The affect of PRINCE 2 on Enterprise IxD

7 Oct 2005 - 7:38am
8 years ago
2 replies
368 reads
kjnarey
2004

I'm interested in opinion on this subject as it appears to me to be a really
key issue in moving IxD on in the enterprise solution world.

I wondered what the experiences of the list are with enterprise 'standards'
and 'processes'. So, for example let's take the PRINCE 2 Project Management
process. This process advocates the appointment of a 'Senior User' on the
project board. Many IxD related problems ensue from this appointment as it
appears that it's aims are to trivialise the importance of the actual people
who will benefit from the proposed solution. The senior user is often a
Subject Matter Expert, but is very rarely close enough to understand the
real goals of the real users; an error which is, unfortunately, all too
familiar with many of us.

Many companies support these types of standards and there are many PMs using
this method. Perhaps the only way we can truly prevent the inevitable
disaster that results is to either infuse IxD considerations into that
process or generate a whole new one. I know which one I prefer.

Kevin

Comments

7 Oct 2005 - 7:46am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi kevin,

I think your question is a bit mis-stated. I think as a UCD practitioner you
definitely understand that "domain experts" are not a useful component to
the design equation, at least not as useful as primary research. So I don't
think you are accepting the situation.

What I think the real question is, "How can we infuse UCD practices into
environments that feel they have the 'user' question nailed through subject
matter experts?"

Great question!

Something I also want to point out is that IxD exists w/o UCD. ::crickets::
You can design for behavior and structure without communicating to a single
user. UCD is a philosophy and collection of tools/methods centered around
that philosophy that try to infuse the end-user into the design process.

Also, primary research is not the only form of research that we can use.
Sometimes secondary sources can be quite helpful when available. I try to
rely more and more on secondary sources b/c my enterprise culture that I'm
designing for doesn't allow me access to the users really except for
validation purposes. So I attempt to read up on literature and do design
more from a heuristic perspective. NOT IDEAL! But REAL!

-- dave

On 10/7/05 8:38 AM, "kjnarey" <asow73 at dsl.pipex.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I'm interested in opinion on this subject as it appears to me to be a really
> key issue in moving IxD on in the enterprise solution world.
>
> I wondered what the experiences of the list are with enterprise 'standards'
> and 'processes'. So, for example let's take the PRINCE 2 Project Management
> process. This process advocates the appointment of a 'Senior User' on the
> project board. Many IxD related problems ensue from this appointment as it
> appears that it's aims are to trivialise the importance of the actual people
> who will benefit from the proposed solution. The senior user is often a
> Subject Matter Expert, but is very rarely close enough to understand the
> real goals of the real users; an error which is, unfortunately, all too
> familiar with many of us.
>
> Many companies support these types of standards and there are many PMs using
> this method. Perhaps the only way we can truly prevent the inevitable
> disaster that results is to either infuse IxD considerations into that
> process or generate a whole new one. I know which one I prefer.
>
> Kevin
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

7 Oct 2005 - 9:46am
kjnarey
2004

>I think your question is a bit mis-stated.

I didn't ask a question, I asked for opinion and you gave me yours. :)

>I think as a UCD practitioner you definitely understand that "domain
experts"
>are not a useful component to the design equation...

*not*? I'm pretty sure the majority of all IxD (notice I haven't used UCD
here) proponents use Subject Matter Experts as the focus of their 'primary
research' on projects with a design component, today. This is generally, as
you have stated, 'real', because that's all that's made available for
current design activity in orgs. It's easier for businesses that way and is
generally accepted as the norm.

What I'm getting at is that this type of research is unsatisfactory alone as
a 'norm' and that I do not accept it as the status quo. If we were to
negotiate with those who devised these 'standards' (i.e. ITIL, Prince 2) and
convince them that they have a missing or faulty component in their process,
we may be able to involve end-users in primary research as a matter of
course - at least on enterprise projects. This addresses the problem at
source without the need for you to have to harangue your employers and tell
them that they're just not cutting the design mustard - a difficult, but
sometimes inevitable job, for most IxDers at present.

>You can design for behavior and structure without communicating to a single
user.

I agree, but I fear at the cost of more fruitful Interaction Design efforts.
1-to-1 experience of the contextual problems of users will effectively help
to understand the improvement by design - it's not even vaguely a new
concept. Prince 2 does not help me to do this. I maintain that the majority
of IxD cultural problems lie in organisational structure and bought-in
processes with credence.

Anyone else found issues with Prince 2?

Kevin

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