5 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Agency for Digital Transformation

Frustrated with technology in your brand’s workflow? Wishing for more business insights? Need a better way to appeal to consumers? The right digital transformation agency can accelerate your business and innovation goals so that your brand operates more efficiently than ever before.

By doing a quick Google search, you’ll find that there are a plethora of digital transformation agencies to choose from. Doing an audit of your current workflows, honing in on goals and organizing objectives will help you choose the right partner.

Feel a little overwhelmed by your options? We’ve got you covered.

What Will a Digital Transformation Agency Do for My Brand?

When it comes to problematic workflows and less than ideal technology, a digital transformation partner can revolutionize your brand’s digital footprint.

A few improvements to expect include:

  • An optimized user’s journey
  • A more agile business model
  • Become an innovative pioneer in your vertical
  • Increase transparency and communication
  • Analyze more data at a larger scale
  • Implement data-driven business solutions
  • A sense of empowerment from reliable technology
  • Build a strategic future roadmap

First Things First: Identify Goals

Digital transformation takes into account your current workflows, your customer experience and culture to improve your way of doing things. Using technology, the right digital transformation firm will transform your business.

Before researching the right digital transformation agency, it’s crucial to hone in on your goals. Just a few things to outline include:

  • Budget
  • Areas of your workflow that are problematic
  • Timeline
  • Customer feedback and ideas about areas of improvement
  • Team members who will manage this project
  • Outdated technology

What to Look for in a Digital Transformation Agency

1. Case Studies

Case studies are the best way to get a feel for an agency’s past work and brand alignment. They offer social proof of a digital transformation agency’s experience in your brand’s niche.

You can find case studies on the company’s website and/or you can ask for them from their sales team.

Don’t look for big name brands. Rather, look for a brand fit and proven solutions that are similar to your brand’s needs. Peruse the challenge that the brands in the case studies faced and the solution the digital transformation agency implemented. Do these things line up with your own goals?

2. Scalability

A common pain point that digital transformation agencies solve is overcoming growing pains when scaling your workflows. So be sure to vet your potential partners for the ability to scale the technology solutions they implement.

One of the biggest reasons that brands seek out a digital transformation partner is because they grow too big for their way of doing things and know there is a better solution out there. In order to not run into the same problem again, it’s crucial that your agency can easily scale the solutions they implement.

3. Workflow and Industry Knowledge

Digital transformation is necessary in all industries. So it’s crucial that your partner is familiar with your brand’s objectives and workflows.

Before activating a digital transformation agency, don’t hesitate to ask them interview style questions to determine if their experience is a good fit with your brand. The key question being have they developed or implemented solutions similar to what you’re trying to do at your brand?

It’s a big step to know you need a digital transformation agency and an even bigger step to find someone who is familiar with your industry.

4. Flexibility

It’s important for your digital transformation partner to be flexible in their approach to creating solutions for your brand. Oftentimes, issues will surface mid-project so it’s imperative that the agency you choose is used to being flexible.

Digital transformation should occur based on business needs and not a rigid set of black and white rules. It’s all about adaptation throughout the partnership.

A Technical and Creative Balance

Digital transformation embraces technical knowledge and a creative mindset. Look to your potential digital transformation partners for the implementation of both ends of the spectrum.

Your digital transformation agency should excel in tech solutions but don’t overlook the power of creativity involved. Upon choosing an agency, you will get a dedicated team so be sure that it is diverse and experienced throughout the vetting process.

Starting a Digital Transformation Project?

If you’re look for a digital transformation partner, Robots & Pencils has the expertise to help. Email hello@robotsandpencils.com to start the conversation.

The Joy of Exploratory Testing

If you’re wondering whether your software is working as well as it could, I’m going to tell you how to use exploratory testing as a tool to find out.

I am Marianne Murray, QA Practice Lead at Robots & Pencils. I’ve been testing software for more years than I care to admit! I am posting here to share some of the things that bring our QA team joy in testing, and why we are so passionate about delivering a quality product.

What is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory testing is a type of testing where the tester sets a goal or mission and “explores” to experience the product, to learn, and garner information around the state of the product and support planning detailed tests.

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.” ¹

Cem Kaner, who coined the term in 1984,² defined exploratory testing as “a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the quality of their work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project.”

In short, exploratory testing is all about discovery, investigation, and learning. It emphasizes personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester.

“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” ¹

When do we use it?

We use exploratory testing when we want to investigate and learn. It is a quick way to probe the features and provide qualitative feedback. We often use exploratory tests as a launching point when we are testing an existing product, or to get up to speed when joining an in-flight project. We can also use this type of testing when time is not on our side and we are looking to provide quick feedback to the team.

“Anytime you learn, you gain.” ¹

What are the benefits?

A challenge that we face in detailed functional testing is that testers can get lost in the weeds. Exploratory testing allows us to view the big picture and to place ourselves in the shoes of our users. We can use it as a jumping off point for other types of testing as well. For example, we can explore negative scenarios around API testing, or explore how an app behaves in a different language and use that information to develop and refine test cases.

“It’s hard to see things when you are too close. Take a step back and look.” ¹

What are the shortcomings?

The results of exploratory testing may be harder to communicate concisely. The testing and interpretation of results are more dependent on domain knowledge and tester skill. Testers also need to take great notes around execution and steps to ensure issues can be replicated.

“If you do too much, it’s going to lose its effectiveness.” ¹

What tools are used?

Testers use the same tools to perform both exploratory and functional testing. The main difference is the level of detail in the test case and results notes. At Robots & Pencils, we use TestRail to capture our test cases. We have a separate template to capture the higher level free-flow format that is used for exploratory testing.

“However you think it should be, that’s exactly how it should be.” ¹

Who can do exploratory testing?

At R&P, our QA Robots are our testers who perform exploratory testing in conjunction with other types of testing. These tests help gather information to highlight areas needing additional testing and focus attention for deep dives.

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything you’re willing to practice, you can do.” ¹

Each member of our QA team comes from a different background. There is no one path to becoming a tester. But what each of us has in common is the joy we find in testing. We start with the unknown. We research and learn and build our understanding of the product, while providing value and information around the software.

“You can do anything you want. This is your world.” ¹

Exploratory testing is often the right option for companies looking to quickly identify quality concerns, highlight areas for future focus, or investigate the state of a product. Want to learn more? Reach out to us at R&P to help figure out the best test plan for your digital product today at https://www.robotsandpencils.com/#contact.

Marianne Murray, QA Practice Lead at Robots & Pencils

How a Customized Platform Built on Salesforce Made a World of Difference For This Financial Institution

A private portfolio lender, Level Capital needed to create an improved loan management system to support ongoing nationwide growth. The answer to their pain points came in the form of Robots & Pencils, a digital transformation agency that excels in designing and building Salesforce solutions to improve businesses.

Introducing Level Capital

Level Capital is a private portfolio lender that provides loans to builders and investors for construction on new homes.

Their loan programs are designed to address the specific needs, challenges and business objectives of small to medium sized builders and real estate investors.

Why Level Capital Turned to Robots & Pencils

Innovation in the financial sector can be complex so it’s crucial to pick a digital partner who understands the strict guidelines and security requirements that financial institutions have to embrace.

To process, manage and report on an increasing number of loan applications, Level Capital needed a more streamlined and reliable approach. Level Capital decided to rebuild the entire platform they used for running their business and Robots & Pencils knew that Salesforce was the perfect solution.

The Digital Solution

Robots & Pencils designed and configured a solution to improve how Level Capital processes and monitors loan applications via a customized and robust system that relies on Salesforce. By integrating third-party tools and custom code, the new system and workflow allows Level Capital to better:

  • Manage loan applications
  • Access and analyze more loan data
  • Report on loan applications
  • Monitor credit approvals
  • Stay on top of budgets
  • Scale loan management
  • Provide stronger data security
  • And more!

Today Salesforce is a huge part of Level Capital’s business. From the second a builder submits an application and becomes a lead in the system, all the way to a loan being approved, funded, and eventually paid off, everything is done within the Salesforce ecosystem that Robots & Pencils helped to build.

“R&P’s team brought Level’s vision of modernizing our business via a platform built on top of Salesforce from vision to reality. They are partners in every sense of the word,” said Lyra Waggoner, EVP, Software Strategy at Level Capital.

The Finished Product

Now that Level Capital has digitally transformed their way of doing things, they are able to stay efficient, communicate effectively with customers and employees, manage and monitor financial processes, and scale loan management. Their new platform is also much more flexible and easy to build on for future improvements, so that Level Capital can quickly get new products out to market.

Clients and employees are delighted with Level Capital’s innovation and their new way of doing things.

Want to talk to us about transforming your workflows with Salesforce? Reach out to us anytime!