Take This Job and Love It: A Case Study

September 16, 2017
2:00pm  -  2:50pm
Trinity 1-3

Can a designer enter the corporate world and still remain inspired and a source for innovation? Historically, IBM has been an engineer lead company. Four years ago, it made the decision to put design at the center of its core cloud strategy and hire over 1000 designers. I joined IBM during this cultural shift and learned to lead a team through the challenges and conflicts. My talk will outline how my team has adapted to best compliment our development and product management counterparts, make release deadlines, and preserve our creative souls.

Here is the situation I entered

  • IBM Recruits tons of talented designers and rapidly injects them into dev teams
  • New designers burned out and left the company
  • Designers, PM, and Dev immediately experienced friction from miscommunication and churn from wasted time and work

Here is what I tried with my team

  • Showed my team how to organize internally – Adopting Agile UX and Educating PM and Dev on what design can do
  • Set up environments where design and dev could collaborate openly, disarming the group
  • Gave them the space and time to innovate
  • Scheduling innovation time to work outside the product
  • Offered outlets for them to lead
  • Getting them out of the office to speak to the greater design community

Here is what we learned and shared with the rest of IBM Design

  • How we learned to coordinate with Agile UX
  • Work in progress
  • How we organized our files for handoffs

Session Category :  Corporate UX