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Why pixel perfect isn't so perfect

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This is a case study I presented at the HIVE 2014 conference in Seattle about how Yammer, by giving up micro-control enabled their designers and engineers to work directly and collaboratively, ultimately creating an effective workplace.

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Why pixel perfect isn't so perfect

  1. 1. What was the problem?
  2. 2. What was the problem? We were slowing down…
  3. 3. What happened
  4. 4. What happened • LOTS of documentation
  5. 5. What happened • LOTS of documentation • Slow to staff projects
  6. 6. What happened • LOTS of documentation • Slow to staff projects • Slow to ship
  7. 7. What happened • LOTS of documentation • Slow to staff projects • Slow to ship • Lack of enthusiasm and ownership
  8. 8. Why was this happening???
  9. 9. Why was this happening??? Functional silos
  10. 10. broken link
  11. 11. • Designing is painfully slow because it has to be signed off by 10 different people.
  12. 12. • Designing is painfully slow because it has to be signed off by 10 different people. • Design has no real seat at the table when discussing business strategy.
  13. 13. • Designing is painfully slow because it has to be signed off by 10 different people. • Design has no real seat at the table when discussing business strategy. • Design details are consistently cut back due to “scope creep”.
  14. 14. • Designing is painfully slow because it has to be signed off by 10 different people. • Design has no real seat at the table when discussing business strategy. • Design details are consistently cut back due to “scope creep”. • Teams spend more time defending turf than collaborating.
  15. 15. PM & Designers are slowed down making specs
  16. 16. PM & Designers are slowed down making specsConfused coders— decoding specs
  17. 17. PM & Designers are slowed down making specsConfused coders— decoding specs Frustration when a spec goes nowhere
  18. 18. Battle over who owns who’s time
  19. 19. So we tried something different…
  20. 20. So we tried something different… Decentralized decision making.
  21. 21. broken link
  22. 22. Autonomous Team
  23. 23. Autonomous Team
  24. 24. The results?
  25. 25. Autonomous Team Fewer top down decisions.
  26. 26. Sitting together fostered organic sharing and involvement.
  27. 27. Sitting together fostered organic sharing and involvement.
  28. 28. Sitting together fostered organic sharing and involvement.
  29. 29. Got rid of a lot of bottlenecks broken link
  30. 30. Before Got rid of a lot of bottlenecks After
  31. 31. Balanced input the product
  32. 32. Trust feedback cycle between designers and engineers.
  33. 33. Fewer meetings.
  34. 34. Faster ship dates. Shipped a lightweight chat app in only 3 months.
  35. 35. The results? We had fun!
  36. 36. What you can do in your company tomorrow?
  37. 37. #1 Cross functional seating
  38. 38. #1 Cross functional seating
  39. 39. #1 Cross functional seating #2 Decentralizing decision making
  40. 40. #1 Cross functional seating #2 Decentralizing decision making
  41. 41. Questions? Jenny Mullins @pixelfat jmullins@yammer-inc.com

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