Organisational and cultural transformation in Business Agility

The UX, UCD and HCD code explained

User Experience has become the solution focused end of User Centred Design, being based in normal practice on usability, accessibility and user research over time.

The Term User Experience/User Centred Design and Human Centered Design are interchangeable because the International Standard changed from being User Centred Design to Human Centered Design.

Some Background

In my other posts it should be clear by now that I have been involved in what now called UX for some considerable time. I have previously mentioned how UX moved from the strategic and its equal status to enterprise architecture into software development and becoming visual design for a time. Well it’s on the move again, just as UX incorporated marketing components with repeatable science at its outset and seeded Agile with user stories and human context, so now it has moved into organisational and cultural transformation.

Organisational and Cultural Transformation

There are now in 2019 many people talking about organisational and cultural transformation and change however it is clear that what they mean is everyone below the C-suite needs to change. However organisational and cultural transformation is the whole organisation otherwise it is just a rebrand without actual change. More especially culture is born from action not just intent and this is what organisations who want to change are discovering. They want to take their staff on a transformation journey and to evolve their engagement not simply recasting them with new role titles and responsibilities. They also expect to evolve the transformation in flight gaining a true understanding of what already works well and folding it into the new culture. This kind of transformation takes a highly adaptive and pragmatic mindset in its leadership and enablement.

Organisational Design

The historical focus of organisational design has been to establish one standard structure across a whole organisation. The value of this is to standardize command and control mechanisms which is supposed to simplify reporting and oversight. It forces all work through it regardless of its priority or type of work it is.

The old four types of organizational structures are;

  1. Functional Top-Down
  2. Divisional Structure
  3. Matrix Organizational Chart
  4. Flat Organizational Chart

However the New Ways of Working in adoption of HCD, Agile, Lean and DevOps don’t utilize these structures. In fact instead of starting with organizational structures it focuses on work to define the structures needed to deliver it. This is very intensive consulting activity and often led by external consultants not vested in internal politics and previous alliances.

And this explains why most new organisational transformations will fail before they start because they are focused on hierarchies not getting work done efficiently with a culture that rewards and honours people who deliver.

Karl Smith

Work Formats

The common structure of work is linear and directional often following the concepts of grouped specialisations handing work to each other having completed their activities. This creates a slow flow of work with bottlenecks around capacity. When unexpected work arrives and depending upon its priority it can destroys the whole flow of work and create ripples impacting the whole organisation. This behaviour with work is derived from industrial production techniques often related to the Ford production model of manufacturing.

In adoption of HCD, Agile, Lean and DevOps, work types are defined first and then the organisational structure is derived from the work types. The consultancy around the organisational design should be unique to each organisation in order to both facilitate taking porfilio work into viable and validated and measured delivery.

Psychology of Transformation

In large organisations there have been lots of transformations and people are used to dealing with them, adept at absorbing language and funds without actual transformation or the derivative cultural change. So as far as possible the psychology of transformation is defensive for the mainstream of organisations. Delivering long term cultural change therefore requires a top down adoption in order to establish an authoritative perspective of We Change rather than You Change.

In new ways of working YOU change is not the way to succeed it must be WE change together

Karl Smith

Human Centred Organisational Design TOM

At this point I’d normally publish the exactly how to do it, but to be honest in the wrong hands it’s a stick of dynamite, so I won’t just hand it out. Below is the Portfolio Planning for Business Agility for an Organisation focused on a Work Type Taxonomy rather than hierarchies.

Business Agile activities at Portfolio Level

If you’d like like to find out how to do this from someone who’s done it in an organisation with 80,000 staff contact me.

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Founder and Thought Leader

Karl Smith is a Founder and Director of The Human-Centered Design Society which is directly involved in central government policy in The House of Commons and The House of Lords through a number of committees including Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation. The British Computer Society has acknowledged him for his contribution to User Experience as a discipline with a Fellowship – FBCS.

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#Pervasive #UX and the next Human Revolution

Pervasive UX #pUX an evolutionary UX that enables (#ubiquitous) #Open #IoT #Ecosystems through Human Centered Design #HCD

Talk Proposal:

This talk is about the need for UX to dig deeper into its core capabilities to facilitate Smart Living and true Ubiquity in the form of Open IoT Ecosystems.

