Solution Convergence: Marrying Business, User Experience and Technical Input

My product owner was upset when I told her she couldn’t have the widget that she had agreed with the User Experience (UX) Designer. The problem was the design was not technically feasible. To get a great solution to meet the business requirements three parties – business, user experience and technical – must agree on the approach. That negotiation is what I call “Solution Convergence”.

You need input from the business, user experience and technical

The product owner, user experience (UX) designers and technical folk need to converge on the solution. The product owner proposes the requirements that will deliver the business benefit. The UX designer suggests user interface designs that will offer a fantastic experience. Technical offers a technically feasible solution to meet the requirements including the user interface.

Solution Convergence

Solution Convergence

Convergence isn’t necessarily immediate. That is why talking is important. Along with an iterative incremental approach.

But any of them can go crazy

People can get it wrong and the roles involved in Solution Convergence are no different. In particular if any of them state a solution as a requirement then we’ll have a problem. “It must read my mind”, “All servers must be turned off”, “3D transitions. Everywhere” are all solutions but it isn’t entirely clear what problem they are solving. (These are, of course, made up examples. Nobody I’ve met is quite crazy enough to have asked for any of these things and certainly not the chaps in the photos.)

Solution Convergence - Equal Opportunity Craziness

Solution Convergence – Equal Opportunity Craziness

Solution Police

As the programme manager I am responsible for overall delivery. Getting the best solution with the money and time available. That responsibility means I get to sanity check everything. I can and do challenge anything in the proposed solution that will risk delivery, whether the suggestion comes from the business, UX or technical. And I’m not the only solution policeman, I’ve got Project Managers and Business Analysts that also act as solution police on my behalf. In fact I rely on them to do this given they are closer to the action in their part of the programme than I am.

Solution Convergence - Solution Police

Solution Convergence – Solution Police