Sunday, October 01, 2006

Apparently not just about "Managing User Experience Groups"

Recently, one of those who took our "Managing User Experience Groups" course early this year wrote to others in her company:
"I highly recommend this UCSC Extension course. ... I found it extremely helpful in exploring User Experience from various angles. The course was not focused on just management topics but also on defining UE's role in a company, building the value case for UE, and overcoming the common obstacles we face as UE professionals. ...this also provides an opportunity to network with some great people in the design industry." (italics added by me)
Also recently, a friend working on a short article wrote to me about the distinction he was thinking of making between "managing UX professionals" and "managing the UX teams' place in the organization."

To me, the work of "managing user experience groups" encompasses both of those things, everything referenced in the earlier quote, and much more. But apparently, "Managing User Experience Groups" implies much less. And I wonder how much this makes the work of user experience managers (or directors or VPs or...) that much more challenging.

As stated in the course description, course topics include:
  • building a user experience group
  • defining the work of a user experience group
  • defining the composition of the team
  • managing the employee
  • making the case for user-centered design
  • working together and with others in the company
  • roles that can be played by user experience personnel
  • positioning user experience within a company
  • extending the reach of a user experience group
  • involving user experience groups throughout the development life cycle
  • the impact of "culture" on user experience group success
  • overcoming common obstacles
We've discussed changing the name of the course to something which more clearly encompasses all of these types of topics. But for our upcoming offering -- which starts in less than two weeks (October 11), "Managing User Experience Groups" will have to suffice.

Note that there is still time to register for the course which starts October 11. You can access the site via which to register for the course from the previously referenced course description.