I'm Jim Furey.
Star Wars and comic book geek.
(Pew, pew! BAM! POW!)
Launch of B2B Site w/ Ongoing Updates
I was a primary feature designer for a B2B site launched in 2010 for Giant Retailers as a destination for inventory ordering, sales support, and technical information. This was an ongoing project starting in late 2008 that I continued to lead through my tenure at Giant.
- Primary interface between multiple department heads to ensure key functionalities were met or did not contradict stakeholder needs. Negotiated compromises when needs clashed.
- Designed site modules for placing orders, backorder management, product search, technical information, white paper depository, and warranty claims.
- Compiled functionality requirement frameworks for IT developers to work from.
- Prioritized future modification requests based on feedback collected from users.
- Responsible for the design, curating, and publishing of both rotating and static site content.
- Created and administered end-user education for changes and upgrades to functionality through seminar, small group, or peer-to-peer training.
- Site launch resulted in increased efficiencies for order entry as well as enabling the sales team to shift focus from passive order entry to active account management.
- In 2015 over 50% of all orders were placed by retailers via the G-Store. By late 2017 this had increased to nearly 70%.
ERP Software Launch w/ Ongoing Upgrades
I was the primary project lead for the US Sales Team during the global ERP upgrade cycle from Axapta 3 to Dynamics AX 2009. Cycle started in late 2008 with a go-live in early 2010 and ongoing upgrades throughout the remainder of my tenure with Giant.
- Established project priorities ensuring that key functionalities were present at go-live.
- Designed new processes to meet team requirements if old processes were no longer valid.
- Conducted detailed testing of features to ensure functionality met expectations.
- Managed project completion time lines based on function priorities.
- Negotiated project priorities based on stakeholder needs, programmer availabilities, and software capabilities.
- Critiqued list of projects with critical analysis of requested functions to avoid feature creep.
- Updated and created ERP process use policy and procedures for the US Sales Team.
- Created and administered end-user education on ERP functionality updates through seminar, small group, or peer-to-peer training.
Where problems become opportunities and I get to ask tons of questions! At this point I like to sit down with the different stakeholders to get their take on the issue and the outcome(s) they’d like to see. Knowing the disparate expectations is vitally important as eventually any project will have to address and possibly temper those expectations. This also allows me to learn how speak the language of the stakeholders. If necessary, I’ll throw in some preliminary data analysis just for fun.
As long as I have someplace to start writing down ideas, they’ll all do just fine. At this stage I’m brainstorming. No idea is too outlandish or crazy. What is the perfect world solution? Do I think existing systems will do the job or is new tech required? I will focus on keeping ideas simple and streamlined. Superfluous design is a waste of development resources.
Here’s where I work with the necessary developers to breathe life into the ideas. While I may not be able to do the back-end work, I like to work with the developers to find out what they think is possible and what limitations the project will butt up against. Compromises are inevitable at this point so I do everything I can to understand why. Is it a time crunch? Tech limit? Resource scarcity? Other? Here is where I’ll start to temper expectations with stakeholders, look for alternatives, determine true priorities, etc.
It’s a rare project that runs smoothly from start to finish so being able to check and adjust throughout the process is imperative. Testing makes sure that what we set out to do works as expected. This is also the opportunity to dig for unintended consequences. The discovery process through testing guides myself and the development team to what adjustments are needed. Are they minor, or is it back to the drawing board? Only systematically testing can determine this.
The product has been cooked, signed off on, and ready to deliver, but we’re not done yet! The users need to know what they’re getting and why. Delivery includes educating the users on the features, functions, and most importantly the benefits of what they now have. I prefer to tailor the education based on the product and the needs of the user base. Whitepaper? Webinar? Group training? One on one training? Or in many cases, it’s a combination of all.
"Jim did a fantastic job working with me and my team creating valuable information that we could use to facilitate our daily projects and sales initiative. He was always available to assist and develop creative solutions to any inquiries we had."
"Jim was a fantastic resource while we worked together. He provided instant access to data it would have taken me hours to find. He was also a hard worker who led his team by example."