Creating a Unified Digital Experience
Prosci is a global change management leader that combines industry-leading research and experience with a people-focused approach to developing an agile, change-ready organization.
Founded in 1994, Prosci is the global leader in change management and the provider of choice for 80% of Fortune 100 companies. Their most popular training is a 3-day, in-person program that educates attendees on change management best practices based on Prosci’s extensive research.
While Prosci’s change management knowledge is extensive, their tools were not as robust as they needed in order to deliver an engaging, personalized experience to their customers. Prosci came to LaunchPad in search of a stronger way to engage with their clients and reinforce the experiences they were looking to create within their training programs. For years, they housed preparation materials and client exercises as PDFs or spreadsheets. However, these tools weren’t interactive or consistent with the high level of expertise they provided clients.
To help develop a scalable, user-friendly platform that would allow Prosci to build a truly personalized experience for their customers, they needed a Salesforce partner who could integrate their platform with Salesforce CRM and gain a 360-view of their customer. In late 2019, we began our work with Prosci—but less than six months later, the pandemic hit. Like almost all businesses, Prosci’s commitment to digitizing their change management training and practitioner experiences became even more pressing as the world went remote.
Prosci was in need of a full digital transformation of their current tools—including a reset on the way they think about product management and product development.
To help them achieve their vision, we needed to build:
- A suite of tools to help Prosci scale the business by 10x
- A user-friendly platform to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time
- A dashboard of powerful reporting tools to understand customer statistics, including retention and engagement to help elevate transactions into long-term relationships
Blueprinting to Plan the Right Solution
Our team visited Prosci’s headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado to fully immerse ourselves in the Prosci culture and workshop a solution with their team. We conducted our Blueprint Workshop to fully understand their challenges so we could tailor a solution that would meet three primary goals:
- Understand the problem from a technical perspective and determine why now was the right time to solve those issues.
- Identify the best digital solutions.
- Develop a roadmap to implement the solutions, including time and financial investment.
We brought a nimble yet diverse team of UX/UI designers, engineers, and product managers to collaborate with the subject matter experts from Prosci. From this collaborative session, we developed three primary documents in tandem with the Prosci team:
- A project charter: This served as our “north star” and helped our team understand the specific deliverables.
- The story map: This included detailed user stories to describe the necessary application functions.
- The release plan: This outline was the starting place for the build and helped prioritize the features within the user stories.
Throughout the blueprint workshop, Prosci team members praised the collaborative process, describing their feedback as “They just get us.” With this approval from Prosci, we were ready to start building.
How We Did It
We use small, efficient teams when building products at LaunchPad Lab. We also work in sprints, and for this project in particular, our efforts aligned very closely with a dual-track scrum methodology. What this means is that our product manager and designers assigned to the project were shaping the work that is coming next, while the development team is shipping the work in 2-week sprints.
To ensure the Prosci team was consistently in the loop, we held standing product demos every two weeks. We discussed what features were being developed and received live feedback from their stakeholders. We also presented budget reports to cross-check initial budget estimates with actual development hours.
Real customer feedback was also a critical part of developing Prosci’s new tools. We introduced two beta programs for real customers to use and provide feedback on throughout their certification classes. LaunchPad team members also attended the training to hear feedback first-hand from users, which allowed our team to iterate and pivot plans as necessary.
For example, as our team members sat in on the training sessions, we observed participants having trouble following along in class with steps they needed to do. Because of this, we were able to build a feature called the “In-Program Guide” that illustrated a clear path of action items that the user needed to complete that was located on the right-hand side of the portal, similar to a navigation menu.
An Unexpected Twist
In the midst of our development process, the 2020 pandemic hit, confronting us with an unpredictable challenge. Without the ability to host in-person certifications, Prosci’s source of revenue was reduced almost overnight. Their available budget for the project was cut by nearly 75 percent for four months—but thanks to a combination of an agile mindset, a collaborative team, and flexible technology decisions, we helped Prosci remain relevant during a time when most organizations would have lost customers.
Technical decisions made early in the project, paired with the ease of Heroku deployments, allowed our team to accelerate the development and launch of Research Hub, a new product for Prosci. Research Hub digitized a bi-yearly report that was previously distributed in static form. The product’s architecture was based off of a product within Prosci’s future suite of tools called Knowledge Hub and wasn’t even part of our original roadmap.
This new product allowed Prosci to connect with their customers in a new way and give a preview for the training enhancements coming down the road. This new product would not have been possible if a different code architecture was used.
A Personalized Application that Delivers the Right Content to the Right People
Despite the challenges that the pandemic has brought, we couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done with Prosci.
