I found through teaching the content strategy course over the years is that often when we were getting down to what the real problems were and implementing an organization wide content strategy, we were finding that they weren’t exactly content problems.
They were more people problems. So these kind of things that used to come up were stakeholders taking a very long time to sign off on content, people not being engaged in the project and hijacking it, blocking in people not being cleared, clear on what the core strategy was supposed to be, people hijacking, tone of voice, changing it, perhaps potentially compliance teams making changes after the fact that we can the usability of the content will these kind of things coming into focus. And what we were finding was, is that actually if we had a proper stakeholder engagement program, we were actually teaching stakeholders about the importance of best practice and content and the our way of life that actually projects would go a lot more smoothly. When I talked to us professionals and designers, I found that actually they shared many of the same pain points. So what we’ve done is we’ve put together a day that goes through all the different tips and techniques that you can use to try and engage with stakeholders.
Some of it’s quite sneaky about trying to get people to come your way, but a lot of it is just simply about being generous and the educating of people in your organization so that they get what you’re doing. And there are lots of tried and tested methods to do this, find ways to engage with people who brainstorms, ways to actually put together stakeholder action plans and communication plans. And this seminar goes through lots of different techniques that you can try in your organization.
A UKCS program, survival and success are highly related to that organization’s U.S. maturity, allow me to tell you why and first briefly list the eight levels of organization, U.S. maturity. Stage one is hostility toward useability. People don’t understand it and they don’t want it. Stage two is developer centered user experience. People who write code have some affinity to you. Start reading about it and trying to implement good design.
Stage three is skunkworks user experience. Some people, product management, development, content, you name it, they start doing some research. Stage four is dedicated to budget. Money is allocated to you X, stage five is managed usability. There’s a team or a number of teams and their jobs include you work. Stage six is systematic user centered design. The organization has standard processes and tools used for research and design. These are applied, adapted and evolved as needed. Stage seven is integrated, user centered design. UX is part of the development process, schedules and goals and objectives. And stage eight, which is the final and highest stage of maturity, is a user driven corporation. UX is part of everyone’s DNA. Things like field studies, living design, thinking, knowing personas are part of everyone’s work are common in these places. Kyak, Intuit, Apple are known for being stage eight maturity. Now I’d like to call a Level four, which is dedicated UK’s budget, which I think is the most precarious of the eight levels in terms of moving toward a viable UX program, because at this stage, UK’s advancement can come to a screeching halt. Consider where the budget comes from. Often a team started doing you work and made great strides. Someone in management noticed this and decided to nurture the effort by offering funding.
This new budget for you X means management thinks you is a worthwhile effort. But this money often erroneously indicates these things that you x has reached the highest echelon of maturity, that the UK’s program is stable and that the team is doing enough. In other words, money seems to equal expertize and permanency. But I’ve seen many UX teams have their budget pulled from under them when the organization tighten its belt. Anyone in an organization where you X has just been allocated budget should ask themselves this question. If my best you X person or the manager who champions and funds you X left the organization, would you survive? If the answer is no, your organization is probably missing systems that support, reinforce and promote you x and you don’t have a viable program yet. You can get there one stage at a time.
Keep working on infrastructure, things like planned processes that include design thinking and regular UX research. Work on ongoing education about you for all gather tools that expedite good design and development like design systems, including a component library and schedules that support design activities. Plan for you research and responding to findings. In other words, make you x part of the woven fiber that is your software development process.