Challenges That Can Derail Design


1. Strategy and Execution as ONE

Any problem that includes a future state will have a number of dependencies that can influence an infinite possibilities, expectations will change with time and hence strategy can never be static, it has to be rolled into one with execution. Split teams will make it hard to adapt to new information.

2. Focus on Outcome not Output

When we define success in short time frames and performance relates to output, the focus on business impact is often lost.

3. Be Wary of your Biases

Even with years of experience in a domain, intuitions can be flawed by your biases. Always seek validation to keep it in check.

4. Follow a Flexible Model for Design not a Prescriptive Rule Book

A successful product requires the skills, expertise and craft of many people. Architects, Designers, Analysts, Developers, etc, all work together. With such a group of people come diverse personal characteristics — Analytical, Creative, Strategic, Pragmatic, etc, and many approaches to working — Structured, Unstructured, Empirical, Theoretical.

Orchestrating such an effort calls for ways of thinking that is flexible enough for different circumstances, define adaptive plans that respond well to new information, that help a diverse team work together for a common outcome.

5. Ideating Vs Evaluating

Fundamental principle of ideation is to be cognizant of when you and your team are generating ideas and when you are evaluating ideas — typically keeping these two tasks separate, and only mixing the two intentionally.

6. Convergent Vs Divergent

Logical, analytical, rational are all convergent methods, where you break a problem into parts, study them and take an ordered approach to choose the best among available choices. Divergent is the opposite, here you create choices, it can be very frustrating and would have you feel like you are going backward and getting further away from the answer but this is the essence of creativity, feeling optimistic, exploratory and experimental.

7. Analysis Vs Synthesis

Analysis is where you break problems apart and Synthesis is where you put ideas together. Synthesis can be tricky when you are trying to put ideas together which are often in tension, like cost and quality, or performance and effort. A simple method to work these issues is using visuals.

8 more common dysfunctions of design teams (and what to do about them) — John Zeratsky