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Workforce Planning

Improving the Workforce Planning & Optimization with the New Workforce Solution 

This is the Internal Project of Accenture to accelerate and improve workforce management which will help AIP+ to keep the Balance Between Demand & Supply.  

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Accenture

My Role

I led the UX design of Workforce Planning Solution for Accenture since the outset of the project in Jan 2020.

Up until July 2020, I led efforts to evolve the service and address the pain‐points related to the workforce management of the Organization.

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User Insights & Ideation

I partnered with one Business Analyst and one Assistant Manager to uncover insights and translate concepts into features that address users' behaviors and motivations.

Experience Strategy & Vision

I created frameworks and prototypes to share the vision, design principles and content strategy. This helped to evangelize ideas, gain alignment and drive decision making.

Planning & Scope Definition

I and the Business Analyst defined the product with the project manager and stakeholders. I evangelized user goals and balanced business goals. The business Analyst and I, both prioritized and negotiated features with the stakeholders.

Oversight & Coordination

I designed across and collaborated with platform designers and their PM partners to translate product features for platform.

Design Execution & Validation

I designed down on Workforce Planning Solution and executed journeys, wireframes, prototypes, and design specs as well


I designed up and presented work to Business analysts and the Stakeholders to gain buy‐in from executives, senior stakeholders, and many other team members throughout the project lifecycle.

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The Challenge

Deeper Relationships with Users

At Accenture, In Order to balance between workforce needs and customer satisfaction KPI, Business Leaders holistically and meticulously plan and decided to manage their workforce to optimize efficiency and performance

They need a comprehensive AI-powered Workforce planning management, which can provide the full workforce optimization solution from long term planning all the way to short therm interday management 

Our challenge here is to create a solution that evolves with users and help Accenture to understand more accurate workforce management by automating operations, overcome complexity, adapt rapidly, and achieve more effective workforce planning, scheduling, and optimization

Here we were planning to create a solution that enables a multi-pronged approach to increase engagement and unlocking highly accurate planning. With this new platform, we hoped to benefit and manage the workforce more accuratley

The Approach

Good, Fast & Easy 

In order to decrease the workforce planning effort manually, we were tasked to design and build WFP within the existing Rapid Design System Library and architecture. This tactic was perceived to be advantageous and the least risky.

This early architectural decision had a major impact on the quality of the solution and users experience which we could both create and reconcile.

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The assumption was simple— We will create the Solution with our in-built Design library and create this fast and easily. Extend the in-built Widgets and manage other required features that users were familiar with and leverage the existing infrastructure to deliver it sooner and cheaper.

Design Thinking Methodology

We followed Design thinking methodology and started with empathy and find out what all users need to manage a workforce. I and the BA had a couple of meeting with stakeholders to understand the requirements. We first finalize the Feature and then I led the design for all aspects related to the solution. Once all the design get finalized from stakeholders then it goes to the development team

Each feature phase of the project was serialized, starting with the design and development of the platform. Once each feature was designed and approved, the engineering team began the implementation.

I followed by working with platform designers to translate product features for their platform’s context. Concurrently, I would design the next feature in the pipeline, whilst also working with my own platform engineering teams to execute the current feature through to completion.

Working backward from fixed delivery date, meant that design was subsumed into an engineering‐driven process. Sign‐off milestones were driven by engineering estimates and time to create the right design was the time left over. The combination of fixed delivery dates and aggressive scope created an intense environment with many coordination and time challenges.

The Discovery

Users Insights

We conducted meetings with some of the users and did some research to drive our planning phase. These are the key insights that defined the launch version of the product:


Long-Term Forecasting

Need a solution that can produce the most accurate results from among dozens of options and can analyze historical data to precisely understand scheduling and forecasting needs

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Detailed Shrinkage Planning

Need to find out the way which impacts long-term hiring needs to reduce the stress of understaffing and overstaffing in the organization


Meet Critical Goals

Need a solution that can enable planning to meet organizations' most critical goals and see potential outcomes based on different scenarios.


Reverse Solve for Performance Targets

Need a solution that can Identify the staffing requirements needed to hit the specific performance targets.

Many more like these

The Vision

WFP Suite - All-in-one solution

Our vision here is to create a WFP Suite with all the possible modules in it that can help and give the best value solution to all the users.

