You should co-opt the executives opinions. Don't fight it, own it...You should say,
User testing is a waste of time,
agreed. Apple doesn't do user
research. A designer should be able
to design something people love. I
will do that. Process involving alot
of official testing is definitely not
Just tell me what the subject matter
and the names/numbers of a few people
who will use the product and I will
take care of everything and design something awesome. No
interviews or testing, I just need to
ask them a few questions.
Then they will try and get product managers to answer your questions. This is the worst possible scenario. It's worse than having no users at all. If they can't give you 1:1 time with a user, then you should just make your best guesses. Bad situation.
Generally, people don't want to hear about your fancy process. They want deliverables. Don't try to make them understand all the stuff you do. Just get what you need under the radar. UX is guerrilla warfare. Find a way to make it awesome without anyone knowing the difference.