Digital Banking Suite 

Transforming Product Design practices
at Sopra Banking Software


Head of Product Design

Nov 2021 - Feb 2023 

Figma / JIRA / ZeroHeight / StoryBook / Confluence / Loom / Maze / MIRO / Various internal management reporting tools

Sopra Banking Software

*To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study.


Sopra Banking (a subsidiary of the Sopra Steria Group), embarked on the ambitious journey of developing a Digital Banking Suite (DBS); a low/no-code SaaS platform to empower financial institutions in quickly building customized customer banking experiences. The objective was to both, penetrate high-growth markets and support digital transformational journeys of their prestigious long-term customers such Société Générale, BNP Paribas, La Banque Postale, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, RBS, Hyundai Capital, Bank of China, etc. 

Upon joining the org in late 2021, I quickly stepped up to overcome Design maturity challenges that included a low understanding of design's value, insufficient designers, lack of structure, and a technically complex, siloed ecosystem.

Serving up a suite of financial inclusion + literacy products to the unbanked and underbanked”

KEY Achievements

Seamless integration for Product & Design quality through every stage
Successfully set up and scaled the Product Design practice 

Design raced four entire
sprints ahead of Development
Effectively embedded design into the process, cutting feature discovery and design time by at least 60%

Established Design presence across six global offices
Grew the team from 2 to 10 designers within 8 months

Problem Statement(s)

Modern problems require modern solutions”
- Dave Chappelle

The problems encompassed a range of issues from awareness and resource constraints to organizational structure and the need for strategic design integration. As Head of Product Design for this global business unit, I was tasked with not only addressing these challenges but also with laying the groundwork for a mature, impactful design practice to scale across the entire organization in support of future initiatives.

Our most evident challenge was to keep building out the product while setting up the essential foundation for a Design Practice. 

I had to quickly address these primary concerns:

So I set my focus on 3 key areas - People, Process and Performance.

The Solution

My role was critically positioned as a bridge between the org's earlier attempt at a Central Design team and our Business Unit's (DBS) Product Design Practice.

The goal set in front of me from both sides was clear - Accelerate the path to Design Maturity!
The solution though, was not quite as easy to tease out and it involved careful consideration of tools, processes and people across a vast organization that had to keep the wheels turning and feature mills churning.

After months of gradually finding the right designers to join our nascent team and ensuring that design work was not a bottleneck; I could pinpoint a measured strategy from what had become evident in our day-to-day work and instituted these 4 steps that would evolve with our growing team:






Building awareness and the art of noticing and connecting the dots  

Figma Prototype by Spiderman?


By consistently working towards the areas above, we were able to effect these high-impact outcomes:






Working smarter beats working harder

An early deck to help the other teams understand how we work and adapt their workflows for the highest collective impact

What everyone wants is not always exactly what the customer needs..


Over the span of about 2 months after I joined the ambitious DBS initiative, I had a fairly good picture of the entire end-to-end process across the eight well staffed product squads. An ongoing challenge was to ensure that new designers were also able to onboard quickly and get productive as soon as possible to help their respective squad.

This led me to create a holistic view of every touchpoint, actor, output and sub process in this chaotic dance that eventually spit out a product feature set.

A season in the Product LifeCycle

Another nagging issue that kept coming up at our Design Team's regular health checks was that PMs didn't have a standardized approach in requesting design work and an alarming lack of clarity about the Product Design Roadmap. The existing method involved combing through a labyrinth of JIRA and Confluence specifications which left the designers feeling extremely overwhelmed, lost and confused. 

We had to ensure that the people we were closely collaborating with knew how best to collaborate with us. To mimic the wise words of Jerry Maguire - "Help us help you!"

Always keep your intake clean and clear!

Our initial request to use Notion to manage the Design workstream was not acceptable to the senior stakeholders and so I had to acclimatize and figure out how to get what we needed out of JIRA.
Pairing with the veteran Atlassian suite admin, I was able to resolve any work items that needed design by utilizing the custom tags, advanced search queries and ticket linking capabilities to create a design intake process flow that bolted onto the Product Managers, Owners and tech team's existing workflows.
We further allied with the PMs, POs and Tech leads to get buy-in for this process to eventually roll it out across all eight squads with much success. The result was a Design Kanban to help cut through the backlog; it was easy to manage and helped me and the other managers quickly gather the information we needed at a glance - follow progress, identify the product feature owners and assess any potential risks. 

Design Kanban gets it done!

EnD OF PArt 1 

Stay tuned for Part 2
Reach out and let's chat about how to solve similar challenges for your project or organization :)

In Part 2 of this Design Journey, I'll share:

We got faster..sprint after sprint

 Thank you