Vikas Yadav
Published in

Vikas Yadav

🕵️‍♂️ About

Dash is a product concept for facilities management promoting faster collaboration, efficient management of work-orders and continued communication between facilities manager, ground technician and building occupants.

Duration: 12 weeks (Summer Internship)

Tool used:

🤔 Making sense of the brief

I was handed a brief which read something like this…

In order to make sense and set up a research plan, I further dissected the brief to find opportunity and possible avenues to reach out to…

👐 Getting hands dirty

Not quite literally but the first 3 weeks were just about having the right conversations with the right stakeholders in the space of facilities management. Enter Smart Building Lab, responsible for managing 112 smart buildings on Microsoft’s campus, this lab has sophisticated systems collecting data from various sensors inside the buildings always keeping a track of preventative maintenance of building systems.

After talking to more than a dozen active professionals in the field, I condensed my learning as follows:

👀 Finding the juiciest problems

Space of facilities management looks ripe with problems, however, it is a broad space and little wicked too. I wanted to arrive at a problem space that was reasonably scoped but had the most impact on the process of facilities management. So, how does facilities management look like?

The illustration captures key processes, stages and stakeholder involvement in the process of facilities management

Initially, I instinctively felt a lot of cool things can be done for building occupants. However, more I got to know this space, it felt like a lot could be done for Technicians to improve their daily workflow.

Let’s take a look at how technicians typically spend their workday…

This journey map is an outcome of extensive shadowing and consistent interaction with building technicians. Green bubbles highlight the opportunity space I intend to tackle.

Key opportunities measured from the journey map are:

  • Technicians are spending only 25% of their time doing actual work
  • There is a pattern to how technicians organize their work orders
  • Contextual information through the appropriate medium will be key. e.g Indoor navigation will be super helpful, however, technicians can’t check their smartphones as they are carrying heavy pieces of equipment.
  • There is a deep need for realtime communication among technicians especially around complicated tasks which need specific knowledge/skills

🎺 Enter DASH

A. Raising a work-order

Facilities manager gets a realtime dashboard with building health. Complaints/maintenance orders are organized building-wise based on urgency and impact. Such can be easily assigned to a building technician with a few clicks.

1. Receiving work-orders

Building technicians receive an already organized dashboard with work-orders sequenced on factors like impact index, the best time to attempt and comfort to occupants.

2. DASH Mode

Dash Mode puts the whole service in automatic mode, guiding building technicians through critical stages of navigating to a building, locating spaces, detecting faults and finally logging the status of a work-order after finishing a job

3. Navigating to job locations

4. Locating fault

“Making invisible, visible”, dash leverages AR along with network of smart devices to visualize equipments otherwise invisible to human eyes

5. Troubleshooting fault

Dash brings in realtime collaboration for building technicians for complex, demanding jobs. A technician can dial-in a fellow expert technician for assistance. Conversations are recorded and language is tagged using NLP engines while allowing the dialed customer to annotate on the dialer’s camera feed. Such comes in handy to go back to an instance of a conversation even when the call has ended.

6. Work-order logging

Technicians will be able to log the status of a work-order almost immediately

B. Realtime updates on work-orders

Facilities manager receives a realtime status update on work orders

C. Pushing emergent work-orders

In cases of exigency, Dash facilitates fast communication between facilities manager and apt building technicians

7. A manual reprioritization of work-orders

Building technicians also get the capability to re-prioritize jobs as they feel. Dash constantly provides a clear visual timeline for technicians to support them make the best possible decisions.

Dash is originally much more entrenched in Microsoft’s product landscape but such has been stripped in this documentation because of contract. Hit me up if you want to know more 🙌




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Vikas Yadav

Vikas Yadav

Product Designer @Microsoft

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