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3M Pace

Keeping tabs on globals projects requires a world class app.
3M

Key Services

  • User experience and interaction design
  • App development
  • Custom software development

Project Features

  • Agile development
  • Technical planning
  • Data Visualization

Results

  • 4 month turnaround time got executive in-the-know as quickly as possible
  • Visual flexibility via Rest APIs

How we helped

3M’s business is complex, multinational, and always moving. The Global Project Status app had to capture and visualize all the moving parts for really busy executives. That means the data had to be visually appealing and the user interface had to be simple and intuitive. Data was being collected across the globe, so time zones, languages, and other localized details had to be thoughtfully implemented. From an organizational standpoint, we worked closely with the 3M team to establish and roll out consistent language and metrics to talk about and measure the progress towards numerous business goals.

 

Once we outlined how to track progress, we had to build an interface that displayed all that information including project contacts, project health, timelines, and associated business units. Why us? Because who better to help understand project visualizations than project management experts?

Iterative, collaborative workflow

Kickoff to deployment took four months. A project timeline we were able to achieve based on the approach we used from the start: collaborative and iterative. The client stakeholder was an active participant and helped the team understand all the intricacies of the business objectives. Then we set out designing and doing rapid prototyping, while doing user testing at the same time. Interactions and UX flows were evaluated as they were created to speed up feedback and make every detail as streamlined as possible.

 

Multifaceted visualization

To truly understand progress, a project has to be looked at from many angles. We designed ways for stakeholders to filter and sort in numerous combinations, and the user experience visualized project activity by area, business unit, and operational pillar. The full list of active projects was available with ground-level details such as contacts, health, and timelines.

 

Some challenges, and our solutions

Challenge: Visualization of extremely dense data in a meaningful way. Solution: Developed an interactive interface allowing for very high level visualizations and drill downs into more details project status.

Challenge: Short project timeline.
Solution: We took an Agile approach to get work in front of the client iteratively and quickly. Design was done in browser with in-progress client reviews. Daily UX reviews ensured the visualizations were accurately representing the data as the project sped forward.

Challenge: Supporting legacy browsers and touch devices on a highly interactive application.
Solution: Implemented a templating system in Javascript and implemented Hammer JS for touch events. In addition test across devices and implemented Chrome Frame to allow IE8 to consume the site.

Project management prowess

Not only did we manage the project itself, our expertise put us in a position to objectively and empathetically understand their projects. What is progress? What is project health? How do all the facets of a projects relate to each other? Our human-centered approach to work and problem solving lead us to a quick and effective product that illustrated details yet communicated high-level metrics.