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Transforming Learning:
The BMO GAM Continuing Education Portal



BMO Global Asset Management (BMO GAM) is a leading player in the financial services industry, renowned for the commitment to innovation and the development of cutting-edge investment solutions. However, in the ever-evolving landscape of the financial sector, staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends, accreditations, regulations, and product offerings is no small feat. Our client has witnessed the significant challenge of providing ongoing and accessible education to their financial advisors.


This case study delves into my journey in creating the BMO GAM Continuing Education Portal. It explores objectives, the approach our team adopted, and the impressive impact our portal has had in empowering financial advisors to thrive in an industry characterized by change and complexity.

Identified Objectives: 

  • Offering a User-Friendly Platform: To provide financial professionals with a seamless learning experience. The platform should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and accessible from a variety of devices.

  • Ensuring Compliance: The portal need to facilitate adherence to industry standards and requirements, guaranteeing that financial professionals operated within legal and ethical boundaries. Compliance is critical not only to safeguarding the interests of our clients but also to maintaining the integrity of the financial system.

  • Tracking Individual Accreditations: Ensuring that each financial advisor's educational achievements and accreditations are easily accessible and downloadable.

  • Tracking Learning Progress: Enabling financial advisors to monitor their educational progress, offering insights into completed courses, upcoming requirements, and areas of focus.

Research Key Takeaways: 

Methodologies:  Surveys, User Interviews, and Feedback Sessions.

  • Convenient Platform: Financial advisors expressed a desire for a convenient platform that offered courses relevant to their practice and aligned with industry regulations.

  • Regulatory Landscape: An essential aspect of our research revolved around comprehending the complex regulatory environment within which Canadian financial advisors operate. We discovered that staying compliant with evolving industry regulations was a top concern for them. Advisors expressed a strong need for a learning platform that not only offered educational content but also facilitated compliance with accreditation and certification requirements.

  • Demand for User-Centric Learning: Our research also highlighted the growing demand for user-centric and engaging educational resources. Financial advisors were inclined towards platforms that offered interactive learning experiences, allowing them to track their progress and easily access their educational history.

"Staying compliant with regulations is a constant challenge. An educational resource that streamlines this would be a game-changer."

"A portal that tracks progress and certifications makes our lives so much easier."

"Interactive learning is the future. We want engaging courses that help us grow as financial advisors."

User Journey Map 

Empathy Map - Customer Journey Map_Basic Journey_first time user.jpg

Prototyping and Concept Testing:

Step 1: Feature Prioritization & MVP Features 

Based on the insights gathered during the ideation phase, the team identified the most critical features and functionalities that needed to be included in the initial prototypes. These features were prioritized based on their potential impact on addressing the pain points of the financial professionals and enhancing their learning experience

  • Course Catalog and Curriculum Management

  • User Profiles

  • Progress Tracking

  • Certification and Accreditation Tracking

  • Compliance Management Tools

  • Mobile Compatibility and Accessibility

  • Data Security and Privacy Measures

  • User Support and Help Resources

Step 2: Design and Development

Leveraging the prioritized features, we collaborated with outsources designer and development team to create the first set of interactive mockups and wireframes for the education portal. This included defining the overall layout, navigation structure, course catalogue, progress tracking interface, and other essential components of the learning journey.

​Step 3: User Testing

The initial prototypes were then presented to a group of financial professionals within the organization. This select group represented a diverse range of roles and experience levels to ensure comprehensive feedback. Users were encouraged to interact with the prototypes and provide insights on their usability, intuitiveness, and overall effectiveness in addressing their learning needs and compliance requirements.



Step 4: Feedback Integration 

The feedback collected from the user testing phase was analyzed and synthesized. We used this feedback to make iterative improvements to the prototype, addressing usability issues, enhancing user interface elements, and ensuring the platform aligned with the specific requirements and preferences of the target users.


Step 5: Iterative Refinement

The process of prototyping, testing, and refining was iterative, with multiple cycles of feedback integration and prototype adjustments. This approach allowed the team to progressively fine-tune the education portal's features and functionalities, ensuring that the final solution would effectively meet the needs and expectations of the financial professionals at BMO GAM.


  • Identifying Pain Points: We conducted interviews and surveys with financial professionals to understand their specific pain points related to ongoing education and regulatory compliance. It involved gathering insights on their challenges in staying updated with industry regulations while managing their client portfolios effectively.

  • Brainstorming Workshops: We hosted brainstorming sessions with cross-functional teams, including subject matter experts, IT specialists, and user experience designers. The goal was to generate a range of innovative ideas for a digital platform that could effectively address the identified pain points and enhance the learning experience for financial professionals.

  • Competitive Analysis: Conducted a thorough analysis of existing educational platforms within the financial services sector. This analysis helped us understand the strengths and weaknesses of similar solutions in the market and identify opportunities to differentiate the BMO GAM Continuing Education Portal.

  • User Journey Mapping: Created detailed user journey maps to visualize the current and ideal learning experiences of financial professionals within the company. This step helped identify critical touchpoints and potential areas for improvement or innovation in the learning process.

  • Technology Assessment: Assessed the latest technological advancements in the e-learning and financial services industries to determine the most suitable technical framework for developing the education portal. It involved evaluating various learning management systems, data security protocols, and user interface design options to ensure a seamless and secure user experience.

Final Thoughts:

  • The iterative approach to prototyping and testing played a pivotal role in ensuring that the final solution aligned closely with our financial professionals' specific requirements and preferences. 

  • Breaking down the project into manageable segments significantly contributed to the project's progress. Adopting a more agile approach and implementing regular check-ins led to enhanced project oversight and smoother execution.

  • The initial miscommunication between the team and the communications specialist resulted in a week's worth of work that ultimately needed adjustments. Despite the setback, we successfully realigned objectives, fostering open communication and ensuring a shared understanding of project goals moving forward.

  • User adoption rates have been slower than anticipated, indicating more targeted marketing and user engagement strategies are needed.

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