Helping a Large HR Firm with a Custom Organizational Solution

Our client wanted to switch long-loading excel sheets by implementing the digital product of their dreams. We’re proud to say that we took a big part in this!

Meet the Client

As one of the world’s largest human resource consulting firm with multiple thousand employees, their clients include many types of institutional investors, financial intermediaries, not-for-profit foundations, and so on.

Our client decided to launch a new product called the Job Architecture. They have been perfecting their system for more than a decade mainly using excel sheets and consulting with their clients. This company wanted to change how things work and wanted to implement the digital product of their dreams. We’re proud to say that we took a big part in this!

Project Background

The tool we developed is a part of a huge system, this specific one concentrates on jobs and positions. Before the product our client’s consultants were focused on creating HR Trees to help companies decide what positions they need to fill in order to function properly. While focusing on empty job positions they also help firms reorganize the current personnel. The main goal is to define salaries and stay competitive on the market.

When we started planning the tool, our client only had consultations using excels without any central database.

The main objective was to create a digital product that would allow the client to impress their customers. Many of the consultants also had to memorise certain rules and regulations which a software could have easily done instead, so this project would allow them cut cost in training new consultants. Another advantage would be the predefined validations and rules in the software, so consultants could focus much more on improving their service.

Naturally, they wanted to gain new customers too.

Another problem with the current excel-based solution was that it required manual work from their customers as well, because they had to transform the excel sheets into various forms (via software integration) to connect with other softwares. These simple export functions we built in are sparing countless amounts of time for our client.

Once their problem was identified the solution came rather easily: we had to build a digital product which would increase customer experience, save time and be much more elegant.

Role of Splendex

Our client wanted a team who could not only program the software, but who also had a very strong architectural view of softwares in order to improve and adapt to challenges along the way. We were specializing in product development from the service side and from the tech side in Angular & NodeJS, and therefore provided a perfect match.

One of the biggest problems in software development is that a programmer gets a design and can only develop what he “sees”. We went way above and beyond to be more than that. To work on new UI/UX parts, be present in architectural planning, also bearing in mind to bring great performance to the end product.

The project was ongoing for 1.5 years. Every excel sheet had to be analyzed and converted into software. We had to pick up a lot of knowledge about how consultants work and knead it into the mass. Some parts were easy to integrate, but most of the work and research was very lengthy. Along the way new parts & challenges were added to the project with a seemingly never-ending scope.

The Process

Have you ever executed a software as you planned?

We were already preselected to make the project happen, however we were challenged to give our best understanding of the project along with our ideas to proceed.

We already knew this was just the perfect job for us as we specialize in Product Development and our most used programming framework was Angular which was a prerequisite.

At the meeting we got some initial workflows and design concepts on how the tool should look like, which seemed very odd at the beginning. Our client has a very special way of working in HR called the Job Architecture which is an extremely complex system to analyze the HR Tree at a given company. The client is evaluated through a difficult labyrinth based on the firm’s input data (mostly industry & size) where the software actually suggests 4-500 relevant job titles from our client’s enormous 40k+ job titles which have ever existed at multinational companies.

So from here on we started consulting with our client and getting in-depth knowledge of their software requirements while sharing our own expertise and perspective. The next two months consisted of meetings along with developing some prototypes. We concentrated on UI/UX and also filling up the database with their 40k+ job titles along with many additional relations.

Once everything was agreed upon after months of planning and prototyping we finally finished the main Strategy Planning process. Which really isn’t closed in a project until the end. Throughout the project we had a consultation about how to do things smarter, faster and in a more efficient manner.

As a key takeaway, from a bunch of problems and some hand drawings we had a complete functional specification and a UI/UX Design in our hands.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

I always enjoy the part where we finish the Strategy Planning. Development always seems happy at the beginning and it actually is… in the beginning!

