Working together may be the ultimate workplace goal, but achieving such cooperation can be one of the biggest challenges an organization faces, particularly across departments. For UX leaders, creating a strong relationship between design, product and engineering teams can mean the difference between an average product and an amazing product. Here are some tips on building better collaborations across these teams in your own company.
Share your process
Does your team have a system in place for your workflow? Developing a playbook that details how your project management process works not only helps current employees within your department but also new recruits to the company at large. Take the knowledge that your team already possesses and make that information available to everyone companywide. As your problem-solving processes become integrated into company culture, your workflow becomes a playbook for future projects and helps other departments better understand your approach.
Show your rough drafts
Too often designers can get hung up on trying to complete large chunks of a project when focusing on a smaller portion of the task at hand may be better. Spending 10 minutes may only yield a rough design or wireframe, but sharing that rough draft allows others across the company to collaborate together to improve and evolve the design, rather than relying on one department for the entirety of the design process.
Delegate your deliverables
Designers often want to own every stage of the creative process to ensure a quality end result, rather than delegating aspects of the work to other teams. Have a conversation before starting a project to assign various components of the work to the appropriate team. Asking questions such as “What aspects of this project belong to which team?” and “Are there aspects of this project better achieved by another team?” may be difficult but can lead to real collaboration.
Include other teams from the beginning
While designers can envision the look, feel, and experience of a product or feature, developers can better understand the parameters of a project, including what can realistically be built, how it can be built, and the challenges inherent in executing a particular design. Including your development team’s insights from the beginning can lead to a smoother end result.
Measure your results
All members of the team want the best possible result. Consider using analytics to measure how well a product is working once it enters the real world. This helps designers continue the conversation with production teams, as well as increase overall awareness of how a product is actually performing with real users. A/B tests can show how products are working for consumers, as well as reveal problems that never came up in the design or development phase.