 Pervasive UX is contextual responds to eye movement, hand gestures and voice

While for many recent joiners to the UX profession Open IoT Ecosystems are a daunting proposition, to those with both understanding and experience of the evolution of UX they are an opportunity to return to core values and the eminence of our profession.

UX and CX are the same thing, UX created CX as there was a drift in the mainstream away from data science towards visual UI’s. User Centered Design (UCD) was renamed Human Centered Design (HCD) in 2010 and are the same thing, a framework not a method for a wide array of professional practitioners and clients.

In this talk, Karl Smith with briefly describe the evolution of UX and the core competencies required to facilitate the next human revolution through Pervasive UX.

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Career and Clients

Karl Smith is a highly competent, personable, creative and motivated person with a keen insight and definition ability. He is a critical thinker and able to rapidly discover the essence of problems then define, communicate, create buy-in and deliver end to end digital and process solutions. He positively motivates those around him and is able to engender a great team dynamic by leading from the front. He has business experience since 1989 at comparable levels in fields including defence, industry, energy, pharmaceutical, biomedical, construction, fashion, finance, banking, FMCG, property, publishing, healthcare, travel, policing, crown office, local and central government. He has specialist banking experience with investment, private, commercial, business, trading, wealth management in Europe, USA, China, Australia, Japan and Russia.

Karl has worked with several companies to define for launch or redefine their service offerings, business structures or digital presence.

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Supporting #Users with #HCD principals

Human Centered design (HCD)

Human centered design (HCD) is a project approach that puts the intended users (audience) of a product or piece of technology at the centre of its research, design and development. It does this by talking directly to the user at key points in the project to make sure the product or piece of technology will deliver upon their perceived requirements and align the client with their users or consumers.

Supporting general interactive behaviours

New systems must comply with but not limited to the following provisions;

Provide context and orientation information

Provide context and orientation information to help users understand;

  • Where they are
  • What it’s for
  • How to use

the complex pages or elements that they are viewing.

Provide location indication that consistent across all interfaces, which is not part of navigation. This is to help users know explicitly where they are and what data is shown so that they can be confident about their activities.

Grouping elements and providing contextual information about the relationships between elements can be useful for all users. Complex relationships between parts of a page may be difficult for people with any type of cognitive disability and people with visual disabilities to interpret.  Regardless of the working environment no two people think exactly the same way this divergence is based upon the various inputs and experience they have. Recognising variance and synergy in knowledge is a key finding from pilot studies that support the creation of personas and user scenarios.

Provide clear navigation mechanisms

Provide clear and consistent navigation mechanisms;

  • Orientation information
  • Navigation schema
    • Sub navigation
    • In app/widget controls
  • Site map
  • Help
    • Glossaries
  • Comparable experiences (to their other business or outside work experiences)

Interactive behaviours to increase the likelihood that a person will find what they are looking for and be able to interact with it.

Clear and consistent navigation mechanisms are important to people with cognitive disabilities or blindness, but fundamentally benefit all users and enable rapid adoption, reuse and buy-in.

Provide explicit interactive behaviours

Users require an absolute learning environment in order to quickly review and adopt new technologies.

The interactive behaviours of any system they use should make logical and emotional sense.

Interactive logic is driven by expectation, in that if a user clicks on text that is underlined they expect to go to another page related to that text (a hyperlink) therefore if text is blue and underlined but does not take the user to a new page, a user will doubt the technology and themselves as it creates insecurities. Other considerations related to interactive logic are about an expectation of delivery in that if a user clicks on a chart they expect to see the data behind it.

Interactive emotion was touched on in the previous point and is related to confusion, insecurities, doubt and conflicting emotions driven by unexpected interactions. Users when arriving at the wrong location in software expect the back button (if web service) to take them to the previous screen. In software they expect a link or return to last page. If the developer had locked pages or not considered a user wanting to go backwards or sideways in a planned pathway, the user will feel trapped, this is an interactive emotion. The users invested (time, knowledge) activity (purpose, task) has been trapped (voided, considered worthless) in a process and their perception is that they are unimportant.

The more users’ expectations prove right, the more users will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users’ expectations, the more they will feel insecure.

