Creating a new breed of Project Management software

Scaling an expert management consulting firm with a new Software as a Service product

$100M+
recurring revenue opportunity
Challenge

Genioo was looking to scale their business and create recurring revenue through a Software as a Service business model.

Outcome

A new category of Project Success platform, differentiated from ineffective task-centric offerings.

Impact

A $100M+ annual recurring revenue opportunity, synergistic with their core services offering.

“The initial product was much more sophisticated than we expected. Our executive team and board were highly impressed.”

Kathrin Munz
Head of Products & Services

Empower business projects that actually delivered results

Genioo’s founders, after years at a global consultancy, created Genioo based on their observation that most projects do not deliver results. When they founded Genioo, they had a hypothesis that there was whitespace in the market for a new kind of project management application: one that would combine best practices along with access to resources and expertise. After successfully building a growing consulting company, they were ready to partner with a digital product consultancy to explore this market, identify the core features such a product should have, and create this new kind of digital platform.

What causes projects to deliver?

Our first challenge was to understand what caused business projects to succeed or fail, and what challenges were strong enough among business leaders and projects leaders to cause them to consider a new kind of solution.

Our initial research with future target market segments revealed a disconnect between project leaders and business leaders. Business leaders felt a high level of anxiety and disconnect throughout significant sections of projects they authorized with the expectation of certain results. In contrast, when project leaders were given a project, they typically experienced minimal worry and moved straight into project management activities such as creating plans, charts, roadmaps, and tasks. Yet none of these activities were strongly correlated with project success and impact.

Combining Genioo’s expertise with behavioral research, Genioo and Highland were able to isolate a very small number of behaviors that disproportionately affected project success and define the opportunity for a new kind of digital product.

Differentiating a new kind of product in a crowded market

The team used paper prototypes and sketching to explore product features that might produce the result we wanted and clearly communicate to users that the product they were using was doing something really different than the dozens of task management tools flooding the market.

Those paper prototypes evolved into clickable prototypes that helped clarify four features that would form the foundation of a MVP, and embodied the heart of our thinking and learning about which behaviors from business leaders, project leaders, and project teams actually mattered for results.

Delivering software fast

Now that the problem, the opportunity, and the core ideas were clear, we needed to quickly create working software to understand how to best help users execute these key behaviors. Could we help leaders and teams follow these methods and produce better results?

The team shifted to pilot and build, with a small team of developers working with a designer, a researcher, and a product strategist rapidly to build a working piece of software. The team built the first versions of all four major features in under three months. By quickly getting to a place where we could observe users interacting with the product in the context of real projects and contexts, the team was quickly able to iterate on concepts and work with the Genioo team to uncover “must haves” for their final product.

Positioned for growth and impact

The product is now in an early in-market pilot with select clients, further refining their vision of a true Project Success platform before launching it broadly to all business leaders who want to increase the real-world impact of their projects.

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