We have two types of business offerings, Products and Projects. Products are the main standard business offering, while Projects is a customised business offering based on our client’s needs.
As a Lead UX UI designer, my role is to simplify the project briefs so the cross-functional team can easily understand its requirements and goals.
The cross-functional team has difficulty understanding the product visions, requirements and goals to build the products due to lack of context and insufficient information, which results in inefficiency and unproductive work output.
After a week in the company, I immersed myself in the design team, where I worked closely with the cross-functional team and product owner to get the first-hand experience in their daily works and processes. It includes collaboration with the cross-functional team, understanding the project briefs, conducting interviews within the design team, running on sprints and working on the designs.
Testing the variety of solutions
As the problem arises, the cross-functional team is looking for solutions to get all the teams to sync up with the product visions and requirements. From writing project briefs with users stories and wireframe flows, OMG (Outcome, Moment and Good enough) to using analogies of floor planning and building a house that we thought could help the business team write their project briefs.
User interview and observation
Since the solutions did not work out entirely as expected, I conducted an interview session with the business team to understand their thought process better while observing them preparing the project brief.
Items that I uncovered:
- The missing piece is a high-level visual summary of the product roadmap.
- A sitemap and information architecture are missing from each project brief.
- The business focuses on the “project” level instead of the product level, which is why we are building the product backwards, and the outcome is high turnover project deliverables.
- The business conveys the requirements based on our system data structure, which is only relevant to the development team.
- The requirements are too detailed and solution-based
- Cross-functional team terminologies and language barrier
I suggested building a high-level visual summary of the product roadmap to connect the products and projects.
I taught the business team how to build a basic sitemap and explaining that they should ignore the system data structure and focus on how the users will access the contents based on their understanding.
I explained that we should first build the products in a modular and scalable approach as they are the foundation needed to create the projects.
I sketched and explained that each team has a different interpretation of the project brief when communicated to the cross-functional team, which causes a language barrier and confusing terminologies. So I recommended writing a glossary for each project brief.
We are gradually improving the project briefs and prioritising the product builds. Based on the feedback, the teams have more clarity and can see the broader picture of how the product/project works, which helps everyone be more in sync, be less prone to miscommunication and be more efficient and productive with our work output.