Development of a Management Consulting Firm's M&A Diligence and Benchmarking Tool
Built an M&A team that can capture proprietary benchmarking data across industries and diligence data on target companies.
The client provides professional consulting services to businesses across many industries including banking & credit unions, capital markets, private equity, insurance, healthcare, life sciences, energy & utilities, retail, manufacturing & distribution, and technology.
Their M&A division performs due diligence on target companies that may be acquired, merged, or broken off. The tool we build them during our dual-track agile project allows team members to capture thousands of data points. round-robin style, during site visits. The data is available for immediate reporting of specific benchmarks that signal possible risks to flag in reports. Exports allow final deliverables to be produced from a single source of truth, rather than everyone's individual laptops and tools. Ultimately, the data is aggregated into a central ETL and warehouse tool the client owns, for reporting across all levels in the organization.
The application supports some offline mode (in case of lost connectivity at the client site, or while on an airplane). It's a React front end that leverages Survey.js and a Rails back end.
Design Sprint with Tyson Foods Leads to a New Product in Weeks
Created a new food product that Tyson was able to launch to market within months of our design sprint.
We facilitated a multi-week design thinking workshop for Tyson Food's Innovation Lab. I participated in several ethnographic research sessions.
The team identified several new products across new and existing brands. We "prototyped" food (I actually got to make it with my own hands in the Tyson test kitchen!) and the product went to market just months after our design sprint - talk about getting our to market fast!
Pivot into Healthcare with Nearly Triple the Revenue
Helped a wellness company pivot from working with SMB to healthcare plans with an average of 150,000 members.
• Pivoted into the Medicaid market through an SMS-based rewards program.
• Laser-focused the MVP that got us to market within weeks, not months.
• Redesigned a customer portal that could be integrated with familiar services like Fitbit.
• Reduced the complexity while improving performance and transparency.
• Helped the client nearly triple its annualized revenue.
• Worked on an agile development project included user research and Google brand sprints.
Launch of Neil Patel's New Product: Subscribers
Built Neil Patel's Subscribers—a user subscription system—to handle over 500,000 browser notifications for a single client.
• Enabled publishers to send customized push notifications to their subscribers.
• Collaborated with their dedicated product owner to iterate through new features.
• Developed a highly flexible pricing model integrated with Stripe.
• Integrated notifications with the Drip API.
• Scaled the infrastructure to support a rapidly growing subscriber base.
• Allowed custom scheduling by time zone, campaign, and product.
• Separated the WordPress marketing site from the application.
Chatbot Matches Students to Leadership Opportunities at Rice University
We built a chatbot for Rice University to match incoming students to relevant leadership programs across its colleges.
I delivered various wins for the wonderful folks at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders.
• Facilitated a five-day Google design sprint with their team and our designers.
• Planned and facilitated a joint project kick-off with Doerr Institute leadership, the Rice University IT department, and our team.
• Coached members of the Rice IT team on agile practices.
• Fully immersed their developers into our team to ensure minimal disruption at launch.
• Managed the project from inception to launch, on time and on budget.
• Successfully managed a considerable reduction in budget mid-project.
• Ensured successful launch and transition to their IT department.
Design of a Salary-sourcing System for a Large University's Department of Medicine
Improved the sourcing efficiencies of 1,500 medical employees' salaries from multiple funders.
The university employs around 1,500 faculty, fellows, staff, and temps, all of who are funded differently. A faculty member can be paid from six different sources, for example. Our system allows payroll staff to split salaries accurately across monthly and bi-weekly pay periods, for fiscal and academic years, and across grants with changing requirements, such as NIH caps. Users see discrepancies right away, and we also support prorating for changes mid pay period and for multiple salaries across jobs and fiscal years.
This was a 14-year-old Pearl application we redesigned and redeveloped from the ground up, though user interviews and design sprints. it was a dual-track agile project. We used React and Rails and integrated it with the university's Shibboleth single sign-on.
Idea Sharing and Event Management Platform with Chicago Ideas Week
Enabled the client to manage all content and integrated with their back end—events, videos, speakers, memberships, payments.
