Questions part 4: Refining
When asked about the success of his large company, Herb Kelleher said, “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.”
Process and plans are attempts to control the future by studying the past. Trouble is, past experiences are not tomorrow’s work. The popular formula of “discovery, design, execution, and launch” work on paper, but the inevitable bullet points that follow each step only work if you write the points yourself. Even in the same project, client and team will vary over lifespan of development. Creative projects demand improvisation.
Instead of a process, when working on a digital project like a site or an app, I have questions.
- Follow Dieter Rams’ guidelines.
What steps can you remove or consolidate to improve flow and user experience?
“It’s better to retreat a foot than advance an inch.”
Have you documented your work?
Comments in code should not state what the code does, but what you intend it to do.
Have you identified and tested against your assumptions?
Worst-case scenarios often begin with either “huh, I didn’t think of that” or end with “but they weren’t supposed to do it that way.”
Which team members are working on their own initiative? Which team members are distracted?
A creative person can be coerced to work, but not to work well.