AIM has developed a great process of teaching teams how to develop new products. It requires immense training and following a simple but elaborate process to execute. AIM had used other means of making sure the students remember what they are supposed to do after training is completed during their real world.
To this end, AIM uses many tools, including training exercises that mimic the implementation of their well-defined process. Students also receive a great deal of material that can be used for guidance during their implementation. But more was needed. Students might not conduct a Discovery Interview often, and they needed a better way to work the process without having to commit a great deal to memory. At this point, AIM developed an Excel based solution to assist in managing projects throughout the Blueprinting™ process. Over time it developed to encompass a great deal of screens to cover each step, from gathering Voice of Customer data, to planning, budget forecasts, reports and much more.
This was a wonderful solution to the content retention problem and allowed users to follow the training with ease. But more was required;
A team works the process and a team collaboration tool Excel is not.
Teams have different roles, and capturing data is a frequently visited one. Some teams work out of one office. Others have members across the world. It is frequent that memebers are working in their own space, but the data should not.
Working with excel files made it difficult to share information. Emailing excel files and making sure not to lose someone's changes becamame a choir, and grew exponentionaly with the size of the team and complexity of the project.
Teams needed a way to follow the training and easy to use process AIM had created, but sharing without the members having to do anything became paramount.
Other concerns surfaced too.
Users found that during onsite visits with customers, internet was not present or not stable.
This created several challenges. Users could not collaborate without requiring one person to take all of the notes, or go through a pain-staking process of reconsiling everyone's excel files after the visit.
If users did not ask everyone to send it their latest changes and have a reconsiled version, going to a meeting would likely mean making changes to an older version, losing someone else's changes, requring another step of reconsiiation.
Or worse, if the user didn't have the project on the computer, it could be hard or impossible to couduct discovery interviews.
Actionable data is key to research and development teams. It saves time in gathering key information required to make informed descions. Great data was being captured by the teams during this process, but there was no way to easily view it.
The organiztions investing into this process wanted to make sure the information is
In Summary (TL;DR)
From the user’s perspective: As a product development professional, you want to create leading products that you can bring to market in the shortest time possible, and it’s not always the easiest thing to do. You want to collaborate with other team members. You want to be able to do your work in the office, on a plane, in a factory, or any other setting. Your organization wants to be sure the intellectual work is secured; your IT security department wants to maintain control.
What to Do?
AIM knew a better solution was needed. But AIM's core business is new product development, not software engineering, IT project management. AIM does not want to worry about infrastructure maintenance, hiring qualified software engineers, quality assurance staff and other roles required to ensure software development is completed correctly. But the leaders at AIM knew a software solution was required and they needed a team of experts to guide AIM through the process of designing, developing, and maintaining the right solution.
Vayner Systems to the Rescue!
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