Implementing a user-centric approach inside an IT organisation

For organisations that promote tech-driven innovation and develop projects that impact many users, being user-centred is challenging but essential to growth. Siemens IT aims to integrate a way of working that sees users as a priority, promoting the User-centric transformation throughout the organisation. We joined forces with the Siemens IT UX to empower them to be the connection point between the user and the solution, spreading the mindset of continuous iteration and improving user experiences. 

Client

Siemens IT

Challenge

Empower Siemens IT to become the driving force of a user-centric way of working

Impact

A clear path to work in a user-centric way, supported by a skilled team, and the framework already being implemented in several projects

Developing IT solutions with the user at heart

We kicked off the project by defining clear goals with the Siemens IT UX Lab. Starting from understanding Siemens IT reality from the inside, we would create a UX Framework for Siemens reality based on Koos’ Literature and evaluate and iterate on it based on the learning throughout the way. In parallel, we would run a pilot to educate and execute according to that framework and give strategic advice.

Our intervention resulted in a toolset that created a roadmap for Siemens to reframe their way of working toward user-centric IT solutions. The guidance we provided resulted in:

  • UX Maturity assessment of the Siemens IT department
  • A UX Framework practical guide, which describes the different phases, steps and tools to use
  • A more skilled and involved team through a Masterclass and a Pilot Project.

Understanding the current situation of the organisation

Before thinking about how we could bring the user into the centre of priorities, the first step of this journey was to understand the current UX maturity of the organisation. 

Intending to uncover the main barriers and opportunities, we performed a UX maturity assessment. Our CX Maturity Model inspired the research, which we conducted through a CX game and interviews with key stakeholders, a survey to complement our insights with quantitative data, and last but not least, the close collaboration with the team.

At this stage, we gained a clear context of the organisation regarding the UX topic, which allowed us to present the findings in main key insights about the current situation.

Additionally, we provided a set of possible directions that Siemens should follow to become more user-centred!

Building up the user-centred process

As we understood the organisational context, the next step was taking advantage of the UX topic’s growth and the willingness of the people who want to apply it but don’t know how to do it by building up a UX framework that the teams could use.

Keeping in mind the needs of the IT UX we collaboratively started reflecting on this framework – where it would fit into the current project management process, what its building blocks should be, and what level of detail it should have (to be understood by various stakeholders). 

After several iterations, we achieved a structure that presents the different phases, steps, and tools, providing a source of guidance on the way of working but ensuring the necessary flexibility to adapt to various projects. This framework will allow teams to involve users while promoting a culture of innovation and continuous learning and improvement.

The commitment from Koos to share knowledge and find concrete and valuable deliverables to support our journey were outstanding. This was shown throughout the whole process, either from the interviews conducted to relevant stakeholders within the organization, or the Masterclasses provided on how to implement our UX Framework in IT projects within Siemens.

— Tiago Fonseca UX Consultant & UX Lab Manager

Getting down to business

Now that we understand the context and have a straightforward but flexible process to follow, it’s time to put it into practice! What better way to experiment with the framework than to let the UX Lab team run a pilot project based on it? 

To warm up the engines for the pilot project, we held a masterclass that allowed the pilot team to get an overview of the framework and start experimenting with some of the tools they can use in a user-centred project. Afterwards, and using an internal challenge as a target, the team was able to try out several steps of the process for themselves in a real-life project, facing the barriers that might arise while always supported and guided by our team of consultants.

Project by project, the organisation is walking the path of becoming more user-centred

This growing group of crusaders will continue to play an important role in disseminating and promoting user-centricity. Challenging the status quo of how the organisation approaches projects may not be as easy as it seems. But, having members of the Siemens It team engaged, eager to learn, and available to use the methodology in their projects was undoubtedly a favourable force for this project’s flow. 

As the next steps, the knowledge and the directions provided on the UX Maturity Assessment should be translated into strategic initiatives to boost motivation and positive impact. In addition, the framework should not be seen as an end goal and should be in constant evolution through its incorporation into more projects.

 

The journey is not over yet. Still, the plane has already taken off. The team is already collecting the added value of implementing this new mindset by going through the framework steps in several other internal projects. Now it is time to keep moving forward!

The brainpower behind this project

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Vasco Alves

Vasco is enthusiastic about combining business and engineering with service design to see how real needs turn into actual outcomes and processes.

Catia Pereira

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