It isn’t flowing as quickly as we need it to flow. Maybe … the feedback loop gets noisier. Or we misjudge some opportunities. Or we’ve onboarded lots of people, and it is hard to get them up to speed. Or some role — QA or Ops for example — gets overloaded. Or quality issues are injecting a lot of unplanned work into the system. Or maybe morale is dropping and valuable team members are leaving. It could be lots of things.
There’s so much focus on keeping teams busy that we tend to work on the “highest priority thing” without asking whether the highest priority thing is worthwhile. In this approach, priority is relative to the other things, not to some absolute guidelines or heuristic (similar to my friend’s per day minimum). If it looks better than the other things…well, we do it. Confirmation bias will lead us to say “of course it is important”…but is it?
When someone influences the experience of the user, they, in that moment, become a user experience designer. Their influence may not be positive. Their knowledge of UX design principles may be small, even non-existent. Yet, because they affect the experience of the user, they are a designer, albeit an unofficial one.
With growth, feedback loops begin to strain. With that strain, trust sometimes falters. With faltering trust — and increased demands — there is more risk of “swoop and poop” from leadership. With extra demands, planning becomes more reactive and less disciplined which gives rise to high profile “misses”. People feel perpetually out of the loop. There is also growing resentment at the involvement (“you don’t get the situation on the ground”) which causes divergent expectations, causing unmet expectations, which loop back into the dynamic.
…s way is highly linked to the clarity of our “strategy”. We are confident on-boarding is important. We know the “value” of solving that problem. With this confidence it is much easier to rationalize taking an experimental approach. We can afford to fail and miss the mark (and likely will), provided we can place more bets. When value is less clear, we tend to get overly obsessed with particular ideas and exactly how long they will take.