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I've been reading Lean UX hoping to implement some of what I see in a brand new UX team at my organization. One thing I noticed is that a lot of the activities and suggestions assume that you can/will have your team synchronized on a project or effort all at once.

Historically, we haven't been able to guarantee the whole team is working on the same effort (set of features) at the same time. Other things like escalations, etc. pop up.

Is this a paradigm shift that must be implemented company wide before Lean UX can be adopted? If not, what are best practices to implement Lean UX in an organization?

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Short answer: You can not Lean without having a really integrated team.

Lean UX origins comes from Lean Strategy. It is a bit strange that you already have a brand new UX team already integrated to your organization. Lean Strategy generally is favor of;

  • Low inventory and personal cost
  • High communication with customer
  • Really short cycles and more on generation of ideas,concepts (while checking feasibility and understanding the knowledge of the team members) and validating if it works both internally and externally.

It first tries to validate the business context than a need (shows similarities with UCD). It generally sounds like a mission of a new start-up (Ex: Dropbox- we are going to be your hard-drive at the cloud). Team should be really flat and make everybody to understand what the team is doing all together. In meetings, any developer can take the role of a designer or a designer can find a friend to build a part of the solution or find a person who is doing it cheaper than internal developer. It does not matter at all. If it is not flat and if your team has politic games, it is hard to make it work. From some experience that i heard that the flatness can create sometimes problem by delaying taking a decision. You need leading people rather than managing ones.

The general cycle can be named as;

Think - Make (or make somebody to make) - Check = Learn what is valid and how can it be improved?

The idea of LeanUX is not about product or service. It is more like a team should be survived all together and learning all together. LeanUX is good for;

  • Lean Strategy adopted organizations, generally new start-ups and Intraprenueral projects (act enterpreneural in a big organzation)

It demands a higher focus on creating cross-functional teams and collaborative team members. As said, start-ups are good with LeanUX because;

  • They are relatively small which makes communication and managing easier
  • High ownership - they can even own the company at first stage which makes the things personal.

If your company is big or can not be divided into small groups, get some time also look a Agile UX.

The difference between AgileUX and LeanUX is;

While AgileUX is focusing on making cycle of the all business process, LeanUX is about all components of the business landscape including the capabilities of the team members.

The best practice of implementing LeanUX is;

  • Turn the company to lean strategy (let's do it or let's survive!)
  • Educate team members and convince them to work together
  • Increase the communication between all team-members and getting introverted peoples ideas, give mic to them
  • breaking down teams into smaller cells and make responsible of any action not member but whole team
  • Destroy visible hierarchy, do not push the leading people if it is wrong way, team will make a good statement one of the daily meetings...

Good luck,

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