When I was brought in as the UX Manager for The Home Depot Quote Center in 2017, the group was facing a significant problem: how can UX, PM and Development work together seamlessly to drive world-class experiences?
Specifically, teams were suffering recurring mis-alignment and impacts to productivity:
Aligning the organization and addressing issues with management and operations was a multi-year effort, requiring the participation of the entire company.
As a part of that effort, the UX team developed its UX Playbook:
A key breakthrough in the solution was the single-sheeter placemat: a simple, easy to navigate game board that situated the Software Development Lifecycle in the context of a Design Thinking framework.
Through the process of asking four simple questions, UX, PM and Dev determine where they are in the process, proceeding only if they are able to answer "yes."
If the answer to a question is "No," the team drops out of the main flow, entering a separate Design Thinking process flow (one of four "Mega-plays").
Inspiration for creating a game board
Problem Validation Mega-play
Concept Visioning Mega-play
Epic Definition Mega-play
Feature Delivery Mega-play
I started developing the playbook in mid-2017 at the request of the Sr. Manager of Product Management. In addition to recognizing the general mis-alignment among the teams, leadership also perceived confusion about roles, responsibilities and sequence of work:
The playbook went through several iterations throughout 2018 until the team's breakthrough in mid-2019 with the game board metaphor.
To learn more about the process, see my Product Craft article.
I played several roles throughout the development of the UX Playbook:
Creative Director—driving Design Thinking as the fundamental framework
Manager—supporting and enabling the team to work on the playbook
Designer—developing layouts, visuals and assets for the book
The majority of the work was completed by my UX team at QuoteCenter (in alphabetical order):