We only wanted to focus on helping users so that they can discover all the features and make full use of the solution which makes them Work Smarter, Not Harder. We envisioned the future of the workforce planning solution to be deeply optimized and automated 

With this solution, users can efficiently meet KPIs, drive engagement and adopt new solutions that empower the teams to work more effectively.

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With Workforce, planning solution users can automate Intraday Management to Boost Productivity and Improve experience with Employee Engagement Manager which will add a layer of Intelligent Intraday Automation to the workforce management domain. It will empower users to proactively monitor KPIs and staffing variances in real-time and automatically identify and solve near-term operational challenges.

Value is what we wanted our users to shout about. 

The Service

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As Is Analysis will display the overiview of current and future state of the workforce that identifies and evaluates business’s processes. It can focus on an entire business organization and represent the data in a graphical version. As-is analysis allows a business to evaluate the current state of its processes and identify opportunities for improvement. It will help to save money by reducing costs and/or increasing productivity followed closely by the need to improve customer satisfaction to remain competitive.

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Supply Analysis 

The supply analysis helps the user to understand the current "supply model" or "staffing assessment," which involves an analysis of an organization's current labor supply.  User will be able to see all the reports related to the supply of the Organization

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And, all the other important modules in it...

Introducing WFP Solution

We planned to design a workforce planning suite that will be available to different users with user-based features in it. The solution intelligently and automatically communicates with managers and employees to resolve issues, enabling organizations to adapt rapidly to intraday staffing and performance fluctuations, reduce costs from overstaffing and meet service levels.

The Framework

How We Got There

The biggest challenge I faced throughout this project was balancing moving forward with designs, whilst collaborating with the wider team. Since this project touched every part of our business, I needed to coordinate and get buy‐in from many stakeholders that were both co‐located and distributed. This was hard.

Managing feedback was even more challenging because it felt like a swinging pendulum of viewpoints. The team spent a disproportional amount of time debating design decisions— when there wasn’t data that could easily be gathered to help drive a decision.

The impact was agony, paralysis and a growing skepticism for instincts in the design process.

I observed this pattern early enough in the project and invested time into creating documentation to help alleviate the data crutch and better articulate and distribute design rationale. Doing this upfront was quite time consuming, but saved a lot of back‐and‐forth as the project progressed.

Design principles and the content prioritisation framework helped to create visibility into my decision‐making process and galvanise the team to share in the vision.

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Content First

My earliest design challenge was to propose how we would display content in our Workforce Planning solution for different users.

I hypothesized that the priority of Admin user content would be different as they can see all the functionality and features in the web app. Whereas, all other Workforce Planner users would have different content and features in theirs profile.

I did not have qualitative data to support this and subsequently created a hierarchical flow chart. My aims were to understand how users in the organization thought about different categories of content and what was most important to them in their context

I and the BA had discussions on user-based features with the stakeholders and different users of the web App. During this think‐aloud exercise, we surprisingly find out that users' content was based on what they felt during the workforce planning and what is relevant to them, what will help them to manage hiring, forecast, manage and automate the process.


The results highlighted that we needed to prioritize user-based content which will be familiar to all the users. I then started designing the workforce planning suite as per the user roles. I then coupled the optimization process with automation to create the rest of the structure.

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WFP Suite - User Role

I and the BA had a couple of meetings with the stakeholders to finalize the User Role as in who all are the user of the WFP solution. After finalizing the users we learned that  started to design the solution for with admin user. 

  • Our main and important user will be the admin user, who will have all the right to view and manage the overall workforce planning of the organization.

  • The next important user is the Hiring person which will manage the Demand supply in the organization.

  • The workforce planner is the most important user who will visualize the impact of potential decisions and future workforce trends, and understand the impact on KPIs like service level and ASA.

  • The workforce planner needs to ensure that his hiring and staffing plans match the organization plan so that customer satisfaction goals are met. 

  • The companies forecaster is the other user and his goal is to create an accurate forecast 

  • WFM Scheduler tasks to create companies schedule

  • Organization Operations Managers to manage a team

Based on this information, I designed the admin solutions. This was designed to monitor, detect and balance this interday gap automatically. It helps in reducing upfront decision‐making, reduce cognitive load recalling and carry a stronger information scent for users.

WFP Suite

Creating a WFP suite for admin users and a dashboard for other users presented a novel design challenge because it needed to work for everyone. I asked myself two questions:

  • How was it possible to effectively satisfy both admin users and other users, when they have very different motivations and goals?

