PowerHA, an IBM Power product, is a staple for most enterprise IBM customers, and has existed for over 20 years. It helps facilitates keeping businesses running during all types of outages: planned and unplanned. My team was brought in to investigate the places experience System Administrators got stuck or slowed down, and come up with a solution to improve the product.
Since the customers who user Power are a minority of the server market (35,000 customers worldwide), the availability of customers who knew the product and could give feedback on it was significantly limited. Being that they were such a niche group, finding those who were available and interested in giving feedback was an even smaller group. Over the timespan of a year and a half, and 12 three-week sprints, I
I cultivated relationships with each of the 25 participants as the engineering and design teams listened in to each call I facilitated. During each call, members of either team could message me questions they wanted me to ask customers so that each call was just between the customer and myself. With each week’s feedback we iterated on the design and functionality until there were few usability errors.
I analyzed the data I collected and presented my research findings and recommendations to the 5-person design team, 17-person engineering team, 10 stakeholders, and 3 executives overseeing the project. I continued working with my colleagues improving the product with feedback and guidance from the customers.