How can we ensure speed and quality?
SUE is a devote user of methodologies that enable people to create impactful work. After having experimented with different frameworks and methodologies, we’d like to share with you the methods we’ve embraced and which allow us to create work we’re proud off.
As a strategy and innovation company, it is our job to understand people and create stuff they really want. This means our distinctiveness in the market is defined by two elements:
1. How well do we understand the people we’re designing for?
2. How well do our people, our teams, perform?
We have experimented with a great many frameworks and ways of understanding people. From different ways of gathering behavioural insights to data analysis tools and much more.
Next to that, we have been experimenting with different ways in which our teams should organize themselves. After having discovered agile and holacracy, we’ve been reading up on the ways to make this vision work for a company like ours.
After thorough experimentation and validation, two methods now form the core of how SUE works: the Behavioural Design Method and Scrum. We’ll shortly explain both.
Scrum is the way in which our teams collaborate. In short, Scrum is a framework that tells you to break down work into small and detailed tasks, hand these to a dedicated and autonomous team and let them focus on completing these tasks, one at a time.
When team members interact continuously, they are fully aware of what is expected at every moment of a project. This allows them to move forward without slow status updates and act together on problems as soon as they appear.
Doing Scrum means you constantly have feedback on your project status, on how you are performing and where you can do better. It creates a constant atmosphere of improvement.
Daily analyzing progress and deciding on an action plan allows teams to become highly adaptable to change. And this is the fundamental element that makes Scrum teams so much faster and better than other teams.
The number one pitfall of implementing Scrum without understanding it, is that it seems to be a heavy process. The number one question coming to a critic’s mind: why would you spend so much time talking instead of just doing the job?
However, this critique indicates a poor understanding of Scrum and it’s benefits. When doing Scrum the talking is actually limited to providing necessary context and a plan of action. This reduces (hidden) communication waste drastically. This is something most people have to experience in order to believe.
The Behavioural Design Method determines the tasks we’ll do to tackle a challenge. There are 3 phases: Behavioural Insights, Ideation; and Prototyping.
We start out by researching your customer’s needs, wants and current behaviour. The number one way of doing this is by organizing in-depth interviews. Sometimes these interviews are accompanied by contextual observations or online data analysis. The learnings gathered from this show us where opportunities lie to create stuff that matters. And these insights fuel our strategies and ideas.
Our initial strategies and ideas are turned into prototypes, so they can be tested with experts and your target audience. This reveals new insights, which fuel new ideas and new strategies.
This loop will be repeated a number of times so we can change our initial ideas until we’ve got it just right.
Validation and refinement drastically increases our quality and effectivity, which reduces risk when scaling later on.
As a strategy and innovation company, it is our job to figure out how we can best understand people and how our people can create the best possible work. Whilst working with methodologies might seem to stand in the way of fast-paced work, the contrary is true. Scrum and the Behavioural Design Method enable a fast pace whilst creating high-quality output. They offer us the perfect balance between clear steps and a constant atmosphere of improvement.
Exactly what our teams need to efficiently and effectively tackle human-centred design challenges.
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