I agree with this “play”, as long as the UX team is well established and the value is understood. Otherwise, saying “yes” is necessary. It is also important that while we encourage teams to bring in the projects early, we won’t necessarily have that at the beginning (I speak from experience). We do see the issues that arise when user research is not done at all, or testing is not well planned or well executed. Many times, the product launches, and the user engagement is less than desired. Then, we have to rework, and that is what we want to avoid all along. Teams that understand the value of engaged UX teams from the beginning of the process are better positioned from the beginning. So, UX leadership play is as much tactical as it is strategic to be effective.