Progress Factors GmbH
Progress Factors GmbH stands for “Where Strategy Happens”. The company’s experienced international team offers strategic management consulting, placing people at the centre of the endeavour to change customers’ organisations for the long-term. Progress Factors is one of the first companies in Europe to practice the Objectives & Key Results (OKR) approach, making them a pioneer in the areas of digitalisation and transformation.
Progress Factors stands for “Where Strategy Happens”. With its headquarters in southern Germany, Progress Factors’ international and experienced team provides strategic and innovative management consulting to clients around the globe. The company always aims to be one step ahead of market trends and was looking for a trustworthy IT partner to help realise their vision — an online platform for innovative and interactive management consulting.
The Vision — ‘Online-First’ Collaboration
The Founder and Managing Director of Progress Factors, Nick Stanforth, has always been a visionary. He first thought about supplementing his consulting work with a software solution in 2013. The need to change to a more digital way of working would continue to make itself apparent, leading the company to develop the idea further.
At first, the company developed the Pocket Progress Coach application. The purpose of the app was to enable top managers to share advice and know-how with young people who were still at the beginning of their careers.
At the same time, however, they also tested a few other concepts on the market very early on. The idea was to create a seamless addition to their current consultancy services — to digitally support the interaction between customer and consultant, directly in workshops as well as outside of traditional touchpoints.
In accordance with the principle of “Progress on Demand”, the developed strategy and the new guiding principles could sustainably accompany the customer outside of the workshop. A dedicated software solution would give them access to all the necessary processes any time, any place. “Where Strategy Happens” is therefore deeply rooted within Progress Factors, and all of the company’s coaches apply this philosophy in a wide range of customer projects.
Following the latest technology, Progress Factors opted for low-code in order to continue to realise their software goals. Adopting a low-code solution would bring enormous advantages to the Progress Factors Software Roadmap. Such a platform would:
- Provide the security of a robust firewall for sensitive customer data
- Ensure programming takes place according to relevant standards
- Enable the company to proceed with modular programming during development
- Measurably accelerate the development process
- Allow the company to adapt the solution to evolving needs and customer feedback
The low-code solution would support Progress Factors in their aim to always remain ahead of trends and agile enough to react to customer needs, even before they’re articulated.
The year 2020 was characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic — and what was a great challenge for many, turned out to be an opportunity for Progress Factors. The company further accelerated their previously initiated efforts on the path towards virtual consulting.
The company had been using digital platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams for effective consulting with international companies for years. At the same time, the thought also matured that effective virtual advice, using only these tools would not be possible for the long-term. An interactive tool was needed. Therefore, it was not only necessary to start developing this software, but also to implement it quickly, so that it could be used by customers in times that call for rapid change.
Breaking new ground
Tapping into Innovation
Developing a software solution that meets the business requirements of an innovative management consultancy and is able to adapt in times of digital change was the next logical step for Progress Factors. The goal was to develop this software as quickly as possible and to incorporate it into Progress Factors’ business model in order to create an innovative consulting experience for customers.
In the first Progress Factors’ team brainstorming session, which took place at the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, many ideas came up. Spurred on by the current situation and the already agile way of thinking in the team, it was clear to everyone that in a VUCA world that is changing faster than ever, it is extremely important to adapt and be resilient. The COVID-19 pandemic is at best a case study in this context. In light of the state of the world at the time, “Knowing how and when to change” became the team’s core motto. Their focus shifted towards raising awareness of how to deal with a crisis and how to implement (new or changed) strategies. They continued to work, as they always have, in the spirit of "Where strategy happens" — not only to come up with and develop strategies, but also to help companies implement them.
To answer the question as to which platform would best fit the company’s business model, Objectivity held a Proof of Concept (PoC) workshop together with Progress Factors. The company was looking for software that would be fast, flexible, and cost-effective — to meet these requirements, they decided to develop the solution as a Mendix low-code application.
In the late summer of 2020, Progress Factors joined forces with Objectivity, their trusted technology partner, to realise their vision.
The collaboration with Objectivity has been a great success and has brought our company forward tremendously. We were immediately on the same page! The Objectivity team immediately understood our inventive talent and implemented it. Having always programmed very thoroughly and, if necessary, very quickly, Objectivity also understood and fulfilled the high expectations of our customers. The working atmosphere with the team was always very open, inspiring, and pleasant.
Progress Factors decided to partner with Objectivity not only due to the company’s technical expertise and vast experience, but also because of the company values, which they bring to life in every project. This excellent collaboration, and ultimately the end product, was made possible thanks to seamless communication, an understanding of problems as well as constructive discussions aimed at finding the best solution.
With a competent, open, very diverse and service-oriented team as well as expertise in a broad range of applicable technologies, Objectivity is able to develop ideally tailored, fit-for-purpose customer-specific solutions. Throughout the development journey, Objectivity and Progress Factors analysed various ideas and customer requests, leveraging all that low-code has to offer.
Daily meetings on development progress facilitated actionable feedback, enabling the Objectivity team to react to any changes and requests quickly and effectively. A close relationship, based on open communication, developed between Progress Factors and Objectivity, as both companies collaborated to contribute all they could to the success of the project.
The development of the low-code application was a success in every aspect. The introduction of the digital platform not only made the effective execution of consultations possible, but also created a new form and quality of business consultancy. The platform makes it possible for Progress Factors to provide their services online, supports collaboration with customers in real time, and simplifies work processes. While the competitors were still grappling with digital hurdles, Progress Factors was once again ahead thanks to the new software they implemented.
Customers now have direct access to the developed solution, including other tools that can be used on the platform. Progress Factors provides the ready-to-use tool not only to customers, but also to partners, thus, positioning the company as an innovator and trendsetter in the management consulting industry.
Thanks to low-code’s citizen development capabilities, the company can make minor changes and updates independently. Being able to maintain the application in-house keeps maintenance costs at a minimum and ensures that Progress Factors remains agile.
In 2020, Progress Factors not only helped companies out of their plight amidst the pandemic, but the company’s Founder and Managing Director, Nick Stanforth, also wrote a book — "Win With OKR” — to help companies make strategy happen in challenging times.
However, most importantly, within just 6 months, with the help of low-code and Objectivity as a trusted partner, Progress Factors was able to add a successful digital solution to their portfolio, which is already being used in various customer projects. One such initiative involves a large OKR project at TUI Musement, from which Progress Factors has received great feedback. This further validates their plan to create a virtual strategy lab and to continue operating in an ‘online-first’ model.
As a result of the project, Progress Factors is able to benefit from:
- Business growth
- Extended range of services
- Flexibility in the delivery and quality of service
- Lower maintenance costs thanks to low-code
- Effective and interactive collaboration with customers
- Optimised work processes
The digital platform serves as a single, convenient system where customers can access workshops, training sessions, analyses, and reports. Moreover, it has enabled Progress Factors to adopt a new, innovative type of business consulting model — one which takes place in real-time, is characterised by the highest quality of user experience, provides access to a range of useful digital recordings and is completely paperless.
The personalised and tailor-made application, developed in partnership with Objectivity, has provided both Progress Factors and their customers with measurable added value, and will continue to support the company on their journey towards making strategy happen.
Our Client needed to maintain its legacy stack with minimal investment to ensure business continuity while introducing a new strategic solution.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is the first region in the UK to launch an innovative Early Years app, which was created to give young children in the area a better start in life. The app was launched as part of the city-region’s Digital Blueprint project which seeks to leverage digital transformation capabilities to better serve citizens.