Friday, March 19, 2021

Multimillion Dollar Citigroup Mistake Highlights Bad User Experience of Internal Business Software





I've always stressed the link between two parts of my Strategic Simplicity® framework: User Simplicity and Operational Simplicity.  Part of Operational Simplicity should be providing the same care about user experience to internal employees that you do with external customers.

Too often, however, I've seen companies provide their employees with clunky user interfaces and software that they would never dream of selling to their customers.

Yesterday, I read in the Wall Street Journal about how bad internal software caused $900 million worth of loan errors to Citigroup.  Citigroup is putting some of the blame on the financial software product, Flexcube, from Oracle.  According to the WSJ article, Citigroup even shared images of the user interface during litigation: "The screenshots showed a user interface with dense type, low contrast and small buttons and boxes."

While this example made news because of the large dollar value of the mistake, everyday even more money is collectively lost in corporations from inefficiencies and failure work related to bad user interfaces.

Your employees are internal customers who generate value for you beyond their salaries. As an executive, you need to insure that you provide them with the same user experiences as your best customers.


© 2021 Praveen Puri