In 2017 one of our old customers ordered an online application for managing more
than 100 branches of its institute in various cities of Iran. Many of these branches were
far more than 700 Km from headquarters in Tehran.
It should be mentioned that these branches had more than 4000 students overall at that time and were being increased daily without any management system or online control.
After more than 10 meetings with various members of the board of directors, I as product manager of
this project found these chief problems:
• They didn’t have any online information about the number of students each branch had in the current season.
• They couldn’t trace students who didn’t register for the next term, so they dropped many students through the year without any further follow-up.
• They wanted a centralized customer center that connects parents with headquarters directly to get feedback via a ticketing system
• They wanted to get their teacher under direct surveillance by daily and monthly assessments and collecting reports of daily activities via an online application.
We designed a 6-level administrator panel. There we 6 main roles: Student role, Parent role, teacher role, Branch role, Admin role, and Super Admin role.
Admin and Super Admin were defined as 2 levels of management in headquarters. Branch roles were defined for school or kindergartner principals who managed classes, defined new teachers and new students in the system, and managed courses and curriculums.
Parent role was defined to connect parents with the school and headquarters as well. Parents could text the teacher and talk about their children with the teacher under complete surveillance of the principal.
Student roles were defined for students who attended institute classes for managing and controlling attendances, giving some assessment results to them, and giving some feedback.
As a product manager in this project, I was in charge to led a 5-person
team consisting of a Front-end developer, 2 back-end developers, a DevOps
specialist, and an assistant who was coordinating meetings, collected data,
and trained institute staff to use the new application.
In Addition, holding regular meetings with the customer to conceptualize ideas and ensure that project covered all users’ needs and expectations was my responsibility.
Although some believe control panels are boring to design, I always have had a positive attitude about them and enjoy designing control panels.
In this project, I designed all database tables, designed procedures, designed and sketched all wireframes of every form, and also designed all user journeys at all levels (Management, Branches, Teachers, Parents, and Students).
I tried to confirm all wireframes with managers, teachers, and also some to prevent unpredicted conflicts and problems.
I found, in this kind of management system, procedures should design based on rules which sometimes many of them are unwritten, thus we should in the very first step make a guidebook involving all rules of the company which all managers and staff believe in, otherwise, we will face further problems due to misunderstanding issues because of unclear rules!
After 6 months of launching the system, the consequences rose.
• More than 90% of parents were so excited about this automation system that enables them to get connect to teachers and headquarters easily.
• This system helps the accounting department to have an online control of the incomes of each branch.
• Assisting managing board to predict next season’s income and enabled them to make better decisions thanks to clearance this system was delivered.
• The rate of selling packs, books, and workbooks increased up to 26%, thanks to the convenience brought by this Online system for parents and branches.
• To start designing this online software, we had to create a guideline booklet to clear all procedures. After the implementation, this booklet was like a holy book for institutes to solve some problems in some institute procedures.
If I had to give Reza a nickname, I would call him “Mr. Always On-call”! Reza is so creative and intelligent. Our procedures were not that thing we could mention as clear procedures, and we had to automate them due to the exponential growth we faced at that time. Reza and his team were so patient, accurate, and also professional in conceptualizing our needs to website form. Thanks to his strong background in ISO standards, we succeed to simplify many forms and procedures and after that made them automated. In addition, After the disaster happening in our Server provider (IranHost Co.) in which all servers were hacked in 2021, Reza and his teammates retrieve our data completely in less than 4 days without charging us! I recommend him strongly to people who think about long-term cooperating.