Working at speed, not in a rush

Estelle Ricoux & Jo Simmons

4 minute read

At Friday, our work focuses on transforming the customer experience.

We digitally re-think, re-imagine and re-create the core products and services by which an organisation delivers value to the people it serves. We also help them identify and create new ways and opportunities to deliver value.

We do this rapidly. Not at the expense of quality, but with a velocity and delivery cadence that can surprise our clients.

Our conscious ambition to deliver at speed has a direct impact on how we nurture our two obsessions: craft and team. This is not about working late, nor about compromising quality. It is about using techniques and embracing principles that ensure we maintain the highest possible degree of focus, momentum and excitement around the work.

Below we share a blend of these techniques and principles:

  1. Quantify the problem

    Find a way to measure the level of frustration or dissatisfaction with the current state of things to create an appetite for change. It helps getting investment and support, and clarifies the job at hand for the team, speeding up the process along the way.

  2. Empower teams

    Have high expectations of the team. Everything will happen faster if they are equipped to be self-regulating, and self-sufficient: they will collaborate to deliver quality work on budget and act as trusted advisor to clients. Ongoing client involvement over delivery milestones helps the project move forward faster.

  3. Uncover insights fast, and ongoing

    Include remote research tools in the practice: mobile diary studies, remote market research and survey tools help to rapidly flesh out the hypotheses formed through depth interviews with end user and stakeholders. Switch to remote testing tools to complement in person feedback.

  4. Be hunchy

    Bring a point of view, work up hypotheses quickly and have “reckons” - as a way of starting quickly, making a contribution, and beginning collaboration. But know these are tentative, and seek evidence and opinions to disprove and refine them.

  5. Explain strategy in simple pictures

    Create a shared view of the better future customer experience. It helps senior management, and frontline staff to understand fast, and align technology, product, and marketing roadmaps.

  6. Have a flexible tool kit

    Choose from a set of techniques to adapt the approach quickly and efficiently. Evaluate what’s needed in terms of methodology and artefact at the start (it doesn’t always have to be sketch-wireframes-design-build). It helps to save time without compromising quality.

  7. Peer review, every day

    Subject the work to peer reviews every week, every day, as often as possible. This is the fastest way to up the design to new standards, exploiting practitioners’ desire to constantly learn and stay on top of the sharper end of their discipline.

  8. Build in slices

    Cut the Target Customer Experience map into bundles or feature slices, prioritise them, detail them and then put each slice through a prototype-pilot-scale process. New fragments of the proposition are built, tested and delivered quickly, returning value to the organisation at low risk, and gathering support.

  9. Give everyone the chance to slow down

    Make team health checks, project health checks and quality checks mandatory gateways between phases of a project. Ask everyone what makes them nervous, and what makes them excited. And carve time to challenge and push the quality of the work further.

We can only strive to combine all the above in our project work. But it is important to do so, because working at speed means working better, not working in a rush.

We do this because we understand that clients are under huge amounts of pressure and Friday can provide strategic counsel for them, but also demonstrate the techniques they can adopt over time, transforming their core business in the process.

Jo Simmons

Chief Design Officer

Estelle Ricoux

Head of Strategy
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