So we use Scrum from the Agile Methodology which is in short:

This method makes it clear for us to plan, but it’s not always this easy. You have to fight every day to make the tasks clear to your team and a complex software as the JA Tool, you’ll have to be crystal clear with every information. You have to push your team and also the client from morning until the end of a day, every day.

We agreed on a short timeline as that was expected from the project. Which meant we had to break the Agile method multiple times. Bugs and errors come your way every hour and you have to fix them in the current sprint which requires more focus and more time from the team.

As everything was complex we had to carefully select members for the team. I was the one in charge in the role of Technical Project Manager. If it sounds like a cool title here’s a few things you should know about this high risk high reward role:

  1. Everything goes through you which means that you get distracted in every hour with problems
  2. As many people depend on you, you’re always challenged by the client and your own teammates too
  3. You have to wave goodbye to relaxing evenings, as you will be working then too
  4. It doesn’t matter how puzzling a project is, you have to understand it completely (also you have to know how to code it exactly)

For this project I carefully selected 1-1 senior developers for the backend and frontend. It is vital to have teammates who excel in their own fields. And these guys were rocking it!

What Developers Have to Be

To earn this respected place in a team you’ll have to be the following:

  1. Creative and innovative thinking
  2. Extremely persistent (you’ll be next to the Tech PM and join on some late nights)
  3. Amazing in your expertise (you need to re-think the planning, and execute strategies flawlessly)
  4. Truly supportive to your teammates, especially to less experienced developers (it requires a lot of patience)

With these you get a full team who are ready for everything, but 3 men can only do as much with the time they have. This is where our less senior colleagues come in. Without them we wouldn’t function as a whole team.

Although there are a lot of challenges in development and while it constantly changes and fluctuates, this is what we love most. You see your plans evolving, come to life and we build something which truly changes the life of others. Sometimes it’s just a small thing, like administrators can do more in less time. Sometimes it’s you helping a company thrive and deliver better digital experiences!

How to Ensure Quality?

It is one thing to control the development process well, and a completely different thing to provide quality softwares.

We used different techniques with our client to provide the best solutions for them.They have a very prestigious presence, and quality is always much more important than costs.

We had multiple checkpoints with software testings. I was the key person between our client and the development team. So we had a sprint for two weeks, at the end of which we had to demo a software that was free of the obvious bugs in the code. Almost every day I had to check what the guys were working on a specific day. If any unusual behavior or error came up it went straight back to the developers. If the job was done I moved on to the next one.

Next Checkpoint

When you switch to Quality Assurance mode you’ll have to be as peckish as you can be. You test multiple things on different screen sizes. You have to report every pixel slip. Also it is important to try to find abnormalities when you click around a software you’re testing. You need to think about what is inside the head of a user, how can he/she click on a sequence that developers couldn’t figure out in years.

Then the last checkpoint was with the Hungarian Project Manager from our client. He really knew what the people inside his company were thinking while also understanding the project requirements perfectly well. He checked the software each time after we put it through a meticulous inspection process – where the software team wrote unit tests and used SonarCloud, one of the world’s most sophisticated code quality checker tool – and he still had to try and find bugs or issues in the business logic. Thankfully he had to look very hard! 🙂

The real test of a software is always the client. You can never be too careful in development, because when you’re in the profession you think using a software is totally different than an end user who uses it for their daily work in a totally different field.

The Results

Our team has shown extraordinary performance. I personally have learned so much from the client as we were working closely together. Every client has their own style for development, but our Hungarian contacts Bálint and Balázs were extremely talented. Also the Splendex team bonded even more and became closer.

I would love to write more about clients and their results, but of course these data are private and we value privacy the most for our clients!

We’re looking forward to signing new contracts with them for the next dreams they want to turn into reality!

5
Multinational Firms

Use this tool in their daily life, and more will follow.

Innovative
Digital Product

We transformed a core business functionality to an actual digital product. Something which greatly increased sales and quality for our client in this field.

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