Project Management

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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Scope Management, Strategy
Design (obsession with design) and project management
What does design mean to you (including software projects)?

Should design be a constant concern of project managers?

How to put design on top of the projects we manage?
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Hi Luís,

I imagine you are referring to the design of the product, service, etc.
In my opinion, that case should be a concern ( not an obsession ) from the project manager, however some times in some areas, or organizations the project manager has no direct influence( Ideally should have) about the design of the product depends how the organization deliver the project to the project manager. Nevertheless, the quality plan must assure that the deliverables fullfil the requirements established in the business requirements document, the acceptance criteria and should be ambitious to the point of determine if the delivery, service or product design is not causing unexpected issues or deviations to expected behavior of the final product ( ideally interacting with the stakeholders ou final users).
In the cases where the project manager has power to change the design, should take the initiative, if not should escalate the design issue to the project sponsor, PMO, or responsible entity.

From my experience I already see at first hand that some projects go wrong due to a poor design.
In a particular project that I was engaged after released to production, passed one year in production it was measured that 20% of the problems reported by customers were due to poor product design ( It was a fairly complex project of mechatronics involving software as last component in it's integration).

Alexandre Costa
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 12, 2020 7:20 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Yes, my topic is about obsession with product, service or solution design (when it comes to software, beauty, grace, clarity, user friendliness)

Can the project manager have an intervention on the subject of design?
Jan 12, 2020 6:08 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Hi Luís,

I imagine you are referring to the design of the product, service, etc.
In my opinion, that case should be a concern ( not an obsession ) from the project manager, however some times in some areas, or organizations the project manager has no direct influence( Ideally should have) about the design of the product depends how the organization deliver the project to the project manager. Nevertheless, the quality plan must assure that the deliverables fullfil the requirements established in the business requirements document, the acceptance criteria and should be ambitious to the point of determine if the delivery, service or product design is not causing unexpected issues or deviations to expected behavior of the final product ( ideally interacting with the stakeholders ou final users).
In the cases where the project manager has power to change the design, should take the initiative, if not should escalate the design issue to the project sponsor, PMO, or responsible entity.

From my experience I already see at first hand that some projects go wrong due to a poor design.
In a particular project that I was engaged after released to production, passed one year in production it was measured that 20% of the problems reported by customers were due to poor product design ( It was a fairly complex project of mechatronics involving software as last component in it's integration).

Alexandre Costa
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Yes, my topic is about obsession with product, service or solution design (when it comes to software, beauty, grace, clarity, user friendliness)

Can the project manager have an intervention on the subject of design?
...
1 reply by Alexandre Costa
Jan 12, 2020 7:52 AM
Alexandre Costa
...
The project manager should always have intervention in the design of the product in software area attending the business requirements. You should not forget in software ui/ux is only the part that exposes the design of the architecture solution that will be implemented.

Unless the project manager be an expert in ui/ux and even so the intervention should be guided by a ui designer, a solution architect and supported by the feedback of final users and/or by who request the solution.

We have to remember that the ultimate goal is the satisfaction of the software users and not the implementation of our personal tastes, a project manager must be aware with "gold plating" a trap we often fall into in the desire to please the customer.
Jan 12, 2020 7:20 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Yes, my topic is about obsession with product, service or solution design (when it comes to software, beauty, grace, clarity, user friendliness)

Can the project manager have an intervention on the subject of design?
The project manager should always have intervention in the design of the product in software area attending the business requirements. You should not forget in software ui/ux is only the part that exposes the design of the architecture solution that will be implemented.

Unless the project manager be an expert in ui/ux and even so the intervention should be guided by a ui designer, a solution architect and supported by the feedback of final users and/or by who request the solution.

We have to remember that the ultimate goal is the satisfaction of the software users and not the implementation of our personal tastes, a project manager must be aware with "gold plating" a trap we often fall into in the desire to please the customer.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 12, 2020 9:15 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Thanks for your comment

I agree with you that the Project Manager does not always have the design skills

Design is one of those magical domains that works at the subconscious level. He inspires us, elevates us ... moves us ... many times without understanding why.

And: is the essence of FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, SPECTACULAR, EXCITING projects.

In that case ... nothing like putting designers on top
Jan 12, 2020 7:52 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
The project manager should always have intervention in the design of the product in software area attending the business requirements. You should not forget in software ui/ux is only the part that exposes the design of the architecture solution that will be implemented.

Unless the project manager be an expert in ui/ux and even so the intervention should be guided by a ui designer, a solution architect and supported by the feedback of final users and/or by who request the solution.

