APPLICATION DESIGN WITH DATA STRUCTURE
ACT Bridge is an innovative start-up that offers online tools to medium and large businesses for recruitment, career development, performance evaluations, and succession planning. ACT Bridge’s vision is to change the way managers and human resources look at an organization. Rather than putting a focus on evaluating and promoting employees based on an organizational chart, ACT Bridge’s product maps a job to the skills and knowledge critical for job success. This approach uniquely allows businesses to look at the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and match them to the right job during recruitment and career development.
ACT Bridge had three business challenges in designing and creating their application.
- The ACT Bridge solution would be broken down into four distinct products: TRUE Selection, TRUE Development, TRUE Performance, and TRUE Succession Planning. Each product would need to work as a stand-alone application and be integrated with any of the other products, and work as a cohesive whole.
- A nationally recognized occupational database would need to be leveraged, allowing for the data to map to an organization’s existing job force. The mapped data would provide job-related analysis for hiring, evaluation, career growth, and succession planning.
- They needed graphical representation of an organization, based on skill sets and knowledge rather than the traditional hierarchy, would need to be automatically generated by the system. This graphical organizational “map” must be easy to understand by human resources and executives. The map would be used in TRUE Development product to help the user visualize career paths and make critical decisions.
In addition to these three product-related challenges, ACT Bridge needed to start development quickly. They needed to bring the first application to market before the solution design was complete on all four products.
To speed time-to-market, development started for each product immediately after the discovery was completed, with discovery and implementation efforts running in parallel.
“The transition was great. The people here were very interested in the idea and had a lot of great input. They helped us better understand what we needed to do to bring our product to the finish line and make it functional with our business model. If you ever need a software to get built, this is a very capable team that will get the job done, they will get it done well, and on time.”
Through collaborative design sessions with ACT Bridge’s product managers and our solution and creative architects, the four separate applications were designed to work as a cohesive whole with features and functions itemized through User Stories. The discovery effort, which sets out to design and create the application blueprint, initially focused on the shared components and then moved into designing each application one by one.
To leverage the third-party occupational data, one of our solution architects with a specialty in data, took a deep dive to understand better the schema and data provided. A data structure was designed to allow the application to capture each client’s unique organizational structure to data attributes of related jobs in third-party databases. With the data model complete, screens were designed to facilitate the initial configuration exercise of mapping the client’s data to the relevant fields of the third-party occupational database.
The final and most challenging part of the project was to graphically model the jobs of an organization based on related skills and knowledge. We worked together through several iterations to design an organizational map to assist the career planning, career development, and succession planning needs of the product suite. Wireframes fed into the algorithm design until a final design was reached.
ACT Bridge was able to take their concept, and through an iterative solution design process, build a viable product to sell to the market place. As intended, ACT Bridge’s beta product customers moved to the production version of TRUE Talent.