Do you really have executive buy-in?

Seven years ago I moved back to the East Coast and took a job at an agency. Before accepting my offer I asked my potentially new boss how much support she believed the agency had for interaction design (they were strong on visual design and content). She replied with a note from the President of … Continue reading Do you really have executive buy-in?

It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”

I suffer from a chronic condition. It's nothing life-threatening and I am lucky that I have a relatively mild form of it. However, left untreated, it makes day-to-day life quite uncomfortable. I was first diagnosed when I was 22 and for close to 20 years now have been taking one form or another of daily … Continue reading It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”

Quantity trumps quality (at first)

I found the following excerpt on Derek Siver's blog. It's from a book called Art and Fear: The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would begraded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on … Continue reading Quantity trumps quality (at first)

There is no such thing as UX strategy

2013 saw a lot of discussion around the topic of UX Strategy. In fact, there was at least one conference on the topic and a string of articles. However, all of this activity around a topic doesn't actually mean it exists. The reality is that there is no such thing as UX strategy. There is … Continue reading There is no such thing as UX strategy

Agile coaches, I am your friend

I spend a lot of time consulting with large organizations grappling with making Agile work as an engineering practice and then expanding it to include marketing, product management and eventually user experience and design. Often these companies have invested not only in training but in full-time coaches dedicated to making sure these new practices stick. … Continue reading Agile coaches, I am your friend

Designers — an untapped pool of Agile leadership

Implementing an agile product development process has many challenges. One that is not regularly addressed is who will lead each of the scrum teams. Many organizations default to the, seemingly obvious, answer of the scrum master. Often ill-defined (even with "certification") this role is essentially the Agile version of the project manager. But Agile teams … Continue reading Designers — an untapped pool of Agile leadership

The answer to the Agile-UX question

Making user experience and design work in an Agile environment is one of the biggest challenges facing product development teams today. Lean UX is the most effective way to design a process to solve this challenge. However, there is an even more fundamental and critical transformation your organization has to make in order to facilitate … Continue reading The answer to the Agile-UX question

Purity vs. Pragmatism

  “That’s not Agile!”   “We’re not being lean enough.”   “We’re not supposed to make deliverables!”   Sound familiar? I hear these statements all the time from teams moving towards a more evidence-based approach to product discovery, conception and production. Somewhere, someone made a decision for the teams to now “do Agile & Lean” … Continue reading Purity vs. Pragmatism

7 things I learned at Lean Day: West

Earlier this week we put on Lean Day: West in Portland, OR. The goal of the conference was to bring together practitioners of lean, agile, lean startup and lean ux from the enterprise and share their stories of success, failure and most importantly learning. Our hope was that every attendee would take away at least … Continue reading 7 things I learned at Lean Day: West

Building in-house innovation teams: Small, collocated, dedicated, self-sufficient

One of the most common questions I get about applying lean ideas to product design and development is, “How can I make this happen in my organization?” Between entrenched corporate silos and existing team management structures it can seem impossible for these ideas to take root in large companies. Over the course of a series … Continue reading Building in-house innovation teams: Small, collocated, dedicated, self-sufficient