teams’ Product Management and Product Development capabilities to assess the client’s digital product maturity.

We interviewed  significant cross-section of stakeholders from the digital team and other primary stakeholder groups to understand the processes being used in the key practice areas.  The output from the interviews was used to identify both successful qualities and practices as well as the opportunities for improvement in each practice area.  The two key outputs were;

  1. A practice maturity gap analysis, and
  2. An opportunities list that was categorised and prioritised with high-level recommendations – ready for creating a backlog of change. 

The outcome 

Impressed by our findings and recommendations, our client expanded the scope of the review to the broader business team.  This ensured that all groups involved in the delivery of product and services to market were now included, thus maximising the opportunity for improvement.  This led to a second phase review. The outputs of both phases produced a consolidated list of opportunities, which were then categorised into themes (Client, Team, Process and Financial) using a balanced scorecard model.  This helped shape the opportunity set into digestible streams of work that could be built into a wider change program.

The results

We found that the company had maintained many of the great elements of a start-up culture; with a passionate and energetic team that took pride in the company vision.  Focussed and commercially driven, the team had contributed to the company’s outstanding financial results.

Having said that, the company’s growth story and relentless drive also meant they had neglected to document many of the essential processes required in delivering products and services to market, including the Agile methodology, product kick-off process, governance and decision making models.  

Overall, our review identified a number of opportunities for improvement.  The report recommendations were played back to the team to ensure that there was agreement and buy-in for the change program that would help them to embark ontheir accelerated path.