Developing great products is hard. The most conservative estimates place new product failure rates at 50 percent or more. Many of us can relate to working on an exhilarating project with talented colleagues, where the solution was architected brilliantly and even delivered on-time, only to see the product fall short of expectations in the marketplace.
Rackspace User Experience Designer Jay Morgan will speak about the techniques and frameworks for Principled Negotiation next month at the MidwestUX Conference, a user experience conference that blends talks and discussions with hands-on activities presented by regional and international experts and professionals.
Advocating is the fifth core tool that designers can rely on in their role as agents of change. Consider this: At this moment, and for the past five weeks, I’ve been advocating; that is, I’ve been blogging to say something I think is important. And that’s advocating. Sometimes it’s easier to define something by defining what it’s not.
There’s a natural inflection point where we shift from illuminating and educating to getting stuff done. But getting stuff done often means negotiating, which is the third tool that designers have as agents of change; resetting priorities, making trade-offs, funding some projects and cancelling others.
Educating, the second tool for designers, is about developing skills, capabilities and knowledge. Educating involves discovering what we need to learn, teaching others, helping our organization get smarter and bringing what we’ve learned to the design discipline in the form of case studies, stories and examples. Ultimately, educating is about growing capabilities and changing behavior.
The first opportunity for designers to be an agent of change is to shed light, to illuminate. This is a powerful tool to bring about change in your organization. One way to do this is to listen to both your feelings and the facts. The process of illumination is two-fold: you can shed light on both yourself and others. Let’s begin by discussing how your can shed light for yourself.