How do you share knowledge and experience within an organization?

View of UI developer team brainstorming on their project with laptop, smartphone and digital tablet. Creative digital development agency. in office


The Client

Three entrepreneurs who worked together at a major management consulting firm have an idea for a tool that makes it easier for consultancies and consultants to find, apply and capture the knowledge within their organization. This platform will put actionable knowledge in the hands of those who need it.

The three founded a new company to develop the knowledge management system they would have liked to use during their consulting careers.

Two of the founders were introduced to DFFRNT’s principals when the firm provided customer experience training and support to the consulting firm at which they worked.

“I knew that DFFRNT had the experience and chops to be able to advise consultancies, and obviously they had a wealth of background in what we were talking about. For our tool, there is kind of a mutual benefit as well. A firm like DFFRNT is part of the target market for our product,” says co-founder Joel Osborne.

The Challenge

“Our first problem was the proof of concept was too ugly. People struggled to navigate around it,” explains Tim Hawke, co-founder. “We were coming at this as businesspeople, trying to figure out how to build something that is usable by users.”

As one of the early build partners, DFFRNT is performing user tests and shaping the user experience.

“DFFRNT has invested a tremendous amount of effort into building something that functionally works,” says Hawke.

One persistent issue faced by most consultancies and consultants is that most contracts are won based on credentials and experience. However, projects often must be staffed by whoever is available.

“This is the reason consultancies put so much emphasis and investment behind their methodologies, frameworks and training, often to disappointing effect,” says Osborne.

The reality is that time pressures and competing priorities mean that effective knowledge management – a highly beneficial activity – is not executed in a way that delivers meaningful or sustainable results.

Osborne and Hawke’s firm is building a solution that aims to address this issue. The tool will make it easy for consultancies and consultants to find, apply and capture knowledge. It will be a single platform for consulting teams to use when preparing, running, and reviewing their projects.

Osborne explains the fundamental challenge: “How do we put actionable knowledge and insight into the workflow of people and teams as they are actually working through those projects?”

The Solution

DFFRNT began by testing the proof of concept, using primary and secondary research. Several people within DFFRNT used the platform and reported on their experiences. With this range of opinions and perspectives, as well as expertise in UX and behavioral science, DFFRNT was able to map the customer journey and the needs of target users. The team also had ideas on how to improve access and navigation within the product.

DFFRNT’s UX designers put together an initial design and provided the client with a design guide.

“It sounds clichéd, but their starting point of the customer is so dominant. The method, the way they approach things, is so very heavily focused on customers that the design and the working tools are so much more hands-on, so much more granular, and more specific,” says Osborne.

The Outcome

As consultancies grow and scale, it’s difficult for the experienced principals to be everywhere at once, so the platform will capture knowledge and insight, and structure it in a way that makes it available to people when needed.

The fledgling firm received a design guide, notes and checklists from DFFRNT, as well as insight to the customer journey. “I think a lot of design agencies would probably struggle to be able to codify what they know, to provide that kind of intangible information and insights. But not DFFRNT,” says Osborne.

The Tools

  • UX
  • Behavioural research 
  • Strategic design 
  • Customer journey


“We had a very smooth experience working with DFFRNT. They were very clear on where they were in the process and when things would be done. They bring a level of maturity and experience.

As people, they were genuinely excited by the prospect of what we were, what we are all developing and working on. This is a contrast from some of the other agencies I’ve come across.”

— Tim Hawke, co-founder

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