Platform for organisational growth
Work for: ThoughtWorks
4 team members
Roobiks is an employee management platform for consultancies. It helps align employees’ individual growth and the organisations growth. The platform currently consists of an expectation management and staffing feature.
Learn more how we got there
A project in collaboration with ThoughtWorks UK to reimagine how their consulting services might be shaped to meet new challenges in both the markets they operate and ways they want to work.
My role: research, interviews, ideating, logo design, user experience and user interface design (low-fidelity wireframes, only to visualise the general idea, simple UI to help tell a story), prototyping, testing, strategic design, service design tools and methods
During this project we wanted to experiment with a methodology to execute a project of this complexity and magnitude in the best way possible. That is why, we adopted ThoughtWorks’s agile way of working and run this project in sprints. Instead of having a Double Diamond design process across the whole project, we made a Double Diamond each sprint.
An example of a plan for a week is: Monday – Discover (share and map research), Tuesday – Define (ideate and decide), Wednesday – Develop (develop the idea), Thursday – Validate (prototype and test), Friday – Sum up (reflect and plan next sprint).
We dived into consultancy ecosystem and through our research detected key trends that we believe would impact the future of professional services.
Consultancy landscape – Hospital analogy
We used a hospital analogy to help us better understand the consultancy landscape. Then it also helped us figure out how ThoughtWorks could grow.
When a Patient (Client) is sick, he would usually go seek advice from a General Practitioner (Management Consultancy). The GP would then diagnose his symptoms and a Prescription (Strategy) that he could take. If the problem is severe and can not be dealt with it on his own, he would then seek help from a Specialist (such as ThoughtWorks).
Major management consultancies are trying to own the whole chain by building Hospitals (complete capabilities from strategy to solution). How then could a specialist like ThoughtWorks compete in this landscape?
Understand the DNA
We wanted to learn more about ThoughtWorks and what growth means to them. We did two exercises: First, was as a measurement. There were 6 factors, such as specialist and generalist, and they had to mark where they were and where they wanted to be. Second one, was an animal association, in which we learned more about what was important to them, their values, such as collaboration. With that we came up with an analogy that helped understand the landscape and growth.
Bottom up vs Top down growth
When an individual grows, the company organically growths – it is a bottom up growth. However, a company could also just grow with its employees lagging behind – which is a top down. We have identified that bottom up growth is the more sustainable way to grow and develop new capabilities and service offerings within an organisation as opposed to top down growth led by the senior management.
We prioritised the three main elements of a typical consultancy system to explore during sprints: Research&Innovation, People Management, Service Models. We ran sprints across these three buckets and explored some multiple concepts within each.
We ran three sprints during the project. Below, there are links to learn more about each sprint design process.
Sprint 1 – Research & Innovation
A fresh start
Having all the experience and knowledge after 3 sprints, we were overloaded with the information. We realised we have to start with a blank sheet of paper to extract what is really relevant and important for developing the final solution. We sat in a white wall, empty room and wrote down concisely: a vision, a strategy and principles. We also did a simplified user journey to see where are the best opportunities.
Developing a final idea
Crazy 8 exercise helped to warm up our creative brains. We decided it should be an internal digital/physical service. Later, everyone developed a concept idividually to see others perspectives.
How might we align individual and organisational growth in ThoughtWorks?
What it is: As ThoughtWorks scales in the future, Roobiks aligns employees’ individual growth with the organisations growth. Roobiks is an employee management platform that helps employees pursue their interests and develop their own learning curve while actively contributing in building the firm’s knowledge and social capital. It enables ThoughtWorks to build their core capabilities while creating the right environment for its employees to venture into new territories; such that ThoughtWorks continues to be a thought leader in the industry.
Who it is for: Roobiks is designed for senior management, project managers, as well as employees of all levels.
Why: We have identified that bottom up growth is the more sustainable way to grow and develop new capabilities and service offerings within an organisation as opposed to top down growth led by the senior management. Roobiks gives employees a way to express their interests and individual growth targets. This provides the project managers responsible for sourcing new projects with the necessary information to make better informed decisions.
How: Roobiks ensures a two way interaction between senior management, project managers and employees by making use of digital tools, as well as physical artefacts as conversation starters and means to provide necessary information. Roobiks identifies employees’ career trajectory and interests to provide them with the most suitable projects while also assisting senior managers and project managers to make better informed decisions.
These are a few key metrics we thought of to evaluate the success of our proposition.
We are envisioning the capability growth (in-house capability building and hiring) curve to slow down after a while once the current aggressive hiring stage is over. For employee satisfaction we will need some time for the interests to feed into the demands team to actually have an effect on the projects that they recruit. Once that stage is over we expect a stiff growth curve as employees are getting the projects they want. For revenue we are expecting a slow growth at the beginning as investment will be needed for hiring new employees and also learning projects. Then once the capabilities are built we expect a faster growth in revenue as well.
With Roobiks we can grow more surgeons with same expertise. Then train the new surgeons with different expertise or come up with new services. Roobiks is enabling ThoughtWorksk to grow in the top left quadrant, making them capable of entering a new market, come up with new products or eventually enter new markets with new products. On the viability side we explored “post care” as a potential new service offering which is relatively easy to offer to cushion overall revenue as more challenging capabilities are being build in the meantime.
What does growth look like for your organisation?