Clouded Vision – Managing the different motivations around cost and complexity

09 November 2023

costDevelopmentleadershipMindful OfproductivityRetentionWealthTech Matters

Expert: Dave Mason, Managing Director at Solve Facilitator: Farzana Khalil, Director Consultant at Solve


This session covered various aspects of managing technology and digital transformation projects, including the challenges of aligning stakeholders and demonstrating benefits. Indeed, getting stakeholder buy in for technology projects can be challenging, especially when those stakeholders are focused solely on cost, rather than broader metrics looking at other areas like productivity, staff retention, and customer outcomes. Outcomes should link to these in addition to the risks, rewards, end goals, and reasonings behind the firm’s actions, which need to be clear and transparent.


Large, multi-year projects with fixed scopes often fail. To avoid this, participants recommended an iterative development approach which frequently adjusts the process based on the business’ changes and is structured around long-lived products and teams, instead of temporary initiatives.

Leadership and culture were seen as critical, with the importance of empowering and supporting teams and psychological safety; servant leadership, embracing failure and empowering teams are essential in managing change. Generational differences in outlook and risk appetite constraints were also discussed. The conversation touched on the younger generation within the workplace and both the benefits and challenges to be worked through, such as, agility, experience and mindset for change, overall bringing a different perspective to the table. The regulatory environment was tabled as a potential constraint.

Key findings:

  • Aligning stakeholders and demonstrating benefits is a big challenge in any transformation process
  • Outcomes need to be measured not just in terms of cost – metrics need to extend to other areas like productivity, staff retention and customer outcomes
  • Large, multi-year projects with fixed scopes often fail - an iterative development approach is better
  • Leadership and culture were seen as critical, with empowering and supporting teams regarded as important