The primary challenge was helping Chicago Ideas pivot its user experience to match its transformation. It was shifting from a week-long idea festival—with a site meant to showcase events and sell tickets—to an organization that finds and spreads the brightest ideas year-round via its content, videos, and other programs. The new site still lets users browse speakers and attend events. Yet, now, it also presents clear and concise information about CI’s initiatives and highlights its incredible library of videos from past events.
We developed a custom Ruby on Rails CMS that allows them to construct pages out of reusable design elements quickly, so they can create responsive content without having to rely on a designer to build each new page.
We created 38 reusable pre-designed blocks. The blocks can contain videos, images, and text and can even pull data from other parts of the system (such as a list of events or speakers). When the content team needs to create a new landing page, they can drag and drop a header block, newsletter signup block, text block, and image block into the order they need them. The pieces are designed to work in any combination, so CI can build the functionality that works for them.
Unifying a Brand and Building a Sales Tool for Keiser
Created a full digital strategy and tools to support the world's leading fitness equipment maker and their sales teams.
• Coached the client's leadership and design agency about working in agile which allowed us to make continuous, visible progress.
• Built a new site from scratch by customizing an off-the-shelf CMS tool (Craft) that could be managed without developers going forward.
• Saved considerable budget by finding a commercial solution instead of customizing one.
• Iterated from providing dynamic product pages to offering e-commerce options.
Design and Development of Pecha Kucha’s First iOS App Across Continents
Built their first mobile app, Pecha Kucha of the Day, to leverage existing content from their CMS.
Pecha Kucha’s unique presentation structure caught on quickly in the creative community. Each speaker gets 20 images and 20 seconds per image. The slides automatically advance. Pecha Kucha is not expected to be as polished as TED, it’s real people telling authentic stories in local environments. That, plus a visually rich and engagingly fast format, has helped it grow to just about every major city on earth.
In the app we built, the most popular presentations are pushed to users every day without additional burden on a limited team.
• Collaborated directly with founders.
• Managed a small team of designers, mobile developers, and Rails developers.
• Managed project scope, budget, and timeline.
• Facilitated regular client showcases for the broader PK team.
First Technology Project for a Financial Ratings Firm
Built a custom subscription service integrated with Stripe to deliver financial ratings digitally, replacing print materials.
IDC uses its unique CAMEL rankings of financial ratios to determine the safety ratings of more than 12,000 banks, bank holding companies, savings institutions, and credit unions in the US. Prior to my work with them, these ratings were printed and shipped to customers each quarter. In 2015, IDC engaged my employer to develop an online portal where customers could subscribe to various digital options. As one of my first clients, I worked with IDC to implement an initial solution that evolved over several years and annual releases.
• Designed a custom online portal offering various subscription options.
• Conducted various user research sprints to inform key features and pricing levels.
• Designed a robust ETL process to move data between their proprietary back-end to the portal.
• Streamlined a fast online purchase experience.
• Integrated one-off purchases and recurring subscriptions with Stripe.
• Offered more advanced "team" account management.
• Provided simple administrative tools for their staff to review and publish quarterly data.
• Implemented multiple-factor authentication and a device management tracking system.
A Nonprofit Matching Professional Women with Volunteer Opportunities
Advised, as a small nonprofit, a WomenOnCall with their digital strategy by serving as their product owner and PM.
WomenOnCall (now Chicago Cares' program Skills for Good) connects professional women with nonprofits looking for volunteers with specific skills and industry experience.
In 2014, my employer built them a platform that matched nonprofits with volunteers best-suited for their projects, powered by an algorithm crunching location, skills, and interest.
I began working with them in 2015 when their project strategist was on maternity leave and loved working with them so much that I kept them! They remained my client through their merger with Chicago Cares.
• Conducted a lean user research sprint focused on specific personas.
• Updated the user flows to improve conversion goals.
• Refreshed their website branding.
• Improved analytics tracking using Google Analytics and Mixpanel.
• Continued improving their back-end administrative tools.
• After their merger, we collaborated with their vendor to help them build a similar user experience.
• Performed QA for their new application.
• Retained key administrative functions in place while the public-facing site was migrated.
• Migrated content after their merger.