How do you get a large development team to make effective design and implementation choices? Often, it takes a short "walk in the shoes" of their most important audience, the user of the products or services they produce.
"Our R&D staff need to spend more time in the field!", is the oft-quoted postmortem remedy. And of course while everyone is traipsing about the planet, blowing travel budgets, the clock keeps ticking as nervous sales organization wonder who will create the next value-add improvement that they can sell.
Fortunately, there is a solution to the deadlock. The emerging practice of persona development has proven to be a great tool for accurately conveying a consistent set of user goals and behaviour to the implementation masses. Personas don't need to be fed, don't sleep, and will live inside of your development organization to continually help re-connect everyone with what's valuable to their users.
Not using personas in your context? Explore these links to get started:
- An Introduction to Personas and how to Create Them - article in KM Column
- The Origin of Personas - by Alan Cooper
- Classic IA Tools - by Dan Willis