Adding Up the Ways Deltek Is Improving the User’s Experience

October 20, 2022
Tara Cannon
Product Marketing Manager
deltek improvements to costpoint user experience

How do you make something as complicated as financial accounting, for government contracts no less, accessible and easy to use, yet still robust enough to comply with governmental regulations? Can that even be done? Working in the Defense Industry for most of my career, I had come to accept that the rigor around financial processes and time keeping was just part of the job. Like myself, many of you have experienced waking up in a panic, in the middle of the night, and realizing you had forgotten to enter your time at the end of your workday. What I would have given back then to be able to enter my time from my phone as soon as I remembered, instead of rushing into the office first thing in the morning to get my time in before my supervisor arrived.

When I joined Deltek last year, as part of the Product Strategy team focused on Deltek Costpoint, I was particularly interested in how they were going about addressing the afore-mentioned question. What I discovered was that Deltek has been iterating for nearly 40 years on balancing the rigor required to maintain compliance with easing the load on financial teams. With each new Costpoint release, we’ve made strides to deliver on the promise to make everyday tasks easier for financial professionals, while giving businesses confidence in their compliance stance. In fact, enhancements to user experience (UX) make up a large part of Deltek’s product improvement investments.

With some exciting new UX and User Interface (UI) improvements in upcoming Costpoint releases, I would like to take you along as I pull back the curtain on how we approach investments to UX and how these improvements will benefit the Costpoint user community. In this first blog we will explore our UX methodology, how the UX team engages with customer stakeholders, and how feedback from multiple streams makes its way into features and enhancements on the Costpoint product roadmap. In future blogs we will discuss features available now that can boost efficiencies and accessibility and how purposeful innovation is shaping the Costpoint of today and tomorrow.

Insights from Deltek’s UX Team

In Costpoint product roadmap and release meetings, I have had the opportunity to observe the interactions and value that our dedicated UX team brings in helping shape the end user experience for Deltek products. With the expanding sphere of influence that UX has on the success (or failure) of software products, the UX team has become an integral part of the product development process and has in fact grown to keep pace. To learn more about the role their team plays, I recently sat down (virtually of course) with Missy Bergen, a Deltek User Experience Analyst supporting Costpoint.

Missy shared that the UX specialists supporting the Costpoint product development team are involved at the ground floor of all product releases to help ensure that product deliveries are meeting the needs of both current and future customers. She also added that insights and recommendations from the UX team do not end after the planning stage, they are involved throughout the product development lifecycle to help identify problem areas and improvements before final releases.

As to how they decide which recommendations to make, it starts by being grounded in research. “We utilize various research methods in our tool belt, along with talking to Costpoint users early in our ideation and design phases to discover if we are on the right path, or if we need to pivot in any way,” Missy explained. Along with dialog with end users and customers, the UX team aggregates data from multiple other sources including industry best practices, benchmarking studies, usability testing, post-release analysis and more. A critical venue for collecting user feedback on upcoming releases is from focus groups and early adopter programs. Missy relayed that “Ultimately, between our research and product management’s EA programs and focus groups, we can collectively be confident in the improvements we make for our customers in upcoming releases.”

Missy also asked me to pass along how much the UX team relies on the involvement and feedback from Costpoint users to continue to deliver world-class solutions. You are encouraged to participate in focus groups and early adopter programs, as well as year-round research efforts such as the virtual UX Lab where you can opt-in to be notified of new opportunities. One of the best avenues for in-person engagement with the UX team is coming up in a little over a month, Deltek ProjectCon. While attending this annual event, users can visit the UX Lab in the XPO Hall that will provide you the opportunity to participate in short surveys, quick usability tests, live interview sessions and best of all meet our UX team in-person.

Our Best Ideas Come from You!

Who better to help us shape the future of Deltek Costpoint than those that use it most? And as you may expect, with over 2 million users, we collect a lot of feedback. One way we do this is through the Deltek Ideas Portal, launched in May of this year, which provides greater visibility and discussion around user requested enhancements. Costpoint is one of several Deltek products that have their own portal, where through a web-based interface, users can share ideas directly with the Costpoint Product Management team. An important aspect of the Idea Portals is that users can discuss ideas with peers and vote on other ideas submitted through the tool.

I have been able to witness firsthand many “Aha!” moments that our product team has had while they are analyzing feedback and brainstorming ways to help solve an issue or make the product better. Just as exciting is the ability to see in real-time, through the voting function, which enhancements are the most popular. To see for yourself which enhancements are the highest ranking or to submit product ideas, your organization’s Authorized Support Contacts (ASCs) will need to access the Deltek Idea Portals from a link within the Deltek Support Center. Within each portal, you will be able to easily share your ideas with Deltek's Product Management and our community of product users, as well as cast your vote and provide your thoughts on ideas submitted by other customers.

I don’t know about you but having a better understanding of how Deltek approaches UX improvements has made me even more interested in digging into what these enhancements are. There are several great examples of the collaboration between the product management and UX team in Costpoint 8.1 that provide noticeable improvements for everyday users. In the next blog in this series we’ll walk through some of these enhancements such as expansion of automated processes, navigation banners and multi-user capabilities. In the meantime, for those of you that related to my experience with time-card induced panic, you may want to check out this blog on our latest release of Costpoint Mobile Time & Expense.

And One Last Thing!

As you’ve heard, our annual user conference, Deltek ProjectCon, formerly known as Deltek Insight, is taking place in-person November 15 to 18! This annual event, designed specifically for Deltek customers, partners, and industry experts, is the destination for project-based business professionals to gather for unparalleled inspiration, education, and collaboration. This year, Costpoint users can choose from more than 80 dedicated breakout sessions that will deliver valuable content for every role and every size business. If you’d like to see the Costpoint Ideas Portal in action be sure to attend session CP-84, entitled “Amplifying the Voice of the Customer.”

We look forward to seeing you at Deltek ProjectCon ─ be sure you register today and don’t forget to invite your teams, colleagues, and user groups to experience the largest gathering of project-focused professionals!


Don’t Miss Deltek ProjectCon

November 15 – 18, 2022