Focusing on Customers’ Experiences
Companies familiar with CX (customer experience) typically respect the work, reports, and suggestions that these experts create. Yet the same companies typically devalue UX (user experience), believing UX is just making wireframes and that it’s non-specialized, too waterfall, too siloed, and tasks we can circumvent. People inside and outside of the industry have been confused by titles; what’s a product designer, UX designer, UI designer, UX/UI designer, experience designer, etc.?
Cottage industries have sprung up as everybody is now a design thinker doing design thinking or design sprints. Definitions of design thinking vary and are hard to nail down. Are these approaches the right choices for our company and its goals? Do these cost more than they are worth? Intelligent people are left confused by the growing pile of buzzwords and the expensive training and certifications that come with them.
The Delta CX model dispels CX and UX myths and proposes the best way for the full Customer Experience spectrum to be correctly and fully integrated into companies, processes, and teams. We lay out how CX fits into Agile beautifully and where it can sometimes be in conflict with Agile practices. We explain how and where CX can be Lean, and where incorrect definitions of Lean have previously been applied to UX work.
Delta CX Decision Matrix
It’s easy to say that many decisions about our products, services, and experiences are reversible. The dimension that then enters is: at what cost? What would it cost to have to change something in every hotel room? To undo an app feature everybody hated and redo it?
Therefore, considering these and other factors, the Delta CX Decision Matrix uses the following factors to judge who should do the work, when it should be done, and possibly how. You could say the need for a decision has SNUC up on you.
Strategy or Goal Achievement (S)
Does this work item or decision achieve stated goals or play strongly into our strategy? Rate this from 0 to 5 where 5 indicates that this achieves a goal or is highly relevant to our strategy. If this is someone’s ego or pet project and has absolutely nothing to do with strategy or goals, please give this a 0.
Number of People Affected (N)
Our decisions can be weighted by how many of our potential or current customers this might affect. Rate this from 0 to 5 where 5 indicates this affects 100% of customers. Nothing affects zero customers, but if it affects very few and is an extreme edge case, you can give this a 0.
Urgency or Severity (U)
How time-sensitive is this challenge or decision? How much are customers impacted? Is this mission critical or “life or death”? Rate this from 0 to 5 with 5 being the most urgent or severe. We would only give something a score of 0 if it wouldn’t matter if you took care of this now or in 5 years.
Cost to Reverse (C)
Most decisions are reversible with enough time and money. Rate this from 0 to 5 with 5 being the most expensive and time consuming to change or reverse. If something is inexpensively and easily reversible, you could give this a 0 or 1.
The cost to reverse is directly related to calculating risk. To continue an example from earlier, what will it cost our company to decide later that our smart light bulb should have been produced with a simple reset button (rather than a bizarre Morse code pattern to factory reset the equipment)? What is the risk in having smart bulbs that the public bought that can’t be retrofitted with a reset button but must still be supported?
Due to the importance of this dimension, we are giving Cost to Reverse extra weight. Double this score when adding up your final score.
We then end up with a score. The lowest possible score is 0, which means this is unrelated to our goals, affects nearly zero customers, not on fire, and is easy to undo later. The highest possible score is 25, meaning it’s highly tied to our goals and strategy, affects all of our customers, it’s urgently on fire, and it would be wildly expensive or time-consuming to change later.
If the score is 10 or under, this is probably a stakeholder pet project: low importance, little to do with our goals, and doesn’t really affect many customers. The potential work items could be eliminated, rethought, evolved, or given to juniors to play with (with seniors as mentors). This would put this work item more in the “playing with a low priority idea” realm versus something urgent and important for customers.
Anything with a Decision Matrix score of 11 or higher should be given to our pros and experts, our action heroes, to take care of mission-critical work and decisions. What company gives something that is mission-critical to non-experts?