The Problem / Opportunity
Professional Learning Communities at Work™ is a proven methodology for school improvement. The process is rigorous and requires coordination and collaboration across entire schools. It also requires educators to change behavior and collaborate in ways that they may not be used to. In working with Solution Tree’s educational experts, we found that many of their customers struggled to implement these changes. Team Tools is a set of web tools that guides PLC teams step by step through the process and allows them administrators to accurately track the progress of their PLC journey.
Product Definition & User experience
During the first stage of this project, we interviewed Solution Tree’s staff, authors and educational experts to better understand the context of the end user, their problems and the content that was to be used in the project. We designed and administered a survey to thousands of Solution Tree’s customers to confirm what we had heard in these interviews. We then built a network of “Design Partners” from Solution Tree’s customer-base and held regular focus groups to discuss potential features, wireframes and prototypes as the project design evolved. Simultaneously, we performed competitive analysis to ensure that pricing, messaging and feature-set would be competitive We worked with Solution Tree’s Accounting and Management team to build projections and a P&L that would ensure the desired profitability. Based on this work, we recommended a technical stack and framework (LAMP/Zend), CSS Library, hosting environment (AWS), and development team.
Onshore Product management > offshore development and qa
Using SCRUM agile development, we established a dedicated team of development and QA engineers in our offices in Noida, India. We then worked in two week sprints - interacting with Solution Tree staff throughout - to deliver a minimum viable product in time for Solution Tree’s event season.
Marketing & sales
We worked directly with Solution Tree’s Marketing and Sales teams to relay the product research and develop marketing materials (website, sell sheets, promotional videos, and sales training curriculum).
Innovative Concepts - Shared Data Analysis Screen
It’s imperative that PLC teams review data from common assessments as a team. Working with customers and educational experts, we realized that a single report could become the agenda for team data meetings. The data analysis screens in Global PD Team Tools were designed to quickly identify patterns and elicit discussion amongst collaborative teacher teams. Educators can hone in on what is and isn’t working in their teaching practice and which specific students need intervention or enrichment.