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From PowerPoint to product design

Read more about: Innovation | Digital

I walked into the room and was surprised to see sticky notes, markers, and tape scattered on the table.

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Was I in the right room?

Was this really a client meeting?

Where was the PowerPoint presentation?

As a second year business analyst, a PowerPoint print-out had been a staple in every client meeting I’d attended.

Today was different. It was the first week of my rotation with McKinsey Digital Labs. I had joined a concept sprint for a pharmaceutical client. We had five days to create a new digital solution that would transform how our clients processed and analyzed financial data.

On Monday, we reviewed customer personas that represented the analysts who create the financial and tax reports. We read interviews that had been conducted previously with these clients (the end users of the product we were developing) and learned how manual and inefficient their current processes were.

On Tuesday, we envisioned the possibilities and sketched ideas for future products and processes that would address their frustrations. We voted on the best solution.

On Wednesday, our user experience designer turned our ideas into a digital sketch, or prototype.

On Thursday, we shared the prototype with analysts via video conference. One said, “This is a dream come true.”

On Friday, we made a final set of adjustments to the prototype and aligned on a clear minimum viable product that we’d develop to quickly address the most critical pain points.

By the end of the week, we had a clickable prototype. Our clients were excited, their leaders were fully bought-in, and their customers were delighted.

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I had witnessed something revolutionary. This was a completely new approach to problem solving. We co-created the solution with our clients every step of the way. We aimed to fail fast so we could continuously improve the design.

Since then, I have led several concept sprints. My favorite parts of my job are that I get to bring out the creative side of my clients and work with a remarkable, cross-disciplinary colleagues who specialize in design, digital, engineering, etc.

Digital McKinsey is redefining how we work with our clients – not only on product development but on all types of challenges across industries and functions. We're bringing together our long-standing problem solving and industry expertise and newer design, digital, and data capabilities to help our clients transform. I am proud to be part of that innovation.

More about Susan

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Susan is a senior business analyst from the New York office. She is on an internal rotation with McKinsey Digital Labs. She is a Virginia native and currently resides in Queens. When she’s not problem solving, she practices yoga and takes pictures on her film camera. Last year, she started indoor gardening. All four of her plants are still alive.

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