Big Reveal Design is Dead…Long Live Agile Design

The boardroom goes silent. All eyes are on me. I am selling what I’ve already been paid for 12 weeks ago, it makes very little sense for me to sell my expertise and story again, but I’m there.

It’s how design has always been done hasn’t it?

It’s BS theatrics that don’t need to be. It’s not tangible. It has been 12 weeks and now the business has new goals, new problems and all the priorities have shifted.

Will my design even get implemented? Not to mention the life time value of my client has dropped significantly because the goal posts have moved and I’m not on the same page.

Will I be fired next quarter? Hell, it would be on my to-do list if I were on the board.

What’s my next step in keeping this client? Maybe more labour? Hell that sounds horrible and not a deal I want to be in, but I have expenses every week.

What if I actually helped their position in the next fortnight? Therefore my own?

Why not push the design into chunks of work that the business can implement in a quicker fashion and measure and learn from?

Why not put a value on items to implement and price according to value. Say for instance if everyone in the room had cards that could score the value of my solutions out of 10 (once I’ve sold them) and I paired the pricing to the card score?

What Could the 12 Weeks Look Like Now?

We could start with a design sprint to get OUR team up to speed with THE BUSINESSES designs by diagnosing and prescribing. We could then set the first 2 weeks (aka a sprint) of implementation work.  Sprints should run for 2 weeks. Don’t go longer than that because we’re not learning quick enough.

I am then working closer to the problems of the business. This gives me the build, measure, learn loop that Eric Ries discusses in the Lean Startup.

Eric forces me to speed up the whole loop to get traction. If I pull out single parts of the 3 items in the loop I can likely go backwards. Checkout the book. It’s a great book and NOT just for startups.

The business wants me to help them succeed. Agile design pushes design teams to thinking about business goals and outcomes, instead of pretty pictures and getting a CEO say “yeah that looks good” as the success metric of a designers work.

How Will I Pay for Agile Design?

By hours? No. By some dumb value-pricing calculator? No dummy.

I can use value-pricing though just see how much value I am providing in the sprint catchup (every 2 weeks) and gauge where we’re at.

I set a price per point (say $100) on a card and I limit how many stacks of cards. Say if you had 38 points in your design valuation for work is worth $3800 to the business.

I usually give buyers, managers or senior staff the cards.

© Reed Iredale 2019 - All rights reserved.
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