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INTERNAL PLANNING TOOL

Developing an intuitive internal planning tool to improve employee experience

THE BRIEF

Employees regularly use platforms to check their calendars and upcoming projects. But that's just it, they're in multiple platforms and it's time-consuming. How might we re-create an efficient tool to improve employee experience? 

THE PROBLEM

The users want one single platform to quickly check their schedules and upcoming projects. They are frustrated with its complexity and multiple platforms. 

"Going back and forth from one tool to another takes so much time and is so frustating"

THE SOLUTION

Create a single, intuitive and efficient platform, that saves times and simplifies the experience for employees. Particularly the project managers and PMOs.

(I'll elaborate on the various users and their role below!)   

KEY GOAL

Create an intuitive single platform, that saves time and eases employee experience

MY ROLE

UX Research

UX Design

TOOLS

Excel

Asana

Sketch

Zeplin

RESEARCH

I conducted extensive user research and interviewed the users. I gained great insight into the current platforms and tools used and its many problems 

DEFINING USERS

USER GOALS

DEFINING KPI's

I held extensive user interviews with the various team members that had  different roles and motivations. I gained greater insight into the user problems and was able to identify that the user goals, motivations and problems varied amongst different users.

The three main groups being: Project Managers, PMOs and Team Members.

Problem: Not all the users have the same goals and motivations!

Solution: Cluster users into groups based on roles and more importantly goals

How do I prioritise the users? All users are King/Queen, no?
Nope, well not quite.
What users are crucial for this internal planning tool to function effectively? Who leads projects? Who is in charge of scheduling? These multiple questions were vital to defining the users and their goals.

Project managers:

Goal: A single platform with key features such as projects, calendar and chargeability

Problem: Too much time spent on complex system on multiple platforms. Too much time contacting team members individually

PMOs:

Goal: An efficient platform that a provides relevant information to team members and project managers, including chargeability updates and work hours completed

Problem: Too much time spent sending individual remainder emails to employees 

Team members:

Goal: A simple single platform that provides calendar and project information

Problem: Too much time spent on multiple platforms, leaves employees feeling frustrated and confused.

Clustering the users into three main groups according to their goals and touchpoints, allowed me to identify their various problems and strategise on solutions to improve their experiences. 
It also allowed me to further understand their core objectives and examine the measurement of success.

 

To identify the key users and their objectives, I defined the KPIs (AKA the bread and butter)

An important part of the research phase was defining the KPIs. How do we measure success? Are users able to perform their tasks efficiently? is the tool clear? These were questions that allowed me to define the measurements of success. Through my extensive interviews, I was able to gather the users' key touch points and identify the KPIs. 

1. KEY ROLE

Who influences and determines the succcess rate? Who's role is key to overseeing projects, setting the calendars and updating the chargeability? 

2. TIMING

How long does it take to perform a task? Who spends the longest time using the platform?

3. KEY FEATURES

Projects, calendar, chargeability

All roads lead to .....

USER GOALS 

"I'd love one, easy platform to complete all tasks and check my schedule..."

Project manager

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"I'd love one, easy platform to complete all tasks and check my schedule..."

Project manager

DELIVERABLES

UX research, UX Design, user flows, wireframes and recommendations

Having gained a deep insight into user goals, touchpoints and prroblems through user interviews and identifying the KPIs, I worked on the next stage. I designed user flows and user journey maps outlining the users' goals and  touchpoints. I also produced wireframes of the internal planning tool and conducted user tests. These were shared with the developers and project managers.

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ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Once the platform was tested and live, I conducted further user tests to evaluate and identify user problems or potential probelms to solve.  A notable problem was the unclear communication between project managers, PMOs and team members (employees) when a new project arrives or when team members should fill in work hours completed. 

Problem:

Unclear communication between project managers and team members when there is a new project

Team members are not immediately notified and are not notified on the new platform but on teams or email. This is time consuming as the PM and PMOs have to contact individual team members.

Solution:

Be notified on the platform or/and email notifications when you have been added to a new project

Ability for team members to add an unplanned project (add button). This saves time. Once added the PMs will get a notification and will add the WBS code.

Add a new timesheet navigation where team members and PMs can add their work hours without moving to a new platform  

THESE WERE SOME LESSONS LEARNT AND  POINTS I WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT

Categorising users based on importance to tool functioning

Understanding the process, platforms and the users various goals, behaviours and problems, allowed me to ask a key question: 

What users are key for this internal planning tool to function? 

Both PMOs and Project managers!

 

Highlighting the key users according to their role and functioning of tool, allowed me to divide project into design phases 

Improving employee experience = employee retention

Two birds in a stone:

Creating an intuitive, efficient and single internal planning tool for employees, significantly improved their experience. This led to employee satisafaction which leads to employee retention  

Be flexible to solving new problems identified

Gaining insight into the users' problems, motivations and understanding the processes led to unidentified and unexpected problems to be revealed. Problems neither the users nor the clients were aware of.

Flexibility is required to solve these new problems. Setting time for further improvements after user tests. 

What are the KPIs?

Getting to the roots of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the measurements of success is key... By identifying the key user touchpoints, goals and the process and tools in detail, I was able to define the key measurements of success. 

Design phases

To avoid getting "lost in the sauce", dividing the goals and project into two phases allows a greater focus on the detail.​

Based on client business goals (both short and long-term), plan and execute the project into design phases, focusing on a specific feature for each phase.

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