Fireside Chat Recap: Balancing the Needs, Wants and Goals of Different Stakeholders
On Friday, July 10th, UXTesting Inc. organized a virtual fireside chat about “UX Strategy: Balancing the Needs, Wants and Goals of Different Stakeholders”. The session was joined by Onkardeep Singh, Senior Digital Product Designer and Aldrich Huang, CEO and Co-founder of UXTesting.io.
This fireside chat session created an interactive way for attendees to learn how to better manage different stakeholders in a UX project. User Experience (UX) has become a key strategic focus in many organizations, spearheaded by visionary companies like Apple and Amazon. A good UX strategy needs to take into consideration the needs, wants and goals of different stakeholders involved. Speakers in this webinar shared their experiences from managing UX projects to better understand the needs of different stakeholders and how they resolved conflicts that arose.
Key stakeholders in UX Project that must be considered
Working in various industries have given Onkardeep and Aldrich vast amounts of experience and during their careers, they have been involved in many UX projects. As discussed in the webinar, key stakeholders that are common in most UX projects are not limited to one department, but range from designers, researchers, product owners to senior management. From a UX designer perspective, it is recommended to be involved in the early stage. This will be beneficial during the entire product development process. Another important aspect that determines key stakeholders is the size of the organization. Working for a smaller organization, it is more likely you will be talking to higher management such as the CEO and CTO directly. Thus, these are important key stakeholders to take into consideration.
The needs, wants and goals of the different stakeholders
The webinar further builds towards the main topic of this fireside chat: “What are the needs, wants and goals of different stakeholders?”
Although this is, of course, is dependent on various factors including the organization you are working for. During this webinar, stakeholders were categorized into two groups.
Essentially in most organizations, people in the upper management tend to have monetary-driven goals. Financial gains are in most cases the overall end goals of a company.
Lower in the hierarchy within a company, the goals and wants depend a more specific part of the journey. The overall goals of the organization still remain the same, but lower-level management is focused on activities and processes in order to attain the goals set up by top management.
Conflict of interest between stakeholders
During this process, it is inevitable that conflicts or disagreements arise in the workplace. Usually, the bigger organizations the lesser are users heard and their interest is overwritten by the financial goals of the business. Onkardeep provided attendees with practical advice to take smaller steps while looking at the bigger picture. In order to reach the end goals, you should break it down to smaller goals. In a real business setting, change cannot always happen in one step. Aldrich further mentioned the importance of setting business goals from the beginning and communicating this clearly to all levels of the organization.
Aldrich further shared six steps in conflict resolution, here are the six steps explained during the webinar:
Six steps in conflict resolution
Pinpoint what the conflict is about
Agree on the desired outcome of the conflict
Communicate, listen and work together to reach the common goal
Acknowledge the source of the problem and how to prevent it
Come to a mutual agreement how to resolve the conflict
Take responsibility in the resolution of the conflict and follow the terms you have agreed upon
Aldrich further added that it is also important to acknowledge that sometimes compromises need to be made. Sometimes you even need to take a small step back in order to move a bigger step forward. Drawing from experience some general tips in conflict resolution from both Onkardeep and Aldrich that were given included were:
Recognize frustration from different stakeholder
Talk calmly and communicate (don’t resist)
Listen to feedback without turning it into negative criticism for yourself
Look for solutions together, and try keep up a positive mindset
This article provided useful and practical tips that were discussed during UXTesting's fireside chat on “UX Strategy: Balancing the Needs, Wants and Goals of Different Stakeholders”. At UXTesting, we provide remote user insight solutions to enterprises that can help further your UX research. For questions or more information about how UXTesting can help your company, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.