Agile Project Delivery

WhatsApp (2020)

WhatsApp gets a new Research Portfolio plan, OKRs and the ability to recruit friends and family as research participants. 

The Problem

There were 3 main issues that WhatsApp wanted to solve by bringing in a programme manager to support their research delivery. 

  1. There was a lack of transparency and alignment between WhatsApp and Facebook research.
  2. There were very long lead times to recruit participants for research through existing participant recruitment channels. 
  3. As the team had scaled, there wasn't enough visibility on what people were working on and the progress.
Digital composite of Business people using digital tablet over green background

The Solution

I created a friends and family panel to solve the issue of slow access to research participants. This allowed anyone within WhatsApp and Facebook to access friends and family of employees for small and quick pieces of research and feedback requests. To do this, I had to set up a system for identifying, logging, and processing potential research participants, as well as draft communications that would be shared with employees, their friends, and family, and work with legal to write up the data policy and rewards policy for participating. 

I also created and aligned Objectives and Key Results (OKR) between Facebook and WhatsApp research, acting as the linchpin between the two organisations to ensure there was operational harmony. 

To overcome the issue of a lack of visibility of research project delivery status, I developed a research portfolio tracker and governance cadence to ensure that there was up-to-date information and enough regular reviews so that the US, UK and Asia based researches knew what was happening across research. 

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