“Organizations…often develop barriers that hinder information sharing and collaboration. … The job of a leader is to spot these barriers and tear them down….”—Morten T. Hansen
Organizations differ in their ability to collaborate within and across teams and business units. A unique combination of organizational, cultural, and interpersonal barriers to collaboration afflicts any organization that is experiencing difficulty collaborating. Therefore, to assess their organization’s ability to collaborate, leaders must first determine what barriers to collaboration exist within their organization. One effective way of doing this is to conduct a survey to identify which of the behaviors that hinder collaboration commonly occur within their organization.
Once leaders understand what dysfunctional behaviors are preventing their people and teams from collaborating effectively, they must tailor solutions to address the specific barriers to collaboration that exist within their organization. They must motivate their people to change the behaviors that are preventing or diminishing the success of collaboration within and across teams and business units.
In this column, I’ll describe some common organizational, cultural, and interpersonal barriers to collaboration and provide solutions for overcoming them. To create a culture of collaboration, an organization must overcome these barriers. Read More
UX professionals often find it difficult to demonstrate the value of User Experience to enterprise product teams, especially when companies or organizations lack UX maturity. Perhaps you’ve found yourself outnumbered on teams of solution-focused developers and their like-minded peers, feeling as though no one understands your perspective. You might have been the recipient of a dismissive arm wave. Maybe someone has told you that a product or a feature does not require UX oversight—even though it does. Perhaps stakeholders have told you that they already know what users want or there isn’t enough time to address a product workflow that could satisfy a core user need.
When you meet resistance from teammates and stakeholders, do you turn tail and slink away, then allow a product to go to market without its receiving the appropriate level of UX attention? Hopefully not! Some battles are worth fighting—as uncomfortable as they might be. As I described in “Demonstrating the Value of User Experience to Enterprise Product Teams, Part 2,” responding tactfully to caustic feedback from teammates is a challenging skill to master. It requires empathy, a trait that UX professionals must often draw upon in relating to the people who use our products. It is just as important to demonstrate empathy for our teammates, who are under their own pressures and must often meet challenging deadlines. Read More
UX designers often have limited influence in enterprise environments with relatively immature User Experience cultures. So exhausting your hard-earned capital with stakeholders on the wrong things can create unnecessary obstacles.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, I presented the following scenarios in which it makes sense for UX designers to demonstrate some flexibility with their teammates and stakeholders:
making aesthetic choices
employing custom patterns and controls
following a UX process
managing teammates’ expectations
using UX jargon
defining the scope and timing of projects and features
Now, in Part 2, I’ll consider scenarios that necessitate UX designers’ taking a firmer stance. Then, I’ll suggest some ways of deciding whether a particular situation befits your taking one course of action over another—acknowledging that the best approach can sometimes be ambiguous. Read More