- what "user experience" means in the company
- the nature of and effect on working relationships
- organizational goals
- who has the power
- the corporate culture
And since last May, I've learned about additional situations in which organizational positioning appeared to be impactful. For example, Peter Merholz wrote about "the frozen middle" in August of 2006:
“The people we worked with were deep within ‘interactive marketing.’ Their lives were the website. They didn’t really know the people who worked on the monthly statements or at the call center. And even if they did, they didn’t have the time to collaborate with them -- they had too much on their plates already. …our contacts understood the need for addressing the customer’s experience across multiple channels and media. But they couldn’t move on it.”However, in March of last year, Forrester Research published a report entitled, "Culture and Process Drive Better Customer Experiences" that challenged the importance of organizational positioning:
"Companies place a high priority on improving customer experience — and they cite a lack of organizational alignment as their top obstacle to making improvements. But our interviews with experts show that there is no single organizational structure that paves the way for delivering better customer experiences. Cultural factors and internal processes matter far more than organization."While I agree that cultural factors and internal processes are very important, does the fact "that there is no single organizational structure that paves the way for delivering better customer experiences" mean that organizational structure has little impact? I don't think so.
Can't organizational positioning impact culture and internal process? Aren't culture and internal process among the factors to consider when determining organizational positioning?
Can culture and process trump any organizational positioning?
This issue is among several that will be addressed by a group of people in senior management roles from a mix of companies during a session I'll be leading at CHI 2007 -- a session entitled, "Moving User Experience into a Position of Corporate Influence: Whose Advice Really Works?"
As I reported last month, "ownership of the user-customer experience" is another of the issues that will be addressed during that session. And, of course, I'll address all those issues as well as the CHI conference session itself further in upcoming blog entries.