As a practitioner …

1408_00827_originalI have been working and researching at the intersection of business strategy, technology, social sciences, and design for over ten years.  I am passionate about the delivery of User Experience (UX) consulting services as a strategic differentiator for solving a wide variety of business problems!

As a team manager, I am especially interested in helping customers, executive stakeholders, and my peers in other functional areas (such as Engineering and Product Management) understand the benefits of User-Centered Design (UCD) and User Experience consulting services.  My current interests focus in the following areas:

  • Articulating Return on Investment (ROI) for user-centered design, and finding ways to document business cases that will make sense to an executive audience.
  • The organization for which I currently work is committed to Agile software development methodologies.  As a result, I am also heavily focused on articulating the ways that UX resources can engage effectively in Agile processes, as well as identifying what opportunities and challenges exist for UX staff.
  • Among other things, this has required me to gain an understanding of Lean principles and tools, so that I can effectively communicate the value of UX in a context where bottom line improvements are being sought through high priority process improvements.
  • Another recent area of interest is social network analysis, which brings qualitative and quantitative research together in compelling ways.
  • I am also curious about and committed to making multi-disciplinary teams work, because I recognize that as an anthropologist with training in design theory, my skills aren’t sufficient to meet the needs of my executive stakeholders, customers, and colleagues.

My interest in this last area led to the formation of a listserv called anthrodesign in 2002.  I also explored the relationship between anthropologists and engineers through a well-attended panel at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in 2004.  I became increasingly interested in the way that research and design methods need to be thoughtfully selected in response to changing business direction and emergent stakeholder requirements – and how collaborative interdisciplinary teams work together to make that happen.  I am especially interested in what different skills each type of formal training affords, and how (with the right level of support) each of those can work in concert to achieve desired business outcomes.  Much of what I learned led to the growth of a User Experience team under my direction at SAP, where our work informed both strategic process improvements and system design for the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Process Officer (CPO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and various executives in Sales Operations.

You can learn more about my work experience on LinkedIn, or email me for a copy of my resume or curriculum vitae.

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