I'd like to build on what both Chauncey and Alan suggested. That is, I’d recommend taking a lightweight stakeholder-centric approach to:
. per Chauncey, promote and position great UI design
. per Alan, utilize your designers as agents of change, modeling new role, positioning design for more impact
Without knowing much about your company’s culture or readiness for change, here's a possible approach to consider:
. Use your designers' skills to employ a customer research approach to identify your stakeholders, prioritizing the few stakeholders critical to your success. Focus on stakeholders that are champions or neutral about good UI design. People too often waste time on those opposed to an organization change.
. Determine what each critical stakeholder values most (margins, market share, cost savings, etc.), what they are measured on to be deemed successful and how they believe they can achieve their success. Actions (their decisions and investments) may be more indicative than what they say/present ("our vision", charter, strategy, etc.).
. Use these insights to position design examples, case studies, etc. in a way that aligns with the key stakeholders values. You'll find groups of stakeholders with similar values, so will need just a few sets of positions. Moving a stakeholder to see that great UI design is urgently needed (commit time and resources now), not just important is the metric for success (a la John Kotter).
. Your team can prototype and refine your tailored positioning and validate them with less critical stakeholders.
My experience in working with design teams in a large corporation with modest to weak CEO support, was that having designers participate on project teams, modeling new roles and introducing new approaches effected change too slowly. Given the half-life of key stakeholders in one role, many projects did not deliver the promised results during the stakeholder's tenure. Combining promoting/positioning design-as-a-strategic-tool with delivering project results accelerated the growth of design capability in the company and made it easier for projects to span multiple sponsors.
The work I summarized above, is something that designers in your organization can be coached to do - since it relies on user-centered design skills they probably have. Furthermore, when leadership changes, you can use this stakeholder-centric approach to shift your positioning to stay "on the bubble" of what your leaders care about.
The above suggestions are based on models from persuasion, design theory, political campaigning, negotiation and change management. It has been refined and proven to work at a $100B+ multi-national IT corporation. See the following articles on advancing the strategic role of design through stakeholder-centric design + organization theory.
Hope this is helpful.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Chauncey Wilson
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 5:56 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA] How do you scale great UI design?
A really good ux marketing (public relations) plan
A collection of good designs accessible
Case studies showing why something is a good design and how it made a
Before and after comparisons (a powerful technique that is not used as much
as it should be
Rewards for good design
Goals in employee performance plans that have some connection to design
Do a metaphor brainstorming session that focuses on how other things are
marketed. For example how do people market financial services, cars, books,
food,etc. I have done this and it yields many ideas. If anyone would like to
try this as an experiment let me know and we could try it with
Read the books on persuasion by cialdini who describes Principles of
persuasion that work in the real world
Sent from my iPad
On Jul 27, 2010, at 2:02 AM, russwilson wrote:
> How do you successfully scale great UI design across a very large company?
How do you deliver great products for a company with over 10,000 employees
and 100's of products?
> Have my own opinions, but looking for interesting perspectives...
> Russell Wilson
> VP, User Experience and Product Design
> CA Technologies, Inc.
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson 
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