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Avoid Painful Power Struggles

October 16, 2015
by Adam Churchill

According to Cennydd Bowles, co-author of Undercover User Experience Design, there are two varieties of power problems. They represent the two possible extremes of organizational power structures.

Flat structures are the flavor du jour. No hierarchy and everyone has an equal vote. Sounds good on paper, but when you have to design by committee, things get ugly fast. One way to handle this type of structure is to ask stakeholder teams to appoint representatives.

If you’re dealing with a HIPPO (Highest Paid Person in the Office) scenario, you’ve got to tailor your pitch to his or her business interests. Or, you can put your ninja powers of persuasion to work and convince the HIPPO to delegate some decisions. Either way, make sure your schedule accommodates any potential delays for sign-offs and reviews.

Adapted from UX Design when Time, Money, and Support is Limited, a virtual Seminar by Cennydd Bowles.