Automation and Growth in Technology
Posted by Oscar Pérez
Oscar Pérez, CTO of TravelgateX, believes that business processes automation is key to the organic growth of any company. Here he explains how the product and engineering teams have approached this challenge at TGX.
To be able to turn our focus in creative tasks which provides the maximum added value to our Partners, we need to constantly look at tasks that could be automated. Below I'll describe how we tackled the automation of the issues reported in our marketplace.
Problems and Product Teams
At TravelgateX we define an issue as a problem which must be resolved and we classify it according to the criteria below:
- Product Maintenance: a problem that must be resolved within the timeframe of an established SLA.
- Product Development: a problem that must be resolved within a timeframe which takes into account the outcome it will generate considering all other outcomes the team is working on.
- Idea/Suggestion: Similar to Product Development but here a final resolution is not mandatory.
Our product teams are ultimately responsible for their product and its maintenance as well as developing new features. These teams are formed by a Product Manager and a maximum of seven engineers.
So, the variables we have are as follows:
- Issues which must be resolved.
- Product Teams who resolve the issues
- Time which must be invested in tasks that generate maximum added value and require most use of creativity.
This then defines our problem as "Increase creative time for Product Teams by automating the prioritization of issues."
Issue prioritization according to their classification
The diagram below shows the issue management workflow in TravelgateX:
Issues are classified at entrance according to predefined business values as per below and prioritized in the Boards that the Product teams use daily.
- Priority Level: Numeric value indicating priority. E.g. Level = 1 indicates that there is an effective loss of money.
- Partner Classification: Numerical value indicating the Partner's importance . Eg Level = 1 indicates a very important partner for TravelgateX.
- Product OKRs: the established Key Objectives and Results that the product team has to meet for the current quarter. E.g. A team may be assigned to the Objective to increase the number of bookings in the Marketplace.
Analyzing the automation level that we achieve according to the previous classification:
- Product maintenance - fully automated
- Automatic criterion: The result of crossing the Priority Level with the Partner Classification in a customizable array.
- Product development - partially automated
- The priority is calculated based on:
- Automatic criteria: Partner Classification
- Subjective criteria: Assigned by the Product Manager, based on an Action Priority Matrix and the impact the issue will have in the OKRs.
- The priority is calculated based on:
- Ideas Suggestion - non automated
- Subjective criteria: Assigned by the Product Manager, usually based on the impact of the outcome or on any other important value as per Product Discovery phase.
How to scale
Automations allows business processes to scale and are thus essential to ensure competitiveness in the market.
In this article we have explained how we automated the prioritization of issues in TravelgateX, achieving:
- Increased creativity time for the Product Teams.
- Minimize the use of subjective criteria when prioritizing issues.
- Lower the level of implication in establishing priorities of other Stakeholders .
Based on these results, if you want to implement this strategy in your company, we recommend:
- Be flexible during the first weeks as there are always inconsistencies in the initial implementation. Be open to other members of the company to have their say on the prioritization of the issues. For instance, by requesting them to leave their comments in the issue itself.
- After the initial time, be inflexible, once the classification protocol is approved and running, it must be treated as the single source of truth.
Founded in 2012 and based in sunny Palma de Mallorca, Spain, TravelgateX is an online B2B marketplace providing seamless connectivity between travel companies across the world.