  • How would we utilize existing design patterns, if they were heavily optimized for users experience?

From the outset of the project direction, I felt it like a bad idea. I knew, however, that the decision had been made and I was not in a position to influence it—not at the time anyway.

Rather than think catastrophically, I moved forward by focussing on the strengths of the approach.


After analyzing the strengths, it seemed logical to create a simple dashboard for other users with their user rights. Our proposal was to allow all the users to easily use all the required features in their dashboard in comparison to all the features available in the admin panel

The next challenge was to communicate to users what content was their in the user-specific dashboard and how they could use them.

Detailed Design

Communicating Design

Accenture upholds infamously high standards for the work it produces both externally for customers and internally for team members to consume

This has created a culture that seeks to earn trust through accountability, diving deep into the details and inviting others to scrutinise work. Heavy documentation is the artifact of such a culture.

The sheer size of this project and the structured design thinking approach meant that I needed to have everything figured out before teams would commit to moving forward with the work. Many teams involved in the project needed to see it in a documented format which I have created in the form of Jira Stories and some documents as well.

For each feature phase, I went through cycles of requirements, consensus, approvals, detailed specs and handoffs.

My process involved sketching and white‐boarding concepts and flows with my BA partner and then translating these directly into high-fidelity design comps. Since I was working with many existing design patterns, it was relatively easy to move straight into high-fidelity designs.

My next step involved is to design all the screens in Sketch and XD then slicing the comps and piecing them together in InVision into a prototype.

In the early stages, I focussed only on representing the Designs to the BA for approval. Later phases allowed me to focus on micro‐interactions, which I created in InVision.

Prototyping was the most effective way to gain meaningful feedback from the team, consensus from stakeholders, and approval from senior leadership. I was able to easily distribute these as a link to get reviews on them


Detailed Specs

I created one set of documentation during this project to communicate requirements to the engineering team and support our quality assurance teams in writing test cases

These deliverables consisted of the CX Spec—requirements and User journeys and the Visual Design Spec & Keylines—the design system.

This documentation required the most rework during the project and was the highest overhead to maintain.

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Testing Our Assumptions

Once the team had a prototype ready for use, we knew we needed to put it in the hands of our users.

2 months before the delivery date we doubled down on validating our wildest convictions. We held user testing which highlighted the top risks in the product to be:

  1. Quality, performance, and stability

  2. Wayfinding

  3. Completing the tasks

  4. Users tasks interaction with each other

And we find out some issue which we needed to fix before moving to the next step


What I Learned

…because it was quicker and cheaper to build it *that* way

Throughout this project, I observed how our team disproportionately focused on measuring outputs, rather than learning and measuring outcomes. This inevitably led to a lot of waste, short‐sightedness and distraction for the team.

If we had asked “are we building the right thing?” as much as we asked “are we going to meet our date?“, we would have delivered a more reliable, intuitive, and polished product, sooner.

Many people asked me if I am proud of working and delivering WFP solution in Accenture. I’m partially lying when I say I am. Let me explain why.

I value simplicity, focus, and utility. I aspire to make people happy by designing experiences that just get out of the way. Craftsmanship and carefully thought-out details are important to me. I truly value user experience and care about helping people completing their tasks as easily as possible 

At the time of delivery, I had difficulty accepting the reality of this product, because I knew where all issues were hidden. I knew the solutions to the myriad of usability issues. I knew which critical features were missing. I knew how much waste was incurred building non‐critical features and inevitably how the performance and reliability of what mattered most were compromised.

My dissatisfaction is not a case of perfectionism, but rather an insistence for quality. Quality that should never be compromised, even in the first version of a product. Quality is the responsibility of an entire organisation and I have learned that magical experiences are only possible if the whole team truly shares in the same values and aspirations.

Fast forward to the present, and I realize that my satisfaction and insistence on quality do not seem to matter at all. The production of this product had nothing to do with how I feel, but everything to do with if and how the product is being used.

So, if you ask me if I am proud of what I created I would still say no, but I would then tell you that I am very proud of what I accomplished for Accenture. I am proud that the team is in a better position to learn, and that delivering this product needed to happen in order to expose how badly things were broken—both in the product and in the way we were working. I believe that great design takes time and wisdom, which is only possible if the entire team is in a position with an accompanying mindset to learn.

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