Propelics regularly runs information-gathering project sessions called “Day in the Life.” These typically occur at the beginning of a customer kickstart but may just as effectively occur during the later stages of the engagement, depending on the type and status of the project. During the Day in the Life process, our strategists have the opportunity to shadow your employees as they go about their daily business in order to fully understand the processes involved and witness first-hand exactly how they go about carrying out these daily tasks. We learn about any pain points and ask questions about anything ambiguous, all of which is crucial to ensure the apps we ultimately produce accommodate in the best possible manner your user’s real-world needs and issues. Further, The Day in the Life sessions build trust and facilitate a stronger working relationship with the client.
First let’s go over the expectations that most commonly accompany our Day in the Life sessions—both from the perspective of the client as well as from Propelics. These expectations are necessary to ensure our Day in the Life findings are as accurate as possible and aren’t tainted by interactions with the subject (nor by our mere presence alone), nor skewed by the subject’s “performance anxiety” or by his/her desire to impress (or conversely, confuse) Propelics.
Naturally, Propelics strategists are expected to abide by the client’s requests. By default, we play a non-participatory role as observer. This does not preclude question-asking, however, as questions are often key to the information-gathering process, which is why we’re there in the first place. Any questions we do ask, however, are worded frankly and unobtrusively during periods of subject inactivity (downtime). Further, our strategists always refrain from pointing out areas needing improvement (unless explicitly mentioned by the subject).
Customer requests can include anything from required dress code to what they expect you to help with throughout the day. As part of the process, our strategists record copious notes, draw sketches and charts, snap photos and capture video on anything they believe to be impactful and relevant to the project. This is also our opportunity to gather any paper-based materials your employees currently use. However, our team is always sure to avoid any professional bias—whether around the current project or regarding related items discussed previously.
We find the best results are obtained simply by shadowing the client’s employees, spending the day with them and following the exact routine the employee goes through on a daily basis. Our strategists literally take on the role the client has outlined for us (often even dressing in company uniforms) in order to gain first-hand knowledge of what the employee goes through on a daily basis and are expected to go the entire day shadowing the respective employee.
Through the Day in the Life process, our team gains a complete understanding for the daily trials and tribulations of your employees—things like pain points, areas needing improvement, areas ripe for streamlining—as well as information about areas that work well. This also includes external forces like environmental conditions, potential connectivity issues, even vehicle/architectural characteristics and considerations. Most significantly, the exercise enables us to realize more fully the impact your project will have for your employees as well as for other involved parties. Only by gaining a full appreciation for the work your employees put in every day are we able to outline roadmaps and document follow-up questions and observations that may have been missed in prior meetings. This gives us a big boost towards wireframing, designing, and ultimately building the apps we ultimately develop to strengthen, streamline and future-proof your business.
Like more information on our Day in the Life process? Check out this episode of Device Squad, Propelics’ podcast for the mobile Enterprise. And if your organization is interested in developing a mobile prototype or POC to simplify business processes and boost productivity and would like to begin with a Day in the Life session, please give Propelics a call. We’d love to help you get started.