An industry leading Online Program Manager

Executive Summary

Noodle Partners is an industry leading Online Program Manager (OPM) that helps schools build world-class online and hybrid programs, saving universities tens of thousands of dollars per student. They provide universities with improved control, less risk, and lower cost. Furthermore, they work collaboratively with universities to assist in transforming campus-based programs to their online presence. Noodle Partners prides themselves on their cost, flexibility, and transparency – providing an integrated OPM solution that works for everyone.

At many universities, no central data warehouse existed to provide information required by teachers, administrators, sales representatives, and executives. Noodle Partners set out to solve this problem - they partnered with JBS using a hybrid workforce model and started creating a minimum viable product (MVP) for their new platform. Following agile software development practices, the team successfully completed the MVP on schedule. As a direct result of the team’s success, Noodle Partners continued working with JBS and moved forward with refining their MVP into a fully realized analytics platform.

Challenges

Noodle Partners strives to re-invent online education and has been extremely effective at competing with other OPMs by identifying deficiencies of traditional methodologies. They distinguish themselves from their competition by aligning with customer interests and by hiring experts in the field who worked for OPMs, universities, and in education. Having this experience, they understand many of the challenges that universities face.

One pressing challenge in the education sector is the lack of availability and accessibility of marketing and learning data. For most universities, there is not a standalone platform where different users can access the data that they need. Each system within a university’s ecosystem contains only some of the data that any individual employee requires. An employee of the university commonly needs to access multiple systems in order to perform their duties.

How JBS helped

Noodle Partners envisioned a solution to this data challenge – a central dashboard where all teachers, administrators, sales representatives, and executives could go to access all the data they need, anytime, in real-time. Existing learning analytics and marketing data for online courses could be collected and made available in a single, streamlined application. This data would allow universities to identify ways to trim their budget and enable them to identify patterns in engagement data and pursue better student outcomes and increased student engagement.

Noodle Partners decided to invest in developing a minimum viable product (MVP). This served as a production quality proof-of-concept, allowing business users and shareholders to make decisions about the viability of the new platform. The development of the MVP product was ambitious – requiring more resources than were available at the time. Noodle Partners chose to partner with JBS and work collaboratively in a hybrid-team model. This hybrid development team worked effectively together to deliver a front-end and back-end product that aligned with Noodle Partners long-term plan of a true data warehouse.

Results

Noodle Partners and JBS team collaboration successfully delivered a working MVP within the allotted three-month timeframe. The hybrid team followed an agile software development methodology, delivering results quickly and reducing the feedback loop between business and development resources. By delivering early and often, the team was always on-track and aligned with expectations. The hybrid-team model that was utilized by Noodle Partners and JBS was so seamless and successful that Noodle Partners continued to work with JBS.

As a result of the hybrid team’s efforts, Noodle Partners had successfully developed a new dashboard application with rich visualizations. This new product simplified the communication and accessibility of complex data. It streamlined and automated data acquisition from disparate sources and made future scaling much less time intensive. JBS was able to provide high-quality, experienced talent that meshed seamlessly in a hybrid-team structure and provided Noodle Partners with the bandwidth required to achieve their goals.