How IBM used InVision to transform product delivery

Company size

  • 350,000

Headquarters

  • Armonk, NY

Industry

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Cloud computing
  • Professional Services

IBM Design—known for pioneering design thinking at scale—is powered by 2,500+ designers across more than 50 IBM Studios and Garages around the world. Decentralized org structures across engineering, design, and product mean teams tend to operate autonomously with their own leadership, org charts, culture, and business objectives. Phil Gilbert, IBM’s General Manager of Design, described it as: “Many seats at many tables.”

One of those highly autonomous business units is AI Apps. Over the last few decades the AI Apps portfolio, which includes products like IBM Maximo and IBM TRIRIGA, has expanded through acquisition and internal development. VP of Offering Management, Joe Berti, saw the need to create a cohesive and easy-to-use customer experience, now the norm for enterprise tools. He empowered the team to apply an entrepreneurial spirit to the taskchallenging them to find innovative ways to work differently and deliver products to market rapidly.

IBM+
InVision

Since joining InVision in 2004, IBM has 2500+ active users and is using InVision Enterprise, including: Craft, Freehand, Design System Manager, Prototype, and Inspect.

1010
 days 
from pivot to new implementation
7070
 screens 
created per prototype
33
 months 
to release new products

Challenge

Given the highly cross-functional work of the AI Apps team, Dawn Ahukanna, Design Principal and Front-End Architect, and Andrew Foster, Offering Program Director, knew that delivering product to market in transformative (and faster) ways required the following:

- Adopting agile and design thinking practices
- Applying experimentation and prototyping standards throughout the product workflow

Historically the team used a variety of tooling and methods to do their work. To accelerate their success, they needed to bring cross-functional teams closer together, fostering a greater sense of collaboration and innovation in a single, connected workflow.

InVision ensures the customer is always the North Star, empowering everyone on the team, regardless of responsibility or experience, to deliver great product and experiences.

Dawn Ahukanna

Design Principal and Front-End Architect, IBM

Solution

InVision Enterprise has become a fundamental part of the team’s entire workflow and the single source of truth for project communications throughout critical stages of the process.

At the concept stage, the AI Apps team uses InVision to create early, low-fidelity designs, enabling the team to collaborate quickly and easily. When they move to technical feasibility and implementation, they use InVision to iterate on the early concepts, adding more granular information to understand how the experiences would look within the product. Creating Scenarios in InVision helps designers, engineers, and product managers discuss early-on not only what’s right with the product, but just as importantly what’s wrong.

As part of the shared organizational agile processes and practices, the team uses the InVision + GitHub issues custom integration to update delivery issues with the relevant designs. Instead of developers wasting time hunting around for final designs, designers drop the latest version directly into the development team’s corresponding issues and tasks. This ensures developers and product managers stay close to the design process.

Teams across IBM deploy the Enterprise Design Thinking Loop, a model for action focused on discovering users’ needs and envisioning a better future

Result

Today, the AI Apps team at IBM has adopted agile and design thinking practices not only in the development workstream, but also across functional teams, supported by a standardized toolset and process that includes InVision. This new workflow has allowed the team to complete work that was previously difficult, or even impossible, and has led to unprecedented outcomes: pivot to new product implementation now takes just 10 days, the fastest cycle the team has seen yet, and they're able to release new products in only 3 months.

Further, key cross-functional stakeholders, from executives to developers and designers, are able to provide clear and traceable feedback using comments and share links within the InVision product.

Using InVision has driven a high rate of task completion of collaborative co-creation and feedback between not only designers, but also developers and designers. Design assets are now directly placed in the issue that the developer is working on and implementing, giving the team time to focus on the work that matters most—designing and developing products that are transforming the AI Apps customer experience.