We have to remember that the ultimate goal is the satisfaction of the software users and not the implementation of our personal tastes, a project manager must be aware with "gold plating" a trap we often fall into in the desire to please the customer.
Dear Alexandre
Thanks for your comment

I agree with you that the Project Manager does not always have the design skills

Design is one of those magical domains that works at the subconscious level. He inspires us, elevates us ... moves us ... many times without understanding why.

And: is the essence of FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, SPECTACULAR, EXCITING projects.

In that case ... nothing like putting designers on top
Luis -

Design directly affects quality requirements, so determine the right approach and right level of effort put into design is critical to delivering the product "right".

Models like design thinking help, but like quality, commitment to simplicity, elegancy, maintainability, scalability, usability and so on needs to go much further than just adopting a method or framework.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 12, 2020 11:47 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

You wrote: "Design directly affects quality requirements, so determine the right approach and right level of effort put into design is critical to delivering the product" right ".

What you are telling me is that design, in your opinion, should not be our choice ... just at the "right level of effort", is that it?
Jan 12, 2020 10:57 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

Design directly affects quality requirements, so determine the right approach and right level of effort put into design is critical to delivering the product "right".

Models like design thinking help, but like quality, commitment to simplicity, elegancy, maintainability, scalability, usability and so on needs to go much further than just adopting a method or framework.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

You wrote: "Design directly affects quality requirements, so determine the right approach and right level of effort put into design is critical to delivering the product" right ".

What you are telling me is that design, in your opinion, should not be our choice ... just at the "right level of effort", is that it?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jan 12, 2020 1:40 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
What I'm saying is that there is as much wrong with over-designing or putting too much effort into design as there is into under-designing.

The context of the product, service or result will dictate how much or how little design should be emphasized.

Kiron
Luis,

Like most aspects of project management, the project manager is concerned with the navigational qualities of a given process. That is, their primary responsibility is to make sure that all strategic activities are structured and executed under the direction of the project compass, which, when properly calibrated, points towards objective success.

So, under that principle, the design is absolutely a constant concern of the project manager. However, this concern is not a license for one to get involved in the details (i.e., the weeds) of the design, but instead, an obligation to be “architecturally aware.” This awareness allows one to see the end-to-end view, which, using the “project compass” metaphor, allows one to confirm that the design is pointed in the direction of “objective success.”
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 12, 2020 1:03 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear George
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree with what you wrote: "the design is absolutely a constant concern of the project manager"

The important thing is to involve the designers from the beginning of the project and put the design on the agenda of each project meeting (preferably ... at the top)
Jan 12, 2020 12:50 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Luis,

Like most aspects of project management, the project manager is concerned with the navigational qualities of a given process. That is, their primary responsibility is to make sure that all strategic activities are structured and executed under the direction of the project compass, which, when properly calibrated, points towards objective success.

So, under that principle, the design is absolutely a constant concern of the project manager. However, this concern is not a license for one to get involved in the details (i.e., the weeds) of the design, but instead, an obligation to be “architecturally aware.” This awareness allows one to see the end-to-end view, which, using the “project compass” metaphor, allows one to confirm that the design is pointed in the direction of “objective success.”
Dear George
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree with what you wrote: "the design is absolutely a constant concern of the project manager"

The important thing is to involve the designers from the beginning of the project and put the design on the agenda of each project meeting (preferably ... at the top)
Jan 12, 2020 11:47 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

You wrote: "Design directly affects quality requirements, so determine the right approach and right level of effort put into design is critical to delivering the product" right ".

What you are telling me is that design, in your opinion, should not be our choice ... just at the "right level of effort", is that it?
What I'm saying is that there is as much wrong with over-designing or putting too much effort into design as there is into under-designing.

The context of the product, service or result will dictate how much or how little design should be emphasized.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 12, 2020 2:08 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

What about the design that revolutionizes the way we think about the product, service and that surprises us by its BEAUTY, FUNCTIONALITY and that changes our LIFE?
Jan 12, 2020 1:40 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
What I'm saying is that there is as much wrong with over-designing or putting too much effort into design as there is into under-designing.

The context of the product, service or result will dictate how much or how little design should be emphasized.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

What about the design that revolutionizes the way we think about the product, service and that surprises us by its BEAUTY, FUNCTIONALITY and that changes our LIFE?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jan 12, 2020 3:57 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
That really is product/service/result-specific. Design delighters will certainly be a valuable differentiator in some contexts, but not in others.

Kiron
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