Ensure that text is clear and simple

Ensure that text is clear and simple so they may be more easily understood. Consistent title location, page layout, recognisable icons and easy to understand language benefit all users. However where users require subject specific language based upon their activities a glossary is advised to support the constant churn in user involvement.

Opening New Windows

Opening up new window is like a polluting a user screen it creates a loss of focus and no matter how great a mind a user has they will still lose their place when checking where they are in a process or task across multiple partially visible or hidden screens.

Designers open new windows on the theory that it keeps users focused on their system or it delineates separate activity. This creates a user hostile message and is self defeating since it breaks any trust in the delivery of technology that make users life better.

Non-Standard use of GUI Widgets

Consistency is one of the most powerful best practice principles. When things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen base upon their earlier experience.

The worst consistency violations in technology are found in the use of GUI widgets such as radio buttons and checkboxes. The appropriate behaviour of these design elements is defined in the Windows Vista User Experience standard, the Macintosh human interface standard, and the Java UI standard. Which of these standards to follow depends on the platform used by the majority of your users, but it hardly matters for the most basic widgets since all the standards have close-to-identical rules.

Slow Server Response Times

Slow response times are the worst offender against user expectations.

Users don’t care why response times are slow. All they know is that the technology doesn’t offer good service. Slow response times often translate directly into a reduced level of trust and they always cause a loss of use and adoption as users find a work around.

Use of colour

Ensure that text and graphics are understandable when viewed without colour. If colour alone is used to convey information, people who cannot differentiate between certain colours and users with devices that have non-colour or non-visual displays will not receive the information.

When foreground and background colours are too close to the same hue, they may not provide sufficient contrast when viewed using monochrome displays or by people with different types of colour deficits.

Ensure user control of time sensitive content changes

Ensure that content that changes does so in a manner that is obvious or had a secondary advisory so that users are made aware of that change.

Design for device independence

Use features that enable activation of page elements via a variety of input devices.

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#UX #Requirements gathering #structure #determines #success

Requirements gathering structure determines success

The Requirement Starting Point is Critical

It is an understood factor in travel that if the journey starts even half a degree wrong then the final destination will be considerably different from where the person intended to be, this is for many why there is a make do culture when working with technology requirements.

Requirement Types

Unfortunately bad requirements gathering can seriously derail a project before it really begins.

There are several types of requirements gathering research that are carried out as separate work streams.

1. Market requirements

Includes competitor analysis and proof of concept.

2. Business requirements

Includes business stakeholder perceptions and business KPI’s.

3. Technology requirements

often described as non functional requirements, including existing capabilities (hardware, software and skill base) and comparable technologies.

4. User Experience requirements

behaviour research, KPI’s, perception research and interpretation for the specific project domain.

Requirement Gathering

One of the key things to understand is that the structure and implementation of requirements gathering in each type is different even if some methods may appear the same, their interpretation and output are not. Additionally in HCD (human centered design) the method of interpretation and output are user centric rather than business centric, I find user stories a very helpful output method as it maintains user goals in a structured format that can be reused in the development process.

Case study 1

In a recent project the client requested assistance in setting up the requirements gathering process, they were intending on having groups of people from the same department together. One of the key things to understand in structuring research is the possible points at which the data can be skewed and therefore become less valid. It is human nature in a group for people to temper what is said if senior staff is present.

Instead of running the requirements gathering along department lines it was defined by UCD stakeholder roles;

  • Senior managers (strategic high level thinkers)
  • Managers (project capability thinkers)
  • Production (detailed problem solving thinkers)
  • External users (frustrated users with wide subject based experience)
  • External consultants (cutting edge thinkers with wide subject based experience) as a design panel

There was also screening documents for participant selection for each role in order to assist in defining effectual research methods. Participants were sent an overview prior to sessions so that they would understand what was going to happen at very general level. In parallel an external agency was commissioned to research market requirements in the same domain and in a comparable domain. A technology audit was also carried out to support the technology requirements component.

Case study 2

In another project where the client was intending the project to effect change in multiple countries and markets requirements gathering research was conducted in several countries. The United Kingdom was used as a baseline country with adaptations defined through in person and remote research for Eastern Europe, Western Europe, USA, South America and South East Asia.

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