Why Stellar UX ensures Project Management Technology ROI

Author: Ian Needs

You can’t reduce Project Administration and Reporting Times by 75% if no one is using your PMO tool

Depending on how mature your IT Project Management Organization (PMO) is, you might decide you need a cross between a work management solution and a full portfolio management solution. The good news is—you don’t have to choose.

Experts agree that for most enterprises, and for agile and bimodal IT PM in particular, the best tech for IT PM is scalable for all user levels and needs only an exemplary user experience (UX) to provide an immediate return on investment (ROI). (You might surmise here that of course I am talking about KeyedIn in particular).

Let’s look at what constitutes an impactful UI philosophy in our PM space; how UX ensures adoption with your most potent PM groups; and how your organization will benefit from super-charged UX in your PM platform.

“Aye, there’s the rub”

When we build our solutions, the first thing we look at and incorporate is what our customers tell us is keeping them up at night. The number one complaint is that users are not using their current PM solution because they can’t figure it out. It’s too complex for non-IT people—and up to 50% of your project teams lack the background to use such complex systems readily. Abysmal project success rates follow. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, organizations surveyed reported 44% of their projects being challenged, late, over budget or reduced in scope, with an additional 24% considered failures, leaving only 32% categorized as successful.

Walk before you run

As you might imagine, the lost revenue associated with these percentages, while undisclosed, is substantial to any company. If they don’t possess intuitive web-based navigation that is truly plug-and-play, the whole team won’t have access to the information they need. If only some people are using the solution, the data won’t be complete and any status reports spotty at best. That’s where UX comes in.

UX Magazine’s Joe Dickerson published a UX checklist that will ensure full adoption from your teams and, by extension, a more robust ROI from your PMO tools. Following are some of the actions our KeyedIn team has taken to fulfill the promises on this list:

  • Review legacy user research to extract/validate insights from research. We know our user base and the range of functionality they use; when they use it most during project lifecycles; how they manage work vs. projects vs. programs (and most have a mix of all of these); how they stay focused even when agile projects stutter and start at will—in short, how they behave on our tool and what works best during their project management. We also have general UX research to help us stay on top of best practices in our field.
  • Review high level requirements. Your PM tool must be a Ferrari to meet the needs of your most complex projects in your portfolio and to handle more agile IT portfolios as a whole. But for many people in your organization, that high performance vehicle ends up being nothing but driveway “eye candy.” We have designed a “stepping-stone” UX to ensure the optimal user experience for both kinds of PMs – those who are working on simple projects as well as those with enterprise-wide portfolio needs.
  • Review personas (if they exist): If someone works on projects on any level in virtually any type of organization--- service organizations included—we’ve worked up a UX persona for them. Our entire design philosophy echoes our clients as they manage role-based projects. We follow a virtual person through all kinds of PMO and PM scenarios and ensure, from first entry-to-report, the process unrolls smoothly, logically and intuitively.
    Identify and document initial thoughts on core user needs/drivers/desires: I love this stage of the process—and spending time with our talented team of software geniuses (I can’t really call them anything else) to connect the dots between our extensive research and UX outcomes on our new and upcoming releases.
  • Create a conceptual model/design that represents initial ideas around the experience: Our True Prototyping approach that delivers the "to-be" live system at the project kick-off, allows requirements and UX design to be jointly executed on the actual system, speeding understanding, agreements and delivery into live operation. When you are experiencing UX and fine-tuning for your enterprise, you’re improving first line delivery when others might still be documenting requirements and embarking upon design.
  • Identify research needs: This is the part of our UX design that clarifies those last few opportunities. We’ve parsed feedback from our customers, live implementations, and follow up interviews with actual users and identified knowledge gaps. Then we have our software teams come up with UX and functional innovations to solve them.

By providing unparalleled UX, any level of PM user can gain immediate benefit. In fact, our customers have reduced project management administration and reporting times by up to 75% within a few short weeks of implementation.

Learn more about our UX approach - or get involved

To learn how you can become more productive and experience solid ROI from a PM platform with killer UX, check out our ROI calculator. To gain some additional insight about how to avoid a big bang deployment and gain ROI for the short, medium and long term, check out our implementation checklist for PM software