A new company division required a customer portal as soon as possible. The plan was to simply copy order and invoice search applications from another portal and tailor them to fit this new business. Senior IT members were brought on to get the portal off the ground quickly.
My Role & Responsibilities
I was able to persuade the stakeholders that we could get a new portal up and running not only immediately, but we could also provide a better user experience. Rather than have applications specific to order OR invoice information, we could combine these into one comprehensive application; provide our users with a 360° view of their order.
Because time was of the essence, we organized ourselves into a SCRUM team. I took the position of Product Owner and began conducting user discovery sessions to write and prioritize user stories from.
- Product Owner & Analyst
- Conduct Whiteboard Design Sessions
- UX & UI Design (Sketch)
- Write & Prioritize User Stories (Trello)
- User Story Acceptance Testing
- Collecting & Incorporating Stakeholder Feedback
- Mentor to junior design consultants
User Research & Insights
I began by conducting user discovery sessions by taking small groups of users through a Powerpoint Presentation of open-ended questions such as:
- How are orders placed?
- Explain the process once an order has been placed.
- What are the next steps?
- What are the phases the order moves through?
- How are customers finding out information about their orders currently?
- Who do they contact?
- How frequently are customers contacting Arrow for order information?
- What types of questions are they asking about their orders?
From these user sessions, collaboration between cross-functional team members, and whiteboard design huddles, I was able to begin determining the most important features to include in our initial Minimal Viable Product (MVP) release.
Our first goal was ambitious. We aimed to release a fully-functioning portal system in three two-week sprints. This included the ability to log in, view a dashboard of all open order counts broken down by current status, and select an order to view high-level information.
Not only this, but we aimed to prove the power of working within the SCRUM foundation to our Arrow management. Our SCRUM team progressively evaluated what we needed to learn from during our Retrospectives. We continuously adapted our process to better suit our team’s goals.
I am proud to say that we were successful. Not only did we achieve all of our goals, it is still seen as one of the most successful initial releases by Arrow ECS IT.
After our release, we went back and collected feedback from the users involved in the initial project discovery sessions. We wanted to hear how successful or unsuccessful they saw the portal and what our next priorities should focus on.
Through user feedback, we were able to enhance our Order 360° solution even further. We discovered that rather than other businesses at Arrow, the business users and customers for this new portal required to know specific order line status versus status of their overall order. We went back to the drawing board and, as a result of our cross-functional whiteboard design sessions, we designed a new line status screen to work in conjunction with the order status screen we delivered in our first release. This new design was loved by our users and more closely satisfied their unique needs.