This case study shows how Lean UX and Agile development are a powerful combination to quickly launch effective products.
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Date: 2016 | Client: TVH | Employer: Clockwork Belgium | Role: Digital Strategy & UX Design Lead
WHAT’S THIS ABOUT?
Belgium’s not not only the country of waffles and beer, our small country also hosts a huge number of festivals during the summer. For one of Belgium's biggest festivals, the construction of the ‘Land of Tomorrow’ is an incredibly challenging task. TVH has been their trusted partner in crime as they try to outdo themselves every year.
TVH wanted to take this partnership to another level: they were looking for a way to even better support their customers in the preparation of similar large events that take months and hundreds of people to build. This is where Clockwork entered the stage: together with TVH and its customers we built a digital planning platform for construction vehicles.
I collaborated with TVH for about a year. In that time I started out as part of a proof of concept task-force and eventually managed a 4-person UX team, amongst other responsibilities:
Project & team management
UX coaching & UX Guild
Workshop templates & facilitation
Interaction design & wireframing
TVH is one of the leading players in industrial renting: they sell, rent and repair all kinds of construction vehicles. Forklifts, boom lifts, scissor lifts… you name it, they’ve got it.
TVH is still very much a family-owned business, albeit one that operates on a global scale: currently they’re active in 19 countries and employ more than 5400 people world-wide.
TVH's digital planning platform was part of a larger, company-wide change: a full-blown digital transformation. They had always leveraged technology to maximise their own efficiency, but now TVH was looking into how a more digital service offering could help them to stay ahead of the competition. A service offering focused on 'connected', 'data' and 'automation'.
This transformation had a much wider impact than only on a technical level. Monolithic architecture had to make way for micro services and their waterfall business analysis would also have to evolve into a user-centred methodology.
Proof Of Concept approach
THE PROOF IS IN THE POC
Before we implemented the new way of working in a customer-facing project, we first had to prove it would actually work for TVH. So we demonstrated the power of a cross-functional team (inspired by Spotify’s model) to develop meaningful, innovative products driven by actual user needs in a proof of concept.
After successfully releasing the first version of the POC’s employee app a dedicated product team took over and we moved on to the next challenge. Translating the approach to a larger team and a larger scope: Tomorrowland.
Full analysis approach
LEARN TO SPRINT BEFORE YOU WALK
The goal was to release a product that would help TVH and Tomorrowland to collaborate during the (sometimes hectic) construction of the next edition of the festival. So time was of the essence.
In order to hit the ground running and quickly work towards a vision of what this product might be, we organised a designsprint with TVH and Tomorrowland. This helped us to dive into the context and generate a long-term vision for a planning platform in just a week time. We would use this long-term vision as a frame of reference for every feature-decision throughout the project ensured consistency.
THE PEOPLE OF TOMORROW
A long-term vision is one thing, but there was only one way to make sure that the planning tool would actually launch with the right feature set: talking to the people who would be actively using it. A product that would slow down construction was not an option!
So in every step of designing the first version of the planner, we met up with Tomorrowland's material handlers. We ran them through wireframes & prototypes and asked them one crucial question: "Will you be able to do your job... even better?"
WE ARE ONE
Throughout the entire design process we didn't just involve the end-users, but also the development team. The development leads were part of every important design meeting, including the design sprint and user testing sessions. It was their job to safeguard the technical feasibility and inspire the design team with new technology , but even more importantly this made sure that they were kept informed.
Although this might sound like it would slow down the project, the opposite is true. Because they were part of discussions and knew about the reasoning behind features and their impact on user needs, we were all on the same page. Even before the start of development.
This proved crucial to release the first version of the tool in just 4 months, ready to be used for the 2017 edition of Tomorrowland.