Growing a practice

My Role: I am charged with building the team and I have done so from four to more than two dozen. My role has expanded to presentations to the entire company, leading 6 teams, and guiding people in their careers. I absolutely LOVE encouraging people. Everyone is more capable than they might realize; they either know it or they will. I encourage them to grow as people and as professionals.

Executive Summary: The company is making many great strides to growing in the financial planning industry. My role was created to build the UX practice to a point where we are influencing at all levels. The role involves leadership and communication to everyone at the company, mentorship, vendor management, and excellence in motivating people.

I've developed a strategy that hits all the important aspects of a growing a user centered UX practice. Based upon The 6 Levels of UX Maturity (Nielsen Norman Group) we rate as a maturity of 3 (emergent) to 4 (structured) based upon us taking this self reported quiz separately and sharing our findings.

Process: We are doing research (direct observation, user interviews, card sorting, field visits, contextual inquiries), competitor analysis, persona creation/validation, journey map creation/validation, user flows, sketching, wireframing, high fidelity design, interactive prototypes, and alignment and educating on SAFe agile (we're as UXers training people in Marketing on agile). As we grow as a practice our methodology grows. There is a long list of activities we want to do as well, but done strategically and with purpose:

  • A/B testing
  • Design studios
  • Product design reviews
  • Innovation factory
  • Content audits
  • Storyboards
  • Jobs to be done
  • Empathy maps

Challenges: Like many organizations UX is misunderstood. We have buy in from the highest levels (executive leadership team) and a great many individuals contributors and managers across the organization. However, there are many hold outs so we're influencing them and encouraging them with careful communications, bridge building, and showing data that makes it clear how UX will help us grow as an org and thus everyone benefits. INFLUENCING is the true goal of my role.