Missing! Stakeholder alignment

Summary: Under a strict timeline and a singular engineering objective to migrate off a costly 3rd party service, stakeholders were speaking past each other with contradictory statements or talking about customers in generalities. To deliver value to customers in the new Developer Portal, I grounded the project in real customer voices.

Four panels. In the
This is my favorite visual to articulate perceived, but not actual, alignment on a project's direction. Moving a team through the 2nd and the 3rd panels is the research phase. (Unfortunately, I do not know the attribution for this image or the original artist.)

Exploratory research

To shift the conversation to user problems, I proposed a comprehensive research plan to learn about the motivations and needs of external developers. After selling stakeholders on needing research, I carried out all the following aspects of the plan:

  • Recruit, script, pilot for 5 hour-long interviews with developer teams (3 large companies, 2 small/start-ups)
  • Compile and review over 20 competitor developer sites
  • Interview developers that use competitor sites
  • Look for patterns in usage data across 25,000 developers
  • Comb through 90 days (210 case records) of support requests and interview internal support agents

Data analysis consisted of looking for themes that emerged from the voices across the conversations and records.

Research timeline

Leading research projects is an exercise in knowing when to skillfully allocate time and resources.

Exploration - Nov 2019

Interviews with current dev portal users and with developers of other sites

Goal: Motivations and needs of current developers; what makes a good developer site
Unmoderated Tests- Mar 2020
Created usability studies on UserTesting to test clickable design prototypes and dev environment

Goal: Can users successfully complete common tasks; What are first impressions
Moderated Tests - Apr 2020

Interviews to target specific feedback on the release candidate

Goal: Identify pre-release show stoppers; prepare stakeholders for reception

Stakeholder alignment

After analysis, the next step is to capitalize on the wealth of data collected and the team's emotions after listening directly to customer voices. In this project while presenting findings of the exploratory research, I paused to lead an alignment continuum exercise. Each stakeholder was asked to individually decide how they thought about the new GoTo developer site, to make visible their unstated differences of opinion. Clusters of responses led to establishing design principles; distributed responses led to further conversation.

Informing design

I oversaw the research plan for this project as well as led the design for the Client Management Portal, a portion of the new site. Performing the research gave me the insights and empathy to craft the user experience for developers. In the Client Management Portal, 3rd party developers configure their apps that power integrations with LogMeIn's products and data.

Client Management tool prototype