Project44’s mission is to make supply chains work. They do this by creating a connected, predictable, and sustainable world. Read on to learn how Alyssa Kreer, Research Ops Manager, and her team at project44 team tackle research with Dovetail to improve products, processes, and services.
Rather than sticking to one research approach, project44 adapts to the needs of each customer from a wide range of industries, including consumer goods, food and beverage, retail, manufacturing, and life sciences.
Research has always been a huge part of what project44 does. Alyssa orchestrates high-quality research across their design team and people who do research (PWDR). The organization empowers the team to be curious about their research and the people they’re solving problems for.
Since project44 is obsessed with their customers, research is highly prioritized. To create exceptional product experiences, the team is encouraged to learn from customers and really understand their needs and challenges. Their approach is collaborative and driven by curiosity and empathy. Every research project starts with a designer speaking with customers, using different research methods to gather insights. Insights then inform every design decision the project44 team makes.
Each initiative is a priority at project44. This means one of the teams’ biggest challenges is juggling many research initiatives simultaneously. Project44’s teams— from product designers to project managers—are constantly interacting with customers, whether it be in the field or conducting remote research feedback sessions.
Whether the project44 team members are conducting guerrilla research at a truck bazaar in Turkey or leading research sessions with their many European and North American customers, it’s important that they have a flexible tool to meet them where they are. With Dovetail, designers can develop research plans, upload research artifacts on their time, house notes, pull out themes with tagging, then share and socialize findings with internal stakeholders. Without a centralized platform like Dovetail, the team would need to take more time to collect, make sense of, and share their data.
With the help of Dovetail, the project44 teams have a unified place where they can store all their research data. It’s essential to have a tool that works as a repository for research findings, as well as a tagging system to synthesize qualitative data. Dovetail also has built-in features to create insights and share out their research findings or takeaways with stakeholders. Alyssa says, “This is so validating when it comes to product feature iterations we’re working on, which is constant at project44.”
Dovetail is project44’s core research tool. The designers and PWDR use Dovetail every day, saving them time on juggling different research platforms that make it hard to pull out key takeaways or find older research content.
Since the project44 team can have around 20 research projects on the go at any given time, they have an established process in place. The team kicks off a project by interviewing their customers and uploading that qualitative content into Dovetail. From there, they synthesize that data and either develop a robust research findings document or they’ll use the insights feature to summarize takeaways from that particular research phase. Finally, they easily share these research findings with their stakeholders.
For project44, housing all their research artifacts in one platform is ideal. It means there is one single source of truth, and the content can be visited and revisited again and again. Dovetail has helped the project44 team to understand their products and features and what features to design and build next. The Dovetail platform has also helped cross-functional visibility within project44’s greater product organization, so colleagues on different product pillars have access to the takeaways and outcomes from hundreds of customer sessions.
Looking ahead, project44’s goal is to continue focusing on building out an interactive, functional research participant panel. To achieve this, Alyssa and her team are thoughtfully and deliberately creating a process to run simultaneous, qualitative research initiatives, bypassing the manual process of scrambling to find multiple participants and avoiding contacting the same participants too often. This panel, hosted in Dovetail, will be a centralized place for the design team and PWDR to search for and source customer participants.