Award-winning Reporting Tool

Goal of this project was to unify multiple reporting tools into all-in-one tool, speeding up the daily scope of work of all Program Analysts. It should also guarantee that Analysts will be able to work even on the Programs that are out of their portfolio.

Honeywell Aerospace


UX/UI Designer, Tester



Understanding the challenge

I was a member of internationally spread team, with colleagues from various departments ans we used several types of reporting tools, which were not unified.

It was fine as long as they worked on their own programs. However, when someone transferred to a different business unit and received excel files that he/she cannot quickly read and update, you can imagine the problem.

I tried to solve it on my own by collecting the best of each report and putting it into one. I pointed it to the Management, which was already aware of it.

Shortly, all Analysts received a challenge to come up with a solution proposal – One, unified report that all Analysts would use and understand. I won. 

One of our new colleagues approached me that he can do the programming part and help me to make my report fully automated by macros. GREAT! I started designing a new version from scratch again. We redefined the borders of what will be possible with this new tool and cooperated on daily basis.



What needs to be fixed?


  • Manual updates (slow, time-consuming, opportunity for errors)
  • Newly assigned Analysts had a challenge to understand all values in the files quickly and mainly, to learn the updating process properly.
  • Additional communication while searching for someone else who can use it and explain.
  • When Engineers and Program Managers received a different version of the report, they struggled to find the information at first.
  • Analysts often worked with multiple PMs and almost every time, each of them required a report which they were used to. That is a lot overtime.


Goals / challenges that we needed to resolve:

  • Develop functionalities that would help all Project Analysts to use it for all activities in the Monthly Business Cycle
  • Easy to read and quick to update (automated)
  • Easy to present data, export them if needed
  • Error-proof, tested
  • “Responsive” to multiple screen sizes (no matter whether an Analyst used FHD or just HD screen - practical for business trips)
  • Readable even for untrained eyes (non-technical positions), who do not look at the numbers daily, but need to provide a feedback on variances


Easing our daily work scope

Job for me:

  • Split the Sheets by purpose: Financial / Scheduling / General overview / Interactive Pivots, etc.
  • Design sheets that will fit all information w/o the need to scroll horizontally
  • Develop a data hierarchy for intuitive split of displayed values (Forecasts, Actuals, $ vs. Hours, Milestones, Charts, Earned Value, Highlighting variances) – by various shades of colors of font and fields.
  • User friendly for every persona.
  • Creating guide at the same time so anyone can learn it w/o specialized training.


Job for MACROS / my Developer colleague:

  • Automate the data downloads with on-sheet Buttons & Macros (linking report to SAP and other internal databases & tools. All calculations and data merging can happen in the background, on hidden sheets.
  • Develop devoted Excel Ribbon(s) to accommodate ease of use of all new ideas for functioning, filtering and managing data.
  • Option to download raw data from SAP, edit them in Excel and load back to SAP – much faster than manually in SAP. Also need for a Calculator function that would make it even easier.
  • Experiment with combining raw data from multiple SAP Transactions and build new sheets with all of them combined. (Not possible or very complex operations for manual work).
  • Possibility to export selected data into a separate file & send by email.




Report UI Design

Designing in iterations (and testing)

I presented our progress on the weekly Staff meetings. This became my routine for several weeks. Once a month, I shared the progress with all international teams as well, to keep them updated and collect early feedbacks.

Our colleagues liked the ideas, so they contributed to it with their own and we tried to include them. However, we had to set a border for that as we would never finish otherwise.

We tested the file from its early versions within our team so we could avoid heading in wrong directions.


Design & Visual presentation

The result was better than we planned. We managed to include almost every kind of view and function that we came up with.

The file contained the following (visible) sheets:



General overview of all listed programs. Financials and milestones. This sheet was also used for including new programs into portfolio, or managing the current portfolio.


Financial details of all listed programs. This allowed us to compare the value between various quarters of the year, SAP planning versions, or even different planning tools.


Simplistic view of program status. Used for groups of Analysts with smaller programs.

PROGRAM DETAIL (screenshot below)

Complete program financial and schedulling performance overview. Almost 300 rows of values and visual presentation from all planning tools, including Earned Value Metrics, details of charging by person (comparable to forecast), and many others. To select a program to view (including its planning version information, year, etc., we used the button on top left, which popped-up a selection table.


A standard Pivot table, EXCEPT - It combined the data source from multiple SAP transactions, which nobody was able to combine and make so simple to update. Pivot table had its own Ribbon tool which we used for controlling of displayed data.


Supporting sheets developed for specific purpose, mostly by request from individual Portfolio groups

Other specialities:


In order to have all of the buttons by hand when needed, we designed a ribbon tool that helped us to download, manipulate and upload all data in the file.


I will gladly explain you how it works in person. Unfortunatelly, I cannot present more details online. I (re)build a sample "Program Detail" screen which we used for reviewing the most important information about the program performance.



When final testing ended, we released it and trained all of our colleagues, including international ones. From the beginning, we also set up a weekly Q&A sessions.

I also put together a handy guide about installing all the plug-ins and setup for the Excel to save time for answering every question.


And that was just the beginning ...


The report quickly became popular and favorite tool within our group of SRD portfolio Analysts, and the two of us, we became well known for development and supporting activities.

It was not just a reporting tool anymore. It was the tool for everything. It allowed us to be connected to every other internal tool or database, and manage it directly from Excel, without accessing anything else.

A first award for effort followed shortly.


Our Manager introduced the report briefly to her colleagues from other departments. So we presented it over Skype. Since then, nothing was like before. Within just a few weeks, we have been presenting it to audience of over one hundred Analysts located globally.


The new plan was to implement this tool for every Analyst on each Program Portfolio globally.

But that was not as easy as it sounded. Many Senior Analysts, who did this job for over 20 years, had a different opinion about such change. They simply liked their way of doing things. For us, the biggest challenge was to prove them that this is a change to better. Even now.


So how did we do it?

  • Our strategy was to include one team member from every other team. They would speak for their requirements in regards of changes that must be implemented, in order to make it work for their teams.
  • Those members were basically “double-agents”, who represented the needs of their team members and had their trust. On the other side, as we did our best to implement their requirements, they spoke for us within their teams.
  • The whole effort took over two years, till it became a standardized reporting tool across the whole Aerospace Division.


Later on, we had a new version release about every six months. Those versions mostly included new functionalities, removed bugs, or just smoothened some of the processes and the speed of transactions itself.

It continues to be the best tool ever implemented by the employees till this day :-)


And some values as well:



3hrs/week (156hrs/year) at an average rate of $60/hr for approx. 200 Analysts globally

= $1.87mil / year.

Nice, right?



Lesson learned:

It was easy to design the first version on my own, but so much harder to design for much wider audience. Once we became the Report Development Group, it was though to push my ideas through. I learnt that in order to deliver the best result, we must make group decision based on data and research.




Marian Lacko

+420 773 247 036


Designed in 2019