KPMG Cost Tracker

Project Management Software

Product Type: Project Management Software
Scope: Initial concept, pitch design, hand-off
End Users: Firm Executives, Project Managers, Team Managers

Discovery, Defining Problem, Designing, Delivery

Discovery & User Research Method

Contextual inquiry and moderated interviews with 15 participants to capture both qualitative and quantitative data. User responses were analyzed using affinity mapping to determine the features needed by users and their priority.

User Pain Points 

  • Executives needed a more efficient way to detect project spending issues and to gain insights into the origin of these issues. 
  • Project managers needed a more user-friendly way to calculate project estimates and plan project phasing that reduced errors. 
  • 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.
  • Challenges: Converting original Excel spreadsheet tool into sequential series of screens for 3 different roles; Adding business value to this tool for executive decision-makers.

User Needs & the User Journey

Based on user feedback we found the following priority user needs:

  1. 100% of all 5 executive users interviewed wanted an easy and efficient way to monitor project spending status and drilldown to investigate causes for overages.
  2. 100% of all 5 executive users wanted an easy way to see commentary from Team Managers on budget overages to quickly identify any unusual circumstances effecting project spending.
  3. 100% of all 5 project manager users wanted a more user-friendly way to set up projects and reduce errors.
  4. 100% of all 5 team manager users wanted the same functionality as before as well as a way to configure automatic comments so that team budget commentary would be scalable.

Defining the Problem

I led Product Team workshops to analyze the affinity mapping, frame the problem, and define metrics.

Designing Wireframes, Mockups and Prototype

  1. I analyzed current tool being used to determine and maintain existing functionality, KPIs, and strategic KPI data context for all 3 user roles.
  2. I conducted competitor research.
  3. I used dashboard design best practices for data-heavy user interfaces.
  4. I referred to our design system and component libraries to identify the most relevant data visualizations for displaying these KPIs and their analytic relationships.

My Strategy

  1. Designing a summary dashboard for executives which displayed project management spending KPIs as labelled data visualizations.
  2. Designing a series of detail dashboards for individual projects comparing unexpected spending across teams, across workstreams, and over time, for efficient drill-down analysis.
  3. Splitting the project setup process into an efficient sequence of tasks for Project Managers, and designing a project setup wizard to guide the process and facilitate users breaks.
  4. Designing interactive commentary into dashboards to provide executives with Team Manager commentary in context.
  5. Designing scalable automated comment configuration for Team Managers.

Design validation research was performed with 10 additional user interviews. 100% of users found the software to greatly improve their workflow efficiency and resolve their pain points. The product specs were handed off to the Development Team for production.

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