The resulting suite of products enabled Prosci’s team to create an entirely new customer experience, reflecting their premium quality courses within the products they offer to their customers. In addition to launching a complete set of new tools, all of their products are directly integrated with Salesforce, making it possible for Prosci’s team to have full visibility into how customers engage with their products and which tools were the source of recurring revenue.
Hub Solution Suite
This is the suite where all of the other components are housed. From here, users can access whichever parts they are scheduled to use, whether they are trainers or participants.
Research Hub was the single point of access to the extensive research that Prosci has done over the years, including core studies, topical studies, and relevant data. More than two decades worth of best practices, lessons learned, and insights from thousands of global change leaders are located in this hub.
This product wasn’t in the original roadmap and was created in response to Prosci’s needs to remain relevant during the pandemic.
Knowledge Hub is the single point of access that lets clients access content for their specific training program or learning experience. Knowledge Hub is a critical product that helps customers learn and understand the key concepts, allowing them to build new skills.
Prework is a single area where all of the required work is done prior to attending the most popular training—the 3-day program—to ensure that all participants have the chance to prepare. This new tool helps the Prosci team track participants’ completion and is directly integrated with their instance of Salesforce, making it possible to view metrics on their dashboard and keep classes running smoothly. It also gives participants a preview into what the rest of Proxima will be like as they are introduced to the initial assessments that need to be completed before working in Proxima for a specific project.
Proxima is a web application that guides participants through the Prosci Methodology and houses the change management projects that the user has created or is involved in. The goal of this app is to help users focus on the people-side of changes over the course of a project or initiative.
Proxima provides the necessary structure to be organized and adapt as needed, and gives users the ability to customize their projects in-depth by defining their approach, success criteria, impact to the organization, and other critical details of the project. Proxima also provides users the ability to use various, interactive tools to assess risk, build communication plans, and check in on project timelines.
Proxima also houses the majority of Prosci’s content. Instead of the static, such as spreadsheets, PDFs, and word documents, we redesigned and digitized these files in Proxima so users can focus all of their energy in learning change management with a streamlined experience.
Another single point of access, Instructor Hub facilitates guidance and materials for instructors delivering Prosci’s training programs. Since it was built to follow global delivery standards, the Instructor Hub provides a universal experience for instructors and participants as well.
The data provided through the Salesforce integration enabled the Prosci team to build an Instructor Dashboard. While we did not build this tool ourselves, the architecture and integrations we constructed made it possible for them to add this dashboard into their suite of tools.
The Instructor Dashboard provides the ties with Salesforce, displaying the Salesforce view for master instructors to verify attendance for each class and is linked to the Prework app to automatically populate the participants.
A Peak Under the Hood: Technology
Prosci’s applications needed a lot of complex components that would work in a seamless way to produce an app that was easy to use while being very powerful.
We used PostgresSQL, an open source data store, to create the object-relational database system to provide data management and performance stability. This relational database was the foundation of the transformation and used to tie all of the pieces together.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is a web application framework used to build a complete web application that provides standard conventions to increase team efficiency with a quick turnaround.
React.JS allows for the creation of rich end-user experience with reusable components that interact with multiple apps. This is what we used to create a consistent look and functionality across different apps.
Heroku & Heroku Connect
Heroku is a cloud application that provides a way to create an amazing self-service app on a minimal budget. We can easily tune, add, or remove servers to meet performance requirements. It also has enterprise level security to simplify the incorporation of add-ons and plug-ins. Heroku also allows for real-time syncing with Salesforce.
This headless CMS is one of the tools that we use to store and translate content, and for Prosci it was used to create the specific experiences they wanted. We retained full control over the front end to ensure that the app continues to run smoothly.
Mixpanel is the SaaS product market leader for analytics. It is easy to implement and report generation starts once implementation is finished. It has a natural crawl, walk, run approach to assist with analyzing the data to streamline the decision-making process.
ElasticSearch is an incredibly robust search and analytics engine that is remarkably developer friendly. ElasticSearch centrally stores your data for lightning fast search and scalability.
While many businesses were still trying to figure out how to operate during a pandemic, Prosci was able to digitally transform their entire organization and re-imagine the way that their team thinks about product management. Beyond a traditional partnership, our team became an extension of theirs and has helped guide their product and technology decisions since 2019.
During the six weeks following the initial launch, Proxima was translated into four languages—English, French, Japanese, and Chinese—and it was used in over 30 countries by more than 5,000 users with over 3,000 unique change management projects. By August 2021, Prosci’s team had unlocked an additional 3 languages for Proxima—Portuguese, Spanish, and German—with plans to continue expanding globally.
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