Pattern: Show your work
Expose other members of the team to the design process. While designers and other creative people are generally tempted to show only the result of their labor, pulling back the curtain early in the process can be helpful. Besides involving people in the creative process, showing work can help explain the challenges and justify the decisions made. Showing work might entail revealing early sketches...
Pattern: Assert your process
Set the tone, rhythm, and sequence for your process. When embarking on a project, the team may discount the importance of the creative process in problem solving. Other factors — stakeholder schedule and expectations, business milestones, or technical deployment schedules — may influence the approach more than the creative process. Be clear about what the team needs to solve the...
Pattern: Sneak peek
Offer a sneak peek of your work to a lynchpin stakeholder or team member. By holding an informal, one-on-one conversation you can cultivate an ally for subsequent discussions. Incorporating the feedback of a trusted stakeholder creates a sense of ownership, which can help with facilitating large-group discussions. Use when: You’re building toward a potentially controversial or surprising...
Pattern: Call the bluff (or Logical conclusions)
Take a challenge to its inevitable conclusion. For example, when a project manager asks for faster delivery cycles, you can ask whether the stakeholders will be able to assemble their feedback in reasonable time. In these situations, the person making the request does not usually anticipate subsequent impacts of their request. Use when: Faced with a situation which puts unnecessary pressure...
Situation: Uncoordinated collaboration
“So, which one of us is doing this?” Some projects have no plan, no overall direction of where it’s going long-term and the activities required take to get there. Other projects may understand the objectives, have a general sense of the activities and outputs, but have no structure for how people will work together: how often are we meeting? how are we using those meeting times?...
Situation: Efforts ignored
“This stuff doesn’t really matter because we’re working on a separate track.” Members of the team choose to ignore outputs, recommendations, and solutions provided by team members assigned those activities. The quintessential example here is a disenfranchised design team — where some team members discount the value of their contributions. The effect: Without...