As many of your know, I love sports. I love playing sports, I love watching sports, and I am a huge college basketball fan (Go Tarheels! Sorry Dukies, but well you know). I have participated in some form of organized team sports since I was in elementary school, and continue to do so to this day. In fact, it’s probably what keeps me sane. Because of this, I can’t help but associate lessons learned from the field with how to become a better UX professional (I also can’t ignore this because the idea came to me from a desk neighbor at one of my favorite clients). Thus, I wanted to share with you some of those lessons from the field, and how they have made me a better UX Designer. So, our first lesson from the field: success is all about strategy.
In your current project, what is your strategy for success? Has your team sat down and agreed on what success will look like and how it’s defined? From that has your team talked about the strategy for getting the project over the finish line… and I mean talked about it as a team. Sure maybe your design team has a strategy, and the development team has their strategy, but what about the team as a whole…. what is that strategy?
Team strategy and consensus is extremely important for project and product success. Without having a shared end goal, and then a road map for getting to that goal, everyone will begin to chase their own ambitions and goals. This, in turn pulls the product apart at the seam, and real progress and success never sees the light of day. Do you think that an NFL team goes out there every week without talking about how they are going to win? How could a team of more than 22 active players win unless they all have the same idea of success, it just wouldn’t make sense.
So, in order to avoid the problems of team distrust, discontent, and lack of success, you gotta have a game plan. Sit down with your team and make it happen. Talk about what success is, how the team will get there, and what part you can play in that strategy.
By doing this, you get everyone on the same page. Tech, marketing, business, project and account management, are all heading in the same direction. Sure everyone has their own individual talents and value adds, the same as a quarterback has a different set of skills than a linebacker, but being able to combine those talents in a productive and successful way is what being a team is all about.