Diving deep into Michael’s Bangkok Trip!

A retrospective deep-dive blog post on Michaels's Bangkok trip to share updates on our exciting collaboration, and the training activities he conducted there.
Can you remember the early pandemic days in 2020 when we had to work from home?  After 2 years of the home office, we started the “See you at the office” initiative at Allianz and Michael’s recent business trip to Bangkok was a significant milestone for the campaign. It indeed took our global collaboration to the next level. 
We have already published and shared two blog posts on the trip with you. The first blog post was about the overview of the business tour and the second blog post was about the feedback we received from our Thai colleagues on the training activities that Michael supervised there. Today we will dive even deeper and show you how amazing our Bangkok office has been performing over the years, areas of development, and of course the future possibilities.
Our collaboration with the Bangkok team has already been strong in the last few years and now we are looking forward to deepening it even more. They have  evolved from an extended workbench to a unit that can perform tasks at the highest level independently and has structures similar to those of the German team in order to be able to work self-sufficiently. This refers to areas such as design management, design governance, design innovation and documentation. 
A good example from the area of design governance is, that the members of the Bangkok design team are now empowered to conduct NDBX design reviews on BMP- and other journeys, since they were developed into “certified NDBX reviewers” in the course of Michael’s training in Bangkok. The Thai colleagues work independently as UX/UI designers on Journeys like FNOL (First notice of loss), SDW (Sales Digital Workstation), GCPP (Provider Portal) or Underwriting workbench, in the range from linear wizard applications for end users to highly complex business applications for internal target groups.
When we took a closer look at the working methods of our Thai colleagues in the course of the Bangkok exchange, it became clear that they not only work according to the briefing but are always willing to go the extra mile. There is a great understanding to contribute missing requirements, sketches or flowcharts or even benchmarking on other platforms when needed by the respective projects. This ensures quick results on a high professional level and represents a certain understanding of agile working environments.
Customer centricity is the key to every product we deliver at Allianz. To make the design as well as development process easier and customer-centric, we encourage designers and frontend developers to make use of our Global Design Guidelines (NDBX) and Building Block Libraries (Building Blocks). Not to mention, It is also imperative for us to inform our colleagues about the tools and train them on how to make the best use of them. 
When Michael decided to visit Bangkok he had prepared special training in four areas to skill up the Bangkok design team and prepare them for the upcoming challenges.
  1. Certified NDBX Reviewer: This program introduces the attendees to the art of reviewing a complex application with a clear focus to ensure not only compliant usage of the NDBX design system, but also usability and potential accessibility issues. In the last areas, the participants should at least have foundational knowledge and the opportunity to loop in additional experts, if needed.
  2. Transition to Figma Design Library: One of the biggest challenges of the upcoming year is the migration of a new tool stack around design and design management. From a current solution incorporating the software Sketch, InVision and Abstract we will move to a new, more efficient and flexible solution, called FIGMA. This comes with significant changes in the area of design, management of branches, the collaboration of designers and FE engineers and much more.
  4. Allianz One Design System: The successor of the NDBX Design system, Allianz One, is already in the starting blocks. Design explorations and foundational work in the area of design components are finished and a new Allianz design expression will be rolled out soon. Therefore the Bangkok design team got an extensive introduction to the new Design language of Allianz.
  5. ABS Airwave: The ABS airwave platform can be considered the mother of all Allianz applications, hosting all relevant customer data. Managing this data on a highly complex interface is expressed within a very specific application and requires an excellent UX design understanding. The Bangkok team learned the specifics of this complex application in a dedicated training session.
After the overwhelmingly positive feedback from all involved parties and stakeholders on this joint venture, we are looking to the future. The already existing foundation has been evolved and deepened. Now the question is how to further intensify and professionalize the cooperation.

As an initial step, we want to intensify the virtual collaboration by having joint team meetings addressing new agenda points and improvement potential. 

Secondly, we are striving to put the physical exchange regularly and give further team members on both sides the opportunity to work abroad for some weeks or even months. This needs to be prepared carefully and aligned with corresponding Allianz work and travel initiatives and regulations. 

As a third point we deeply believe in services we might establish together with the Bangkok team that might be offered in the area of content creation, design government, support for journeys from BMP and other OES or even industrializing the process of converting design components and patterns from former to newly established standards. We believe in the power of intercultural exchange, diversity and the idea of combining complementary strengths within this joint venture.

It's time to wrap up for today. We would like to thank Michael and our amazing Bangkok team for all the support and feedback. Stay tuned to our blog and LinkedIn page for future updates. 

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