Imagine going to the gym every day but only workout one side of your body. Over time, one side of your body becomes muscle while the other stays weak. It may sound absurd, but it’s happening in most product teams.
Many tech companies heavily invest in their engineer hard power but overlook the design soft power. They focus on the rational brain but forget the emotional heart.
They want to build innovation muscle but only workout one side of their body and wonder why one arm is bigger than the other.
What is the ratio of Product Designers and Software Engineers in your organisation? Do multiple engineers rely their workload on one (or less) designer?
Do the designer always run a marathon sprint to prevent the engineering team from being idle?
Product Designers need time and space to wander and be free from engineer capacity. We even need time to have no ideas to have a better idea. I called this a creative assumption.
The creative assumption is problem-finding that occur before problem-solving. In other words, designers start their work with imagination, not a limitation.
I hate trade-off creativity with easy implementation. If we want to go somewhere no one has ever been before; imagination comes first—not engineer capacity.
Perhaps, that’s why SpaceX has a mission to land on Mars even their engineer capability is still back and forth between earth and the atmosphere (Jan 2022).