How to really keep a project moving

Have you ever entered a project meeting with the belief that some decisions, and therefore progress, would be made, only to leave with the stark realization that nothing happened?

Of course you have. Silly question.

Who knows why, right? Lack of a clear majority, poor moderation, dishonest agreement (agreeing to agree because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings). We could go on and go on. But as your ally – as someone who cares about your next UX project – I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t dwell on it.

I know, it stinks. These tiresome outcomes drain the life out of you. But from my experience, they’re hard to overcome, especially when you’re driven to iterate and win quickly.

There is, however, one way to keep your project moving, no matter what: name an ultimate decision maker, and make sure said decision maker makes honest decisions.

Okay, maybe that was two. One-and-a-half?

I’m not just quoting Google Ventures, here. I speak from experience. Just withholding names, for now ;)

Naturally, your ultimate decision maker should be your CEO, VP of Product or Product Manager. She could also be your Sales Director. Regardless, she needs to be someone who has a keen understanding of your product and user-base. Someone who can absorb feedback from the room, and has the courage to make honest decisions about which designs to test, what functionalities to implement and anything in between, whether she’s with the majority or not.

Tough role, I know.

If she’s right, then she’s right. If she’s wrong, then you have proof regarding what won’t work and can make space for what will.

How refreshing! And crazy! But it works. Give it a try, at least.

Wishing you a magical, designy holiday season, and some serious forward movement in the New Year.

Until next time,

image: Decisions by Julie anne Johnson. CC BY 2.0.

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