A Little Backstory
Align is a New Orleans based software company that provides a powerful custom web application leveraging the core principles of the Rockefeller Habits methodology. This unique desktop and mobile app creates focus and alignment throughout an organization, allowing company leadership to set annual and quarterly goals so that all other employees can align their individual goals to these companywide goals. Align was developed as custom app software for both the Apple iOS App Store and Android Google Play Marketplace, allowing teams to manage short and long-term priorities by breaking data into manageable organized chunks and sharing information as simple visual representations.
Partnering with Experts
In approaching this project, we realized that while we are experts in mobile apps and custom software development, we needed a complimentary partner that was an expert in the Rockefeller Habits methodology. We partnered with Petra Coach, a business-consulting firm that has robust knowledge of and experience in implementing this business strategy for corporations around the world, but no previous app development experience. As a team of app development experts, Radolo quickly realized this new partnership was a perfect fit and teams from New Orleans to Tennessee joined to create Align. A brand new team was born from the partnership to build this unique custom software and mobile app experience!
The Challenge and Our Strategy
The Rockefeller Habits methodology has been around for over a century; however, until we developed the Align mobile app and website, the technology used to implement this methodology has changed very little. One of Radolo’s first strategies in approaching this project was to understand how large organizations were implementing this methodology already without the use of custom software. We learned that the majority of companies were using Word documents and Excel Spreadsheets to track both individual and companywide goals. Additionally, tracking short-term progress through “daily huddles” (a brief, daily meeting in which team members report their top priority for the day) was in fact largely paper based. This approach to the Rockefeller Habits methodology was very time intensive and posed a serious barrier to maximizing the value of the entire methodology in a modern age where custom software development can be used to streamline data collection.
Modernizing a Methodology
Our initial step was to dive deep into the Rockefeller Habits methodology and develop a strong strategy for Align’s core features implemented throughout the website and Android/iPhone app development. Radolo immediately recognized that having employees writing their goals on a notepad is a terrible solution for data that needs to tracked long-term and quickly shared across a company. Business travel often pulls employees away from their computers so we also developed a mobile solution that works seamlessly with the web application. During the Align app development, we made sure to build the mobile app interface in a way that would render beautifully on desktops, tablets, and smartphones on both Apple iOS and Android devices. These robust mobile app features mean users can update their performance, track goals, and prepare for daily huddles from anywhere.
Designing for Process
From the very start of the custom app design process we mapped the entire system and designed each screen with one focus in mind – to optimize user experience. By simplifying and streamlining the points of user interaction the mobile app is able to provide customers with the digital tools they need to efficiently implement the Rockefeller Habits. Events like the Daily Huddle are entirely handled through the app including everything from preparation, to moderating the huddle itself.
Throughout the custom app development process Radolo kept in mind that connecting teams and allowing them to communicate quickly and easily was vital to the web and mobile app. Through an intensive series of app design version testing we created interfaces and custom code systems that keep track of any person of interest to see how they’re progressing. Users can even activate email alerts to always know if anyone is stuck on an issue and needs help from another user. During the app development phase Radolo kept the Align system intentionally flexible and new features are constantly being added to keep teams up to date including internal polls and satisfaction measurement tools.
We also learned through the custom app development process that business efficiency could be further improved by developing dynamic tracking of relationships and goals. This ensures company alignment and facilitates trend analysis within the organization. Because our custom software is always built with a design first mentality, we created dynamic visual displays showing company goals and employees’ progress toward these goals. We even gave users the ability to customize their own experience with a modular dashboard that enhances both the web and mobile app.
A Rapidly Growing User Base
Radolo delivered the application development in roughly three months (well ahead of what competing developers were willing to promise) and we did so at a firm and fixed price ensuring no cost overages! Aligntoday.com launched in August 2012 and in that time from our very first company sign up in New Orleans we now have over 5,000 companies and 16,000 unique users have used the custom software.