Kevin Goldman, Founder of 29th Drive, gave a thought-provoking presentation “The 9-Step Developer+Designer Dance” at our Free Lunch Friday that focused on how to break through the silos during product development and encourage collaboration between designers and software engineers.
Goldman explained that the current process to developing software products occur in silos, developers in one corner and the design team in another, and rarely do they work in tandem. Goldman noted that for startups, and for many companies for that matter, design isn’t brought into the fold until after the product has been built, and that needs to change in order to stay competitive.
“We are on this curve where technology features that go into software products used to be enough…[today] features alone isn’t going to keep you competitive. In order to integrate and break through the silos, developers and design engineers need to work together,” Goldman said,
In order to truly break down these silos Goldman stated, “the solution is not in the software, the solution is human and cultural.”
For entrepreneurs, Goldman offered nine steps to removing the silos and effectively bridging these industries:
- Get everyone in the room to sketch ideas, it’s the fastest way to generate ideas
- Encourage a cross-disciplinary approach
- Appreciate the differences in mindset between the industries, focus on the process and the great things you’ll develop together
- Integrate engineers and design throughout the entire process
- As a consultant, be aware of the company’s culture and process and be open about your process
- Right from the beginning, figure out how to work effectively together, adjust and adapt and get in lock step with the engineering team
- Visualize your work, draw out your ideas and get visual with the team
- Collaborate on a deeper level
- Even if you have cold feet about the integration…start anyway and get everyone together