June 19

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Teamwork with “3 in a Box”

By taking a representative of the 3 groups responsible for product development, you get teamwork, consistency and a more cohesive design and end product.
What is "3 in a box"?

Where you take a representative of Product Management, development and design. Empower them to work together to come up with ideas, solutions, functional enhancements or just prioritised tasks for a project.

This concept was introduced to me recently, working on a product in partnership with a very large worldwide consumer payments platform. We formed a team of Product Manager, Ux designer and development team to work closely on design, functional requirements, and development of the product. Teamwork and trust is quickly built when working so closely with a small group.

How does it work?

Put your chosen 3 together in a room. Give them a task with a specific output requirement. Keep the gatherings "in the box" focused and short. Empower the participants to come up with solutions.

How does it benefit?

The benefits are not immediately obvious, even in practice. By allowing a representative of each main group to be involved in the solution to a problem, or prioritisation of a task list, you gain alternative viewpoints, and consensus across the team at the end of a session.

But it's the intangibles that are the real gain with "3 in a Box." The 3 separate areas of development gain an understanding of each-other and build trust in that understanding.​

The developers know the Ux designer wants to build a product that people will use & keep using, not just one that looks pretty.​

Product Management will understand more of the complexities of the development lifecycle as well as being able to keep a guiding hand on where the product is heading.

The Ux design team will understand that there are trade-offs that get to be made sometimes when building the product. A specific feature may require significant extra development time. The developers may need to change the way a feature is implemented for technical reasons.

By having a closer relationship built on trust and understanding between the 3 main groups, there's less "but why" and more "let's get this sorted out".

And that is a good thing for everyone.


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