Toknean is a tool for managers that launched in 2016.
Tonkean's vision is to give managers the ability to track what they care about, and combine the power of big data with context and insight from the people who have direct knowledge of what is actually going on in the field.
I joined the company 10 months ago. This is an ongoing effort :)
Research & competitive analysis
We had lots of ideas of where this could go, but we needed to talk to managers and better understand their day to day difficulties and work processes. We weren't targeting specific managing verticals at this point. We wanted to talk to every type of manager (Sales, Customer success, Project management, etc), and see where our product could grow to.
During the interviews we came across the same problems:
- Several communication sources: Email or Slack were used a lot for communication, as well as file sharing. Soft data was all over the place.
- Hard data was also spread out across systems: inside the company's own data base, in outside systems such as SalesForce and JIRA. Even if the company was using a CRM, they still had a problem with day to day updates and crisis.
- Sales were completely out of sync with everyone else, and were constantly being chased down for information. Never updating their CRM.
- Teams needed to manually input information from one system to the other, track progress via email
- Mid level managers were using excel to create reports for their higher level managers.
- Managers had no way of seeing qualitative and quantitive data together, and had a problem keeping track of what was REALLY going on.
We also were able to see actual work product. This really helped us understand that our prodocut needed the flexibility and complexity of, dare I say it, an excel.
There is a range of products that are around what Tonkean does, but nothing similar. I decided to focus on BI tools as well as project management tools, to understand the range of solutions each offered and what we missing from both.
- Managers at every level needed all their data in one place
We knew this before the research but it became a much stronger use case once we talked to people.
- Mid level managers were feeling the pain the most. They were not only managing their team and having lots of sync meetings needed prep time, but they also needed to create reports for their own managers. Those reports were not necessarily important to them, but never the less is was another job to be done.
- Manually inputing information into all these different systems was something both managers and their team were finding hard. Managers were concerned they were missing important information, and spent a lot of time in meetings getting updates from their team. the information in the current systems was just not up-to-date sometimes.
- Current BI solutions aren't helping managers understand what's really going on, and are disconnected from the team's input. The amount of data was just too vast, and was disconnected from their team input.
- Keeping track of all the data, anomalies etc is hard
Parallel to the day to day tasks, I started looking at what the current product offers, what the marketing was, and where we can grow and improve.
Tonkean has a smart idea - giving context to data, using a Bot to proactively reach out to owners of tracks (anything a manager wants to track). However, there wasn't any use of data in the way BI tools would. We had the context down, using the Bot we had a clear advantage over other services, but the data part was missing.
Ideation & brainstorming
These last few months I worked with the CEO and product owner on a lot of new ideas, all aimed at giving users more value, on-boarding them more successfully, and keeping them around longer.
Lists become Dashboards
To evolve the product to where it needed to be, we changed the simple bullet list we had to robust, easy customizable, table. The manager could add as many Live data points as they needed, as well as Metrics into This was also a crucial step in changing that misconception that Tonkean was just another Task/project management tool.
Address manager's FOMO and anxiety
The bot automation workflow was great, but for managers to really get value out of it, we needed Tonkean to monitor the data for the manager, and have the Bot proactively get the crucial information back from the track owner to the manager.
A curated Digest
The Digest is a curated, daily overview of what they’re facing for the day/week, that is also actionable.
It is a way to help the manager focus on what's really important instead of sifting through a constant flow of notifications. Every drastic change in data is surfaced and every major update from an employee.
The manager can take action right there, by directly asking the owner of the track (can be an account, or a customer), following up to review later and/or set up a meeting, or forward it to whomever they feel need to know about it.
Finding the right onboarding has been hard, and is still not there 100%. Research and usage showed us the most critical thing users needed to do in order to get value out of Tonkean was to create a meannigful list. We needed to help them understand what that list would be for them, and help them set it up fast.
We also found, that users read about the Bot but didn't fully comprehend how it would work in real-life, therefore the on-boarding also needed to introduce the Bot and explain what would happen once it's active.
Simplify and Bot Question flow
Our data showed a drop in engagement with the Bot, and we realized they just didn't know what to tell us. That meant the manager wasn't getting the information they need and we needed to improve.
- Worked an onboarding messaging the manager can send to the team, so they'll know what is this strange creature, and also know how best to answer it.
- We used external data changes as triggers for when is the right time to approach the end user.
- The questions have more context, and not as generic
- Simplified the answers so users aren't faced with too many decision to make. I also re-wrote the content: the questions now have more variables to them so users don't always get asked the same thing.
Change our messaging and redesign out website
The next generation business dashboard
Future updates are coming, and it's going to be exciting.