25 years learning how to make successful projects happen
Markus Smet
Successful projects
Sky EPG
Set up and managed the team responsible for completing an audit of elderly, visually and physically impaired customers to check compliance with guidelines set out by AgeUK in order for Sky to get AgeOK certification for the TV Electronic Program Guide (EPG).
"Markus is that rare creature in business; somebody who approaches each challenge with an open mind. He has a keen ability to get under the skin of a problem so that he completely understands the client's business objectives as well as what the customer wants and needs... His understanding how it affects every aspect of the customer experience is second to none."
Jason Devoy
Senior Producer at brands like BBC, Sony, Saatchi, LBi
What I've learned...

1

The value chain trumps individual talent

Teams are made of interlinked skills that create value; a value chain. Individual talent is not as important as balancing the skill level across the entire value chain. Imbalanced teams become paralysed trying to deliver perfection whilst balanced teams ship imperfect results and learn together whilst demonstrating progress.

Activities: agree delivery method // define team structure // agree resource requirements // check & manage team dynamics // shape & communicate strategy // agree stakeholders

2

Shipping now beats making something better, later

Balanced teams are happy to ship with just enough business and user context, rather than expecting to see the whole vision from the start. Work on giving clear scope and support the team to ship some value soon so they practice their tactical skills and learn.

Activities: manage delivery ceremonies // provide individual coaching // tactical customer & business value workshops // tactical UX personas & user journeys

3

Stable teams learn fast and go faster

Transferring knowledge away from leaders into autonomous teams is easier when those teams have consistent focus. It leads to teams demonstrating a better grasp of relevant context to create novel, visionary solutions to problems.

Activities: roadmaps // agree product domains // develop business strategy processes

4

Shared identity is the signature of high performance

When a team is improvising based on effective behaviours and tactics developed together, forming a group-based identity, they have the strength to face uncertainty and learn from it quickly.

Activities: develop methods & workshop formats (design sprints, UCD, canvases) // coach individuals // develop team identity leadership // coach for delivery over perfect
Some Results
24%
The reduction of calls into a call centre after re-designing the customer experience
NPS 56
The first score measured after launching VOC to drive change based on customer happiness
£5m
The revenues generated by Markus' first user centred design project at Yell
7902
The installs in the first month post launch of a B2B product Markus product managed
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