Idea Group

Association of Investment Marketers
At the heart of our operation is the core belief that the creation of effective business systems is the best way to attain results that are consistent, measurable and of lasting benefit to customers.

Idea Group supplies software products and development expertise to connect procedure, process and method with company business objectives, thereby improving efficiency, market agility and profit margins.
Idea Group’s work is driven by products and expertise to ensure its customer attain results that are consistent, measurable and of lasting benefit.

Case Studies & Insight

When Traditional Workflows break down

Working from home has taught us many things – and one of the big ones is just how important our ordinary human interactions have been in masking gaping holes in everyday work processes.

In the familiar office scenario, if anyone was worried about any aspect of process, they were able to have a quick conversation about it – at the photocopier, over a coffee or by setting up a quick meeting to sort the problem through. And that quick chat would remove the lack of process in question. Thus, while the processes might have only ever been 60% good, it didn’t really matter, because the other 40% could – and was – easily fixed through human dialogue.

But then came the lockdown, and suddenly everyone was remote. Straightaway, the ability to fix those problems in that human interactive way disappeared. People could no longer sort issues by looking over each other’s shoulders and agreeing quick tweaks to spreadsheets. The personal interaction was gone, and so the process-related problems around the use of personal productivity tools, Excel and the like, were blatantly exposed.

Personal productivity tools are, by their very nature, personal. So they can only work when the individuals who own them are in a position to explain them to others. And in today’s work environment, where governance is the absolute key, they contain no process to govern.

Lockdown has brought about a changed mindset and a greater willingness to fix process issues properly, instead of just sticking plasters on problems and sending them out as spreadsheets. The move from personal productivity tools on individual desks to enterprise-wide solutions promises enormously renewed capability for organisations at a time when they are so desperately needed.

When company-wide workflows break down cosy inter-departmental walls and replace them with a new visibility, transparency and simplicity of process, they cannot help but deliver the upsurge to profit margins that will be the absolute lifeblood of companies in our post-Covid19 world.

Prodigy, developed by Idea Group for the financial services industry, is one such enterprise-class solution.

This is a complete product lifecycle governance tool providing organisation-wide processes and controls – and a defined methodology to help ensure organisations meet all of their regulatory requirements


Governance Never Sleeps

One side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a relaxation of certain rules by financial regulatory authorities – the motivation being to remove or reduce barriers to the working of markets whilst offices are closed and remote working is the norm.

While this relaxation of rules could be justified as a pragmatic response to exceptional circumstances, it comes against a back drop of increasing regulation and more emphasis on governance and responsibility.

Indeed, regulatory frameworks such as MiFID 2 and the Senior Managers & Certification Regime impose duties of compliance on financial services firms and also those in leadership and senior positions within the organisation.

However much the global crisis may have temporarily blown it off course. direction of travel for regulation is obvious. In any event, having a strong governance regime will no longer be enough – it will also be necessary to be able to evidence this.

And this is one of the real strengths of our product governance tool Prodigy.

Prodigy defines, controls and supports multiple product development processes, capturing critical business information through the entire product lifecycle, from initial idea, through development, launch, live operation – and even when required, retirement.

As well as providing a day to day tool for all business areas involved in the product development process, Prodigy creates an immutable repository of information on the who, when and why of key product decisions, such as target market, charging structures and risk assessment. And it is designed to be deployed globally, working across multiple jurisdictions.

Financial services firms who implement Prodigy are able to securely access all of their product information and to evidence compliance via their standard product governance processes.

On demand, 24 x 7. Governance doesn’t sleep. And neither does Prodigy.

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Healthy Product Planning

The product launch is the climax of all your hard work as a Product Manager. After all the time and effort put into developing the product you always hope for those rave reviews and ‘why didn’t we think of that’ echoes from your competitors. The reason they didn’t ‘think of that’ has nothing to do with brainwaves or lightbulbs. It is almost always to do with robust planning – and the lack of it – in each of these key areas:

1. Ideas
When you develop a new product, you need to be able to socialise ideas across the entire organisation. Who has the good ideas and who sees the good ideas? Potentially everybody. No-one has a monopoly on ideas and concepts, so the more people you involve, the wider you can cast your net. When every member of every team is plugged into Prodigy, ideas are socialised quickly and effectively and your team members feel more fully engaged with your brand. The ‘chatter’ facility in Prodigy enables people to discuss and develop ideas informally before channeling them further up the line.

2. Evidence
Gather detailed evidence that the product will be successful and document it fully. Where does all this evidence come from? Who provides it and who keeps it? Documentation that is spread over different floors, different cities or even different countries creates a particular type of pain – known only too well by the product manager! With Prodigy, everyone sees everything they need to – no matter where they are.

Fully document all the time spent interacting with clients, consultants and your own market-facing staff. Filing conversations and interactions separately makes it nigh on impossible to build the big picture. Complexity and duplication are the enemies of the Product Manager, so do everything you can to streamline. This is another major advantage of Prodigy because it allows you to keep everything in one centralised, locked-down repository.

3. Market Research
Be able to demonstrate you’ve done the homework on each of your intended markets. It is not just Senior Management who know your markets the best. It is also your marketing teams. Once you know you have the product right, you must make sure you have marketed it properly so that you can deliver the perfect message for your target audience. When marketing teams are not engaged in the market research process, they can end up delivering messages to the market that are at odds with your company’s product strategy. Once again, Prodigy can help, by engaging all relevant teams at the level appropriate to their work. Click here to read more …

Summary of Features

  • Sales and Marketing respond as one harmonised unit
  • Customer Service and Senior Management work from the same picture
  • Processes are at their most efficient – so profitability is optimised
  • Planning and Compliance share continuous update.
  • Clear pricing model for each element of your service
Steve Bird

Steve Bird

Commercial Director

Entrepreneurial, lateral-thinking and team-focused, Steve has an outstanding record of success in growing businesses within the highly regulated telecoms and financial services markets. Steve’s work for Idea Group focuses on maximising profitability through the guided development and targeted marketing of commercially viable products.


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