Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Collaboration sessions

How do you achieve effective collaboration among the multiple disciplines involved in designing for user experiences?

Someone I've worked with -- Sasha Verhage -- tells how in Collaboration Sessions: How to Lead Multidisciplinary Teams, Generate Buy-In, and Create Unified Design Views in Compressed Timeframes (see this July 2005 article in Boxes and Arrows). Sasha describes an approach he has used for several years for running effective collaboration sessions during website redesign projects.

Guidance for running collaboration sessions for various types of projects is widely scattered. I've refered to other types of collaboration sessions from my worklife in previous blog entries (e.g., "Perturbing the ecosystem via intensive, rapid, cross-disciplinary collaboration"). I'll refer to still others in future postings, and will talk more about some of the elements that successful sessions have in common (I already talked abit about "The need for good facilitation," which Sasha also emphasizes).

Sasha tells me that he has received email from people around the world asking for additional information about his approach. What kinds of information do you or others you know seek regarding collaboration? In what contexts do you experience collaboration challenges? What approaches to collaborating do you find particularly effective?