Case Study

Using Human-Centered Design to Improve Efficiency

Agency employees gain relevant resources and guidance for critical project management tasks


A federal agency department engages private-sector architects and engineers to design, modernize, and construct federal buildings. The department deploys thousands of project managers (PM) who plan, manage, communicate, and execute various projects. PMs use a Resource Guide, a comprehensive internal repository, which provides tools, templates, guidance, and other resources to support their projects. The agency wanted to improve access and timeliness of project management resources to help PMs communicate more effectively with clients.

In 2021, Guidehouse supported the agency in conducting a human-centered design (HCD) initiative resulting in the development of a second internal platform, an Interactive Best Practices and Standards Portal, which streamlined the Resource Guide and housed some of its information, templates, and tools in a more user-friendly approach

To develop a plan for the continued evolution of the Resource Guide and the Interactive Best Practices and Standards Portal, the client engaged Guidehouse in 2023 to evaluate education, awareness, and instruction needs. Potential outcomes included eliminating or enhancing the Guide or the Portal or becoming clearer about both sites’ objectives and goals.



Guidehouse experts conducted an assessment for this HCD initiative to determine ways to leverage, simplify, and streamline the Guide and the Portal. HCD is a creative approach to problem solving which provides a framework that focuses on users and integrates user feedback consistently throughout the design process. The team performed a variety of project tasks, including directing project management, conducting user research, facilitating brainstorming sessions with users and stakeholders, and delivering solutions.

Two of the most valuable steps were conducting one-on-one interviews with nine PMs and facilitating brainstorming sessions with them and initiative stakeholders. Through this research and ideation, the team developed rapport with users, established trust, and ascertained their experiences, pain points, delight points, needs, motivations, opportunities, and more. Based on the interviews, the team produced a comprehensive research report consisting of insights from the users and recommendations for the internal repositories, document, and process improvements, so PMs can be more efficient in performing their daily duties and accomplishing the agency’s mission.

Additionally, the team delivered an assessment report that included proposed comprehensive solutions for improving the Resource Guide and the Interactive Best Practices and Standards Portal in addition to matrices to prioritize solutions. Solutions include but were not limited to:

  • Continuously collecting user feedback
  • Improving site navigation and wayfinding for an improved digital user experience (UX)
  • Communicating site updates via various channels
  • Developing end user training for better technology adoption
  • Each solution incorporated details with multiple supportive elements such as benefits and value, implementation levels of effort, and implementation approach/roadmap.



The solutions developed by Guidehouse enhance the productivity of the PMs when accessing the Resource Guide and Portal. The improvements simplify the way PMs search for, leverage, and download accurate, up-to-date resources needed to successfully perform their work.

In addition, Guidehouse taught stakeholders about our HCD process and supported the shift from a delivery-focused perspective to a user-focused one.

Let Us Help Guide You

Complexity demands a trusted guide with the unique expertise and cross-sector versatility to deliver unwavering success. We work with organizations across regulated commercial and public sectors to catalyze transformation and pioneer new directions for the future.

Stay ahead of the curve with news, insights and updates from Guidehouse about issues relevant to your organization and its work.