How collaboration gets the flow on the go!

In my previous two posts (part one here and part two here) I’ve covered why efficiency matters, how iterative design can help to achieve this and what clients can do to help the process. In this third and final part I’d like to cover how collaborative working can be the glue that holds it all together!

Building Trust

Well-managed, iterative design projects require trust on both sides. For the most part, by being recommended or by winning a selection pitch we have usually already reached a point of understanding and trust between client and agency.

To reinforce this, we try to begin each new client relationship by being open about our process. For some, terms like ‘Agile’, 'UX' and 'Delivery' are wholly new… for others, our interpretation of these concepts and how we might look to implement them, are the key points of discussion.

At the offset of any project, we undertake a series of workshops to ascertain project scope, allowing all project stakeholders the opportunity to collectively agree on what we are intending to achieve. The main question is “What does success look like?”.

This is also the point where an agreement on who will act as product owner should take place. It’s also really important to agree on feedback frequency, too. If the client is to fulfil the product owner role, then weekly team meetups tend to be required at least. If we agree to manage in-house, then fortnightly post-sprint reviews generally suffice.

Building trust through well managed iteration:

  • Setting agreed feedback frequency with client
  • Being transparent with hours accrued to date
  • Managing expectations
building trust illustration iteration

Project Transparency

A key part of ensuring that trust is maintained is ensuring project transparency–surely collaboration at it's purest! Keeping clients up to date with how many hours have been accrued and where the overall project scope is heading might seem like a given, but it is really easy to take this for granted.

Reviewing Initial Goals

Periodically checking back over things like user story workshop results, functionality scope and UX rationale will help to ensure that budget and timescales are also kept under control. Where have we got to? Is this what we were initially trying to achieve? Will any changes in content help users engage with your product or service in a better way?

Periodically recapping the initial goals:

  • User stories - are we building for the right users?
  • Functionality/Scope
  • Does our design support the above?

Flexibility within the Team

A team’s ability to self-manage is another Agile fundamental. With the other project variables I’ve mentioned in the mix, we find that team skill set flexibility is also really important. We have a small team here, which often asks that specialism—although fundamental to each role—is supplemented with a generalist ‘can-do’ approach. Being able and willing to step up to facilitate a project is really important. Luckily for us, this is something that keeps our team engaged and excited.

Team Flexibility

  • Ability to self manage
  • Adaptable skill sets

We’re always reviewing these processes and trying to adapt to new challenges as and when they arise. The Agility rule of thumb is to not let things get too set in stone and to allow for constant review and adaptation. As such I’m really keen to hear how other people might approach some of these challenges—please do get in touch!

If you are interested in how Drew work, or how we have delivered any of our projects please do get in contact if there is anything you’d like to discuss.

0207 404 4797

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Posted by James Cameron


Collaborative UX – Let’s get it on! In my previous blog in this series, I introduced how efficiency is key to successful project management and how iterative design can…

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