Bringing agile to life
- 20 April, 2017 12:43
Similar to leading companies ING, Spotify, Google and Netflix, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) has embarked on an agile transformation - but what does this really mean for the PEXA team?
PEXA takes one of the most complex paper-based industries in the world and moves it online in Australia. As a result, financial institutions, and lawyers and conveyancers are now able to settle property transactions online. They can lodge documents with land registries and complete financial settlements electronically.
With the world naturally gravitating towards online solutions, PEXA provides this for our subscribers and saves them an abundance of time. They receive greater assurance their transactions will settle on time, the opportunity to become more efficient and a secure platform to complete property transactions electronically.
Buyers and sellers can also rest assured that their property settlement will be streamlined. PEXA ensures a smooth transition into their new home after purchase. If selling, it provides a timely transfer of proceeds from the sale of property directly into their account rather than waiting days for cheques to clear.
Our growth metrics speak for themselves with electronic transactions up 414 per cent year-on-year — a clear representation of the industry’s urgency to move online.
It’s not over yet
Although in our view PEXA is an undeniable technological success, it’s not over yet for us. As we see more and more transactions move online and state governments confirm their roadmaps towards a fully digital property transaction environment, the urgency from the industry to move all transactions online mounts.
PEXA’s transition to an agile workplace, although still in its infancy, was the only solution to the current and forecasted demand on the PEXA platform. It gives us the ability to be flexible, respond and adjust at speed while simultaneously collapsing the distance between our customers and the PEXA team.
Agile is a different approach to software and product development. No one company is the same as the next, each moulding agile methodologies to suit its own requirements. The transition to agile saw a complete revamp of our technology and product teams at PEXA.
There are now 10 multidisciplinary squads (teams) that have a primary focus on delivering to our customer needs. After moving away from the traditional hierarchical (waterfall) method and focusing on defined pieces of work there are now shorter delivery cycles, encompassing our customer’s feedback.
Our team culture has also been completely re-energised. As each squad is actively engaged in the outcome, ownership lies with the team and motivation has soared. We’ve complete faith in the squads’ ability to deliver reliable products to our market, installing trust across the team and giving them confidence in their work.
Traditionally, a gap lies between a technology team and the end-user. Now, our Product Owners are the voice of the customer, ensuring our customers’ needs are at the heart of the product. Customer testing and continuous feedback sessions have become integral to each of our upgrades, engaging with the customer during the development and listening to their feedback sooner rather than later.
28 workspaces in two minutes
One of our first agile efforts, PEXA Projects, was truly a catalyst for our internal structural shift. It allows lawyers and conveyancers to manage the settlement of large-scale projects or multi-lot developments online via PEXA - at no extra cost.
We validated the PEXA Projects design with a variety of our customers, in different locations and listened to their feedback. Although we’re still working closely with our customers to improve this new PEXA service, the first multi-lot development was successfully conquered at the end of 2016 with enormous success.
Roslynne Brodie, Pace Legal Department Manager and Director of Boutique Conveyancing confirmed that 28 of its Windsor-based George Windsor apartments settled on PEXA’s digital platform last year. Using PEXA Projects functionality, 28 workspaces were opened in under two minutes, a process that would normally take a competent PEXA-user over 2.5 hours to complete.
In addition to alleviating administrative strain, PEXA Projects allows our customers to create and update workspaces with a simple data upload, reducing the need to re-key data into PEXA. It also gives an overview of each settlement status on one easy to use dashboard.
Undoubtedly, PEXA Project’s success brought agile to life for PEXA and will continue to transform our technology team throughout our industry’s exciting digital transformation.