KPMG Cost Tracker
Project Management HCM SaaS Platform
Product Type: Desktop Project Management SaaS Platform.
End Users: Firm Executives, Project Managers, Team Managers.
Scope: Interactive prototype design for 3 types of end-users, from concept to development hand-off.
Pain Points: The Project Team conducted user research on the tool being used by most teams at the time for monitoring project spending status and discovered pain points being experienced by all three end user groups.
1) Executives needed a more efficient way to detect project spending issues and to gain insights into the origin of these issues.
2) Project managers needed a more user-friendly way to calculate project estimates and plan project phasing that reduced errors.
3) Team managers needed a more effective way to add commentary on team budget overages (where actuals exceeded estimated costs for the team) for business executives, relaying the primary reason for unexpected team work hours.
1) The original tool was designed to facilitate workflow for Team Managers. The improved product design would require a completely different approach and structure that accommodated executive and project management end-users as well.
2) Determining the most intuitive user interface for these three leadership roles to efficiently identify the causes contributing to project spending issues while monitoring multiple projects at one time.
3) Determining and confirming the sequential workflow for each user role, as well as identifying the correct information architecture needed for project managers to set project estimates up, despite very limited information or insight from the Project Team.
Additional Challenges: Since the product concept and design was confidential and sensitive information for the Project Team because of impact on potential sales revenue, and also since their budget was limited, the Project Team was not able to recruit additional insights into user needs through user testing or consultation.
Timeline: The Project Team needed an interactive prototype in 8 weeks to leave time to build out and secure inter-department sales before the end of the fiscal year.
My Role: I was the Design Lead on this project from concept to development hand-off, taking the lead on:
1) Discovery calls with the Project Team
2) Design of the product user journeys, wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes
3) Presentation of deliverables to the Project Team for feedback and product design improvement
Approach to Solving Problems:
1) I analyzed the current tool being used for 3 different project management roles, a 5-tab Excel spreadsheet, to understand how it worked and deduct how it was being used by each role to accomplish the project management tasking they were responsible for. This analysis enabled me to identify the data being used to calculate other data relevant to estimating and phasing project spending, and how each role was adding to that dataset. It also allowed me to identify the relationships between data types to identify the Information Architecture behind project management setup and project spending monitoring. This in turn gave me the information I needed to identify and create a task flow for each user based on the sequence of the data-entry user actions necessary to calculate the project management KPIs. From this task list I was able to create a screen flow that became the basis of the wireframes for this product.
2) I conducted my own research on common features of the most popular project management software products used by businesses.
3) I referred to dashboard design best practices for space-efficient data presentation on data-heavy and highly-detailed dashboards.
4) I referred to Angular-based component libraries featuring a robust range of data visualization components to identify the most relevant component features to consider including.
1) To provide executives with a more efficient way to detect project spending issues and gain insights into the origin of these issues:
I identified the priority KPI’s that executives needed to identify project spending issues and take action and grouped them into layers of navigation. I grouped them according to their relevance within the context of the user journey so that datasets were accessed according to the order in which they would be evaluated by the user to determine the need for further action. I achieved this by creating KPI summary data visualizations for each project to make them easy to browse at once, which also allowing the user to drill down into progressively more detailed dashboards showing the causation behind project spending status.
2) To provide project managers with a more user-friendly way to calculate project estimates and plan project phasing that reduced errors:
I designed a project setup wizard for project managers to methodically set-up project estimates and phasing in a way that ensured they did not miss any step of project setup, but also allowed them to take breaks from the setup process without losing their place in the tedious process. The wizard allowed the user to create and edit required project datasets in the order in which they needed to be created to calculate project spending estimate totals in both monthly and cumulative increments.
3) To provide team managers with a more effective way to add commentary on team budget overages for business executives, relaying the primary reason for unexpected team work hours:
I added a commentary feature on the team-level project status dashboard which allows Team Managers to add both custom and automated comments onto their teams project spending data visualizations once they identified a spending problem on the Monthly Report and Actuals Entry screens.
The prototype was tested on each user group and showed positive feedback and quantitative positive results in meeting the needs of each end user group.
As a result, the design was successful in securing additional funding for product development from sales to multiple KPMG teams. As a result, the head of the UK legal department purchased this product for multiple teams and thanked us for our work, estimating that it would give them a significant business edge over competitor companies.