“Every product organization has to deal with breakdowns in communication between design, development, and business. They’re trying to find better ways to collaborate quickly across functions, but it’s hard to get everyone speaking the same language. There is so much potential for them to have more focused, purposeful conversations with a tool like Poll Everywhere.” Rebecca Kerr, a content and conversation strategist for the Design Transformation team at InVision, designs transformative workshops and keynotes around live audience response questions. Both conference workshops and on-site customer events turn into lively conversations tailored to the audience and the intended outcome. “I want product, design, and development leaders to see their peers’ concerns and questions on-screen, and work together to find common ground.”
Rebecca sometimes uses Poll Everywhere to uncover a prevailing sentiment within the group, with open-response questions like, ‘How do you want product owners to feel about working with the experience design team?’ Participants can see everyone’s responses in real-time. “Typically, people remember the word clouds the most. It’s the one visualization style that they ask for when we plan return engagements. The Competitions feature also gets everyone to pay attention. We used one to close out a design system launch event for a customer, and the response was overwhelming.”
Rebecca has also used Poll Everywhere as a diagnostic tool for product organizations at customer on-sites. “In a room full of 150 designers, developers, and product leaders, I included a Poll Everywhere slide in Keynote to ask a multiple-choice question, ‘Which one of the five high-maturity behaviors is most difficult at [Company] right now?’ Then we followed that with an open response question, ‘What’s getting in the way?’ The answer to the first was just what the leaders expected, but the obstacles were a complete surprise to the VPs who had helped to plan the event. It led to a productive conversation between leaders about how to move forward. Without Poll Everywhere, this wouldn’t be possible. That’s partly because the group is so large, but also because they’re initially scared to be candid with the other teams. This is a great way to encourage frank conversation and identify blockers.”
Poll Everywhere plays a role in the success of customer on-sites by helping the design organization build empathy and make vital connections, to have a bigger impact as partners with business, product, and development teams.
The capabilities of Poll Everywhere cater to the unique needs of your organization. During Rebecca’s educational workshops, the questions are predictable and focused: topics may include ‘How to speak like a partner’ or ‘Communicating the business impact of design.’ “Customer on-site workshops are more consultative, so they typically contain more dynamic questions. They come up in prep conversations with product leaders, or we notice emerging problems and trends mid-workshop, and then I have to adjust my questions based on new information. It’s a more adaptive process.”
“Learning how to have these conversations is one of the most important things people can do – the future of product success is nimble, fast-moving partnerships between product, design, and development, and that’s also where the breakdowns occur. These frank cross-functional conversations result in huge breakthroughs. The power of Poll Everywhere is that it gets people out of their corners and shatters their assumptions. Usually, we find that the teams have the same goals, but their languages and processes keep them from seeing that.”
The benefits of uncovering these trends and breakdowns extend further than communication improvement. They can help inform the product roadmap and influence the direction of the business. “Any manager or business owner could hold these same workshops and conversations with their internal teams and reap the same benefits.”
During a recent consulting workshop, Rebecca discussed five core behaviors that turn product teams into disruptors, including rapid experimentation. The organization’s design leaders had a theory that this was the behavior they lacked most. “After using Poll Everywhere to ask the entire organization, we realized they were right – rapid experimentation was the weakest of the five behaviors for them. The next Poll Everywhere question revealed that the organization’s roadblocks were actually cultural issues. People didn’t feel that they had permission to do the experiments they wanted to do. The senior leaders were shocked. This was a huge revelation that altered the direction of the conversation. That’s the power of Poll Everywhere. I don’t know how we would have uncovered that in any other way.”
“Poll Everywhere may not be well known for its use in product organizations, but it should be.”
Learn how Poll Everywhere for Enterprise can help support your business’ unique needs and spark engaging dialogue that drives your business forward.