Two sequences of digital products (part 2, dimensions and friction). People must own their work to positively impact the creation and reasoning sequence and all dimensions of product delivery.
We have movement in two directions: creation sequence (from nothing to something) and reasoning sequence (form need to the idea).
What is more, there are some dimensions of product delivery:
- organisation – a joint effort, with shared resources, vision and goals;
- team – group of people that are organised to work collaboratively;
- customer experience (service of delivery) – how people learn about and purchase our products and solve problems along the way;
- user experience (product) – how people use the tool itself after the purchase.
Of course, we can name more dimensions, introduce granularity, ask, but where are engineers, sales department, designers, HR, and many more. Those would be roles needed to create an organisation, form teams and deliver a tool to people (that results in experience: a customer and then a user).
The four dimensions demonstrate why friendly friction is crucial to successfully navigate the creation and reasoning sequences.
An organisation is always ahead of teams. By pointing to far-reaching milestones and goals, the teams have many ways to reach the goals.
Teams are just people working together. People need an understanding of why they are doing something (provided by the organisation), ownership (impact, to be happy in their lives) and feedback (to excel beyond personal capabilities and course-correct their directions).
All of what people are doing should be measured against a customer or user experience (some pick metrics that point to more good for business, like hooking people to the product, ignoring individuals' wellbeing).
Not everything can be measured through (and some things should not be). This is where the reasoning sequence becomes so essential. The reasoning is not only about data, numbers and facts, but also about professional experience.
When creating things, it is crucial to give people ownership of reasoning and decisions based on that (accountability). Only this way, people can be happy, teams can be effective, and an organisation can reach its goals (and even be innovative along the way).
That individual ownership inevitably leads to frictions. Frictions are crucial for good feedback, but feedback cannot come with taking away the ownership.
Too often, when organisations and teams create digital products, the ownership and decisions are accumulated with one role, single person or a specific department.
For example, if product managers own a roadmap, which results in them having the only say if something will be launched or not, the PM role steals ownership from other dimensions (what, when, how, where focuses in the role). Or if a CEO needs to be consulted with every decision (why and what, when, how, where focuses on the role). Or when positions responsible for customer experience decide on the user experience dimension (reasoning with professional experience becomes broken).
From a UX design perspective, designers need to have a say when features they design are ready to be shipped. If that is not happening, the reasoning sequence breaks and designers have no ownership of their work and responsibility. And design cannot thrive in an organisation. This often occurs from my market observations.
In the end, everyone making team effort and working in an organisation is adds to every dimension. Engineers have a profound impact on user experience, technical writer influence customer experience, roadmaps come true or collapse by a joint effort of everyone who creates things.
We all impact every dimension, as we are part of the creation and reasoning sequence. For an organisation to be full of healthy and motivated individuals must give individuals ownership. Only then gatekeeping is not needed, and teamwork can thrive.