The illustrator Murray Somerville’s No Shame in Being Sad project says it all

In an ideal agile world, we set a vision and strive to work towards it. In the middle of the way, we deploy . They allow us to continue product research, go the extra mile with the tech while already gaging stickiness and building a customer base. All amazing things, right?

Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman, author of Hello, Startup

But if you never get to see that vision become a reality too often, you end up disillusioned and heartbroken that no one ever gets to see the brilliant experience you actually meant for things to be. You don’t want disengaged, disheartened on your team.

Soon enough work halts, and another project rolls in. No one ever gets to see anything in its full intended glory.

Here are some to watch out for:

• Don’t skip benchmarking research. You don’t want to do a whole bunch of work only to find out that what you did brings you no competitive advantage

• Don’t skip user interviews. I know it can be difficult, pricey and time consuming, but at the end of the day much as you are knowledgeable, you should show it to the people who will use your product.

• Keep stakeholders and all teams up to date and involved in decisions. This is the best way to manage expectations and get continuous buy in.

• Learn from best in class examples — there’s always something to learn from external influences.

• If you’re deploying an MVP, make sure there is a durable plan in place to keep working on it. The relief of launching something is amazing, but you should commit to keeping the work rolling.

• Organize your teams times in a transparent way. There’ll always be fires to put out and unexpected things to solve.

• Have clear deliverables and deadlines set.

• Bring in specialists as consultants — speed up your learning!

• Define the strategy and how success is going to be measured (metrics, revenue, reduced customer support calls, task completion, etc)

• Have everyone in your teams have the same definition of success

• Have a clear escalation path for everyone if there is a blocking issue: and have any blocked issues escalate within 24 hours

• Practice boundaryless leadership — have everyone in the team keep each other honest.

Let’s deliver the experiences our customers deserve. And talk our designers off the ledge.

Illustration by Nataliya Kharchenko

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