Kiewit is a Fortune 300 construction and engineering company with $10 billion in revenue, 23,000 employees, and subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They engaged Object Partners to manage and build an enterprise-wide design system to streamline the development process, reduce technical debt, and align teams, toolsets, and component libraries.
Kiewit needed an overall strategy to contend with design and technical debt, multiple remote teams, and dozens of proprietary apps lacking conventions. Expiring software licenses and staffing departures accelerated the design system adoption timeline. Enhanced security requirements and NIST compliance required expert knowledge and experience implementing design systems for complex business applications. Also, adoption success required evangelizing the design system, continuous contributions from Kiewit team members, and enterprise-wide education.
The OPI team managed the overall project—gathering requirements, researching and recommending solutions, and coordinating multiple stakeholders and teams. OPI clarified constraints and success criteria and audited the processes and toolsets. OPI prioritized communications between managers and software developers to ensure progress stayed on schedule and the new design system would ultimately be universally approved and adopted. The overall solution included the following: Azure DevOps as the standard way for the UI/UX team to manage their work within the software development life cycle. Ant Design for its robust React library and excellent documentation. Atomic Design System in Figma for collaboration tools and design features. ZeroHeight for its organization tools and its clean integration with Figma and StoryBook—for code documentation—allowing for seamless documentation updates.
OPI directed the creation of a design system that improves collaboration, simplifies the building of features, improves security standards, and enforces a stronger Kiewit brand. The design system is a practical means to pay off design, technical, and knowledge debt; it saves countless billable hours by aligning fragmented teams, toolsets, and component libraries. Kiewit is reaping the rewards on the back end of the initiative’s ROI, with a fully fleshed-out design system managed internally by a disciplined, process-oriented UX team that now champions the design system from within their organization.
The OPI team fast-tracked this large-scale project. They knew what questions to ask to get this project off the ground quickly, had a broad understanding of potential solutions, and zeroed in on the right combination of solutions for this unique client. OPI ensured the Kiewit team had appropriate documentation and a straightforward approval process to uphold enterprise coding and security standards.