What is the key to the success of your product? Well-diagnosed user requirements? The fact that your product stands out in the market? Or maybe the visual side of the product? Actually, all of them are very important and you cannot resign from any of them. The key is to combine them into one well-working team. What can help you make it happen? The answer is communication.
Establish common objectives
Every team or department in your organization has work to do. Maybe some of you have KPIs or OKRs that need to be achieved. It’s good to focus on the outcome, but it is essential to have a common objective within the teams. Even if it’s not literally defined, you need to remember that all of you have an impact on the product and the final user experience. The key to make your users satisfied is good communication between the teams. You can not fight with each other and build silos. You need to ensure that all of you are speaking the same language. If every team works separately, the user will get a product that may be a conglomeration of different objectives. That’s why communication and cooperation between the teams are so important. Ana Isabel Garza, Experience Design Lead at PepsiCo also confirms this: “My experience with everything that I learned during my UX-PM certification was very much focused on how to use the language correctly. What I mean by this is that I really realized that in order for design to thrive within an organization, it’s a matter of having a common language between the different parties. Understanding how to hear the voice of the business, how to understand the voice of the customer, how to really leverage the voice of the market and sort of intertwine these voices, and have a common message that you are going to communicate effectively is the key for me”. Ana Isabel Garza is UX-PM Certification alumni and was also one of the speakers during the webinar “How does UX change organizations?”. If you want to get to know more about Ana Isabel’s perspective watch the webinar recording.
Improve your communication
With tons of day-to-day work, finding time for regular communication between teams is difficult. That’s a common problem in many organizations. Employees focus on short-term objectives and very often they are not aware of what other teams do. What can help in this situation? Here are some examples:
- Regular daily or weekly meetings
- A common task board
- Internal research
- Space for sharing knowledge
Try small steps, such as regular daily or weekly meetings. They don’t have to be long and detailed, a quick list of tasks and challenges to solve will be enough to see if you’re going in the same direction. It will also be valuable to use a common task board. One of the solutions that could help to communicate better is doing internal research. The research will let you define employees’ opinions and needs. Sometimes communication doesn’t work properly because there is a lack of space to share opinions. The same situation applies to sharing knowledge. For sure some of your colleagues have insights that are worth hearing. Give them space to share their experience. Besides meetings focused on work planning, don’t forget about discussions that let you summarize what has already been done. Don’t be afraid to talk about mistakes, it’s definitely needed if you want to make your product better and better. All of these methods are simple and should be a standard in your organization. If you use them, remember to do it regularly. Regularity will help you to notice the improvement in communication even faster. Naturally, every organization is changing. What changes, is the number of people in the team, the business goals, the business environment, and the product we are working on. That’s why paying attention to the basics as regular meetings is so important to keep communication flowing.
Think about the user
Whether you’re a designer, a researcher, a product manager or you perform any other role, always think about a user. Remember, it is a user who gets the final product and decides if it is interesting or not. Does this product fulfill the user’s needs or not? Regular users are not aware of how many people stand behind the product. They don’t know how long the design process last and how many versions of the product you created. They focus only on their own needs. That’s why is so important to be aware of these needs and to have them in mind during the whole process. So make sure that all the people in your organization who are working on the product are aware of the user’s needs and that they understand them in the same way. Ana Isabel Garza also agrees with this approach: “Language definitely is a key because you need to understand terms of other teams and they need to understand your terms, but once you manage to set the same goals within the different teams, it sort of flows differently and you start hearing different conversations”. Speaking the same language and sharing the same main objective will improve communication in your organization and, as a result, will have a positive impact on your product.