Draw in the Designers

imageDon’t debate the debaters, but instead, influence the influencers.

Product managers are leaders and influencers of features, ideas, and epic tasks. Some have direct and backed authority, many others have variants that are partial or merely implicit. Either way, to achieve the greatest success, do you rule with force? Or influence, and guide, and allow for shared discovery in support of your product’s end goals?

Let’s Take Designers

There are all types of designers. To describe a few…

The Perfectionist

Can often get lost in the weeds and minutia. They may even often fail at the on time delivery of a product since, for them, nothing less than 100% perfect will do.

The Innovator

A genius at creating new design patterns; and is always trying to work them into every corner of the product design. They seek to establish previously unexperienced trends. And, they may see themselves more as an artist than as a designer working to meet the business requirements of customers, or product managers.

The Mixologist

They take, borrow, improve ideas of their own, from their team, peers, as well as, from outside the company (blogs, designers, books, websites, …). They may not be doing the heavy lifting, but, make no mistakes, they are the design conductor behind the scenes.

The Standard Barer

This individual of rigorous ideals, follows only the establish design patterns — shirking from trying the untried ideas. Often they end up following these standards to a fault, impinging innovation and other business goals.

The Problem

Your designer doesn’t want to make the changes to the UI that you think will provide additional business value, through usability, productivity, better experience, …

What do you do? Twist an arm? Or, understand the individual, and influence the influencers?

What’s your advice for these and other types of designers?

Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing various examples and approaches in wielding strategic influence as a successful product manager.

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

This entry was posted in product management, user experience and tagged , , by Jeremy Horn. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with thirteen years of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and social media. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Jeremy can currently be found pioneering the next generation of content management and sharing at Viacom, acting as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine. Follow Jeremy on twitter @theproductguy or his blog at http://tpgblog.com.

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