This client is the leading provider of shared communications infrastructure across the United States. Their portfolio of cell towers, small cells, and fiber helps communities stay connected and take advantage of the digital world. In a previous engagement, Avanade assessed the current state across Dynamics365, surrounding systems, business processes, and team activities to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. During that short engagement, Avanade captured frustrations that stakeholders from 12 fiber business groups were facing at a high level, and determined that a UX team should be brought in to uncover those details in deeper discovery workshops.
February 2023 – April 2023
In this envisioning phase, the UX team conducted 14 fiber persona-based workshops to gather information about each persona’s roles, processes, and journeys. The workshop activities will help identify potential customizations or feature enhancements for their One Sales system. The goal of these workshops was to collect qualitative information to deliver a persona and user journey map per business group.
The sessions used Mural, an online whiteboard tool, to facilitate collaboration through virtual workshops with various employee participants. We structured the workshops around getting information to create the persona and user journey map outputs, as well as incorporating more real-time synthesis. Our workshops had 2 focused activities: Personas & mindsets and Journeys & processes.
Our objectives in the workshops were the following:
We facilitated these workshops using a mixture of timed group note-taking and discussion-based conversation. For the “Personas & mindsets” activity, participants had time to first list as many notes as they can, and then we gave them time afterwards to come off mute and explain their thoughts. For the “Journeys & processes” activity, we guided them through the conversation to explain their thoughts around each step within their end-to-end journey, as well as capture actors, touchpoints, and feelings.
Each of the business groups worked on a Mural board during the workshops. Below is the workshop template that we used for each workshop and the Wholesale Sales mural board for a more detailed view.
Participants gathered, on average, 133 sticky notes in the “Persona & mindsets” activity for each workshop. While these workshops did an excellent job at collecting data and incorporating some real-time synthesis, there was more synthesis left to be done given the large data set. We conducted an affinity clustering method for each business group to identify their high-level themes, insights, and issues by grouping similar notes together and creating subgroupings when applicable. After rearranging all workshop items, we labeled the clusters. These clusters are great discussion opportunities and are the foundation of the persona content.
The work products that the UX team would deliver are a persona for each business group and a user journey map for each business group in the sales lifecycle. There are 11 business groups, 9 of which are apart of the sales lifecycle. The business groups include: Marketing and Presales, Inside Sales, Enterprise Fiber Direct Sales, Partner Channel Sales, Wholesale Sales, Vertical Sales, Sales Operations, Sales Engineering, Network Client Services, Information Technology/System Admin, and Product Management.
The personas are a detailed representation of the business groups that we communicated with. The personas allow the client to better understand the mindset of these users in more depth. The persona document captures the success factors, challenges, benefits, tools, and future needs of the group, and were populated using the affinity clusters. It also includes the data that the persona interacts with, as well as how often they communicate with customers or with internal teams.
Each of the business groups have a persona document. Below is the Wholesale Sales persona for a more detailed view.
The “Journey and processes” workshop activity was a discussion-based activity, where participants were walking us through their day-to-day journey. We took notes of all steps, processes, systems, actors, feelings, and future opportunities during the discussion. We wanted to capture the user journey at a current stage even though the conversation was revolved around both the current and future state. The user journey map is intended to help the client understand today’s processes and journeys that each business group has, while showing opportunities for improvement.
Each of the business groups have a user journey map. Below is the Wholesale Sales user journey map for a more detailed view.
To deliver all 11 personas and 9 user journey maps, we created a prototype that encompasses all the work products that would be easy to share across business groups and teams. The prototype includes an overview of the prototype that explains the purpose of each section of the persona and user journey map. Additionally, the prototype has a navigation bar that allows the user to navigate to the various business groups, where they can view the associated persona and user journey map. We delivered the prototype, as well as the working Figma file. The Figma file includes pages for the prototype, individual personas and user journeys, as well as the workshop affinity clusters. We wanted to show them the affinity clusters along with the work products so that the client can understand the reasonings behind each persona.
The prototype contains protected work. To view the prototype, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This client project taught me new skills and gave me greater insight on how to conduct workshops and how to share those workshop insights. It showed me the strength in remaining unified as a collective team by aligning with other internal teams. It also proved to me the benefits and rewards of exceeding client expectations. Throughout the project, I learned how to consider the client’s needs both now and future as we deliver. The work I do today can help the client beyond my time with them, so it was valuable to incorporate ways that the client can make the most out of the information.
This opportunity taught me how important it is to be resilient and adaptable. This project had several challenges with unexpected internal team changes, which pushed me into a position where I had to learn quickly and step up from a shadowing role into a client-facing role. I had to stay open to taking on other responsibilities that I had little experience in to support the team in this client engagement.
This project gave me more confidence in myself and my ability to learn, adapt, and deliver beyond expectations.