User Experience Design is the set of practices employed to create products that center the user. These designers focus on people to make products better. Their working practices also center people to foster collaboration and support. So, what can museum workers learn from UX Designers:
Problem: You are working on a big project together but you don’t know what each person is doing.
Make it Visual
Put up a physical board that shows where each team comes in. Have teams tick off progress so that everyone can see quickly.
Stand-Ups/ Check-in time
Set up a time that you can check in for 15 minutes with everyone that recurs. This could be weekly or daily depending on the timeline. Every team reports where they are on the project. Then, you deal with pressing issues teams have in order to go forward.
Don’t let this meeting go over. Be brutal when the meeting gets off track.
You can do this live, if the group size makes this feasible. If not, try meeting on slack. Avoid doing this on email, as it will just cause chaos.
Problem: You are never in the same place or in the same meetings.
Make time for in-person interactions
Buy some cake and invite the team. Set up some time to meet together for lunch. Foster strong bonds across silos.
Add some Slack
Online tools like slack can be an ideal way to create a conversational tone amongst peers from different teams.
Make files accessible
Create a shared drive, with naming and filing conventions, so that everyone is looking at the same thing.
Problem: Everyone has their own process.
Create a common language
Processes can differ if you are communicating together. Find ways to find commonality, like by creating shared experiences (see above). You might need to create a shared term’s document so that you are all speaking the same language. This final detail is particularly important in places that use a number of acronyms or in projects that work across a divergent field.
Problem: There are misconceptions in other departments about your project.
Align with your message
Make sure everyone on the project has the same message. Allow everyone to share the message, or find a message that everyone can share.
Invest time into educating people about your project.
Nominate people throughout hierarchy and across the project departments to serve as ambassadors.
Be transparent about your work to those outside your project teams, including setbacks. This will build trust and goodwill.
This post was inspired by the great post by Code Monkey Tech.