Process Supply [EN]
During 2017 I worked with Process Supply as a personal project to experiment with building digital products that would make my work easier. For this project I created a working prototype that visualised a solution for creating, following and evaluating processes in tech companies. I have documented the design process, I hope you enjoy the read.
How can we create a tool that standardises the process for creating, running and evaluating processes?
Lack of documented workflows and processes does not only slow down productivity and makes employees independent but makes the company unable to measure and evaluate work. When more of our work are done solely digitally the need for an easy accessible digital solution for creating, running and evaluating processes is huge.
During my career I have seen the negatives of not having standardised processes that ensure quality control. I have also seen the challenges in aligning employees around a process and enabling employees to take the control of creating their own processes and workflows. I set out to prototype a digital product for creating, running and evaluating processes, I did this project within my role at my employer.
With an easy and accessible digital tool, employees will be able to:
- Create and co-create processes
- Ensure that existing processes are followed
- Evaluate processes and workflows.
By working closely with the client we can ensure that all relevant stakeholders, business goals and needs are met, this in order to create an efficient and motivating way to work with standardised processes.
The desired outcome is a prototype that visualises the value of working with processes in a digital product. The project begins with an exploration phase where all relevant stakeholders are participating actively in a set of exercises, with the purpose of extracting current gains, pains and motivations when working with standardised processes.
After the exploration phase we will move into the ideation and creation phase where we will go in to high fidelity wireframing and prototyping all with close collaboration with employees. Finally, the final prototype will be presented with a list of recommended next steps that are relevant in taking the project further.
- Business goals
- Feature Discovery
We went in to the project with the focus of seeing how different employees and departments are tied together in a processes, and how they work differently with said processes.
By conducting interviews with stakeholders in the company we could gather challenges and needs that we turned into three personas.
Since we saw the biggest opportunity for a digital product in the fulfilment team we decided to align the development of the product to the fulfilment business goals, that had been previously created by the fulfilment department.
- Increase amount of succesful projects without variance
- Increase amount of projects per team member
- Decrease the number of critical failures in projects
Based on the fulfilment Business Goals and the Personas we could use that information in a feature discovery exercise, to help create ideas for the key features.
- Key features
- User flow
After gathering needs and challenges and creating personas we moved on to the ideation phase. This phase was significantly important in order to make the most of our time when starting to create a prototype. We wanted to make sure that we could have a potential solution in the end of our ideation phase, that made us work closely with the company and have them present throughout the ideation phase.
From the feature discovery exercise we could define a few key features that we identified could make an impact on the business goals set by the fulfilment team.
Based on the personas we created the basic user flows in order to know more in details how we would approach building the product. The user flows specifics a few tasks that the users would have when using the product, for instance “creating a new process” or “following a process”.
After having designed the user flows for a few specific tasks we continued and set the sitemap for the product and the flows between pages. At this moment our product is quite minimalistic in its features and is customised to fit only a few but the most important needs of the company.
- Hi-Fidelity Sketches
From the ideation phase we established some key features and the architecture of the first iteration of the product. Throughout the ideation phase we did ongoing quick wireframes to better visualise the product and get a grasp of how we would start prototyping the product. Since we wireframe during the ideation phase we decided to move directly into Hi-Fidelity Sketches.
With the help of our sitemaps and user flows we could quickly get a feel of how the product should visually look, especially in order to focus the user to a few certain tasks such as create or edit a process. We used a limited color palette and a minimalistic design in order to keep the product as simple as possible.
In the dashboard the user can see the different categories that contains processes, these are in our case meant to be different departements. Below the categories the user can see processes that has been started for that user, but not yet finished.
In the process page the user can see all active processes started by any users in the organisation. The user can also continue a process started by that user. We wanted to make the navigation between processes in a category as simple as possible, by implementing a drop down navigation the user can switch between different processes in the category the user selected.
The process page consists of a right and left panel, on the left side the user will see the an overview of the process and the tasks that needs to be completed. In every task there are sub-tasks that open on the right panel. When a user have finished all sub-tasks inside a task that task will mark as complete.
After sketching out the Hi-Fidelity Sketches we could start creating a prototype that the company could test and evaluate. You can find a few prototyped user flows below - the working prototype is still under feedback and will be developed in Q4 2017.
We set out to find a solution that enabled employees to easily create, follow and evaluate standardised processes in a fast growing company. Along the way we realised that a process is seldom independent to one department or role but is tied to several departments or different roles in order to ensure a qualitative result.
By spending a larger amount of time on understanding all stakeholders we could create a few key features that allowed processes to function cross-departments. The exercises in the research phase were key to enabling us to not only have more anchored ideas but to save time when we started to design the prototype. The project is for now finished but there are plans to continue the development of the prototype.