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Teachstone Revamped

Sometimes taking a step back and figuring out the general game plan is necessary, and then... drive right into creating change, several small steps at a time.

The Mission

In early 2013 we received a challenge:

Visit, understand and assess
Teachstone's system in one month’s time.

So we set out to to assess their current system and come up with a game plan to fix current issues and to create a better process for new functionality.
Assessments are not about surgically removing the bad parts. They are about understanding the team, the application, the limitations, the users and creating a picture of the current situation so that together we can create a better situation.
Arin Sime C.E.O 

The Client

Teachstone helps K-12 educators to focus on what matters - the teacher-child interactions that improve learning.

Their unique methodology combines in-person classes with online certifications and video based testing and coaching to help teachers improve their interactions with students.

At AgilityFeat, we have a number of experienced educators on our team and we have been honored to apply our technical and design expertise to help Teachstone improve education.

The Operation

Learning.

- Teams have different ways of working. Systems have business rules and users have needs. - Its important to understand that the current process is the product of years of operation. - There is more than just the interface to how the system works, and all artifacts must be considered.
Our team flew to Virginia to visit Teachstones Headquarters. During a week we meet with as many stakeholders as possible.

So we listened...

and validated what we thought we understood, but what happens when listening is not enough?

and evaluated.

Seeing different User Types interact with the system, catching the most common pit falls. This helped us to understand the motivation behind using Teachstone We noted down usability errors, and we looked for the reasons behind them
There is great value in having a live user session and interaction with software and applications.

We heard things like:

"what is the difference here…
I'm confused how to use this information and get where I want"

We saw things like:

The user giving up before completing a task.
Change is about involving administration, marketing, development, financial, support and the user's needs to create a new and unified vision.
after a week of listening and gathering ideas from all of Teachstone's teams, we had a great backlog of issues and also a basic idea of how to prioritize them.

The Debrief

Working on the changes, one small step at a time.

The Testimonial

"The big thing with AgilityFeat that we really enjoy about our relationship is that it's a partnership. We did not just want to rebuild what we had, we re-thought it, we re-imagined it." Brad Groff, Teachstone CEO

"I personally never like to work with a contractor as if they are a contractor and I am the business, and the relationship is contract based. I like it as a team, and definitely, AgilityFeat brings 'team' to their partnerships." Larry Banner, Teachstone Product Manager

Want to see more of
our past projects?

Check out the Sensei Tool ... Sensei is a real time agile retrospective tool for distributed teams. View Project

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