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When a UX or user experience designer is introduced into the workflow, a clash with the product manager can be expected, as the user experience is commonly part of a product manager’s job. In addition, the fact that a UX was brought on may mean that the product development was already in crisis to begin with. Hence, a product manager may find a UX’s presence to be threatening.
Because of this perceived threat, the UX may find himself or herself at the receiving end of a product manager’s hostility. Often, their ideas and recommendations are dismissed as soon as it is presented. Other times, these two will butt heads and argue without really reaching an agreement over a plan or strategy. So how can a successful working relationship be achieved between the two parties?
Product managers often ignore the work of the UX, completely taking for granted their worth and purpose in the workflow. Getting product managers to realize and embrace the value of your work may take time. Here are simple tips you can use to foster a good working relationship with your product manager.
Clearly Communicate Your Purpose
Develop a process in the user experience design and communicate your intentions and results to the product manager as well as the rest of the team. It is harder to ignore reasonable input when the whole team is backing you up with what you want to happen. This also lets the product manager better understand why you were put in place, and how your presence and the value of your work can benefit the team and its goals.
When the UX is integrated further into the organization, people can see that your intentions are aligned with the team’s goals and objectives. Proper communication of your intentions, plans, and strategies may be what is necessary for a UX and a product manager to achieve mutualistic relationship.
Use an Evidence-Based Approach
When a UXD is brought into a team, it is more likely that a product development is already in crisis. Because of this situation, a product manager may be on defensive mode, and he or she may want to take control of the situation, and the UX as well. The relationship may be deemed as a political battle, and whoever comes out inferior may lose their position in the company.
When this is the case, it is important to let the product manager know that you are not there to take his or her place — simply to work together and develop a better product for the users. Senior management does not have to be involved when you go head-to-head with the product manager. If he or she has an idea that contradicts your own, you can go ahead with that and proceed with a user test. If the idea works, then great. If not, then you have proven your point. However, always keep in mind that your intention is not to prove the product manager wrong — it is to develop a product that can benefit, impress, and seduce your users.
Define the Roles and Responsibilities
The role may become vague because the job actually involves dealing with different several teams in the organization, even when you have attended a product management training course like the ones offered by Product School. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to define the responsibilities between the two positions, a clear line may be drawn in order to assure the other that their positions and status in the company is stable. This will also enable the UX and product manager to see how their roles can benefit each other and help the company and its products develop.
Image source: pixabay.com
Article by:Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.