SS&C’s Black Diamond Wealth Platform – Product Operations
Ken Hall – 06/30/2022
The product team that supports SS&C’s Black Diamond Wealth Management platform is growing at an unprecedented rate. However, with this growth, we have encountered challenges faced by many software organizations: how to scale effectively and efficiently?
At the beginning of 2022, we set out to evolve our communications channels within the organization and create an entire charter around a brand new team: Product Operations. Product Operations, or PD Ops, is a discipline that has become increasingly popular in software organizations as a team focused on:
- Setting out to define and streamline processes
- Improving communications channels
- Identifying and analyzing trends
- Detecting patterns in application usage
- Improving rollout strategies
- Increasing product adoption
- Facilitating internal tools
- Performing internal team training
- And much more
One primary initiative of the Black Diamond PD Ops team is leveraging analytics across internal teams and our products. The team works internally to analyze trends in support cases, bugs, application usage, adoption, team trends, team velocity, and more.
Analytics is critical to the success and effectiveness of the Black Diamond platform. Data enables us to make informed decisions about how advisory firms use applications and, more importantly, allows us to dig into why firms use them the way they do. For example, the Black Diamond PD Ops team uses software to track “hits” on a page, the number of clicks, and workflows. This analysis makes it easier to spot inefficiencies with our User Experience (UX) and gives insight into areas where we can improve functionality.
Black Diamond PD Ops partners with our Product Managers to help set up tracking functionality when a new product is released so we can see how clients use the solution and if any tweaks or adjustments need to occur. For example, in certain situations, we see trends around application usage that we don’t understand. If this happens, Product Managers reach out to clients to dig deeper and ask questions about the “why.” The team also sets up tracking for existing features and functionality that we want to ensure meets client needs. This analysis helps us shape how we build new iterations of our software.
In addition to application usage, the team also looks at support case volume and bug analytics to determine if there are trends in a particular area of the product. This review ensures accountability and ownership of each part of our application. If a problem arises, we take the time to fix the bugs and repair workflows. This level of ownership minimizes the chances of another team working on an area of an application that they are less familiar with and ultimately ensures a better experience for our end users.
The Black Diamond PD Ops team aims to ensure that our clients have impactful software which is intuitive and easy to use. We do this by empowering our internal teams with the tools and processes they need to be their best. We are constantly in a state of refinement to ensure we provide the best wealth management platform in the industry.