Iceberg System development

What the consumer sees when they visit a website is only the tip of a complex iceberg, carefully crafted by the sun, wind and rain, why would a marketer not enjoy the engagement that digital can create?

This is not a unique approach,  Iceberg theory is documented by the Adelaide University, and they describe the principles as follows :-

In this model, events or symptoms (those issues that are easily identifiable) represent only the visible part of the iceberg above the waterline. Most decisions and interventions currently take place at this level, because ‘quick fixes’ (treating the symptoms) appear to be the easiest way out, although they do not provide long lasting solutions. However, at the deeper (fourth) level of thinking that hardly ever comes to the surface are the ‘mental models of individuals and organisations that influence why things work the way they do. Mental models reflect the beliefs, values and assumptions that we personally hold, and they underlie our reasons for doing things the way we do’ (Maani and Cavana 2007, p.15). 

Like all business theories based on experience, the application can take many forms. I consider Iceberg System Development as an example of finding solutions, in a world where the idea rules, and the developer needs to research, evolve and design if the overall solution is to deliver. 

The matrix of CRM, payment and delivery methods, registration forms, admin systems, analytics all have to talk to and work with legacy systems, new platforms and social assets. Making any connected system work always requires experience and detailed planning.

It is the way of the new world where brands, retailers and consumers can come together online to develop propositions in a very dynamic direction. This co operation requires solid foundations which can only be built by working with all the experience within an organisation.

The old adage is that Retail is Detail, and Online Detail has to go to a new level, in traditional channels the old ways are known. In any transformational system those old ways have to be documented so they can be recreated, or transformed. Online detail means documentation, and lots of it, making everything transparent, so designers, developers and partners can understand how things should work.

A recent project called for a unique take on payment, delaying any funds being taken for 14 days, the work of a moment, regretfully not. The legacy payment systems called for payment to be taken in a structured way, making the proposed process challenging, so a lateral approach was called for.

After walking the payment gateway, the banks and mostly the development team through the proposal, and some detailed thought, our payment partners suggested that we could adopt a payment solution that is used in another industry. We enhanced our systems to use the solution, adding supportive manual checks, to enhance the level of control around the solution. As a unique solution, we put the whole solution through a detailed set of testing before we launched. 

At every step a pinch of User Experience needs to be applied, as sometimes the old ways are not what a consumer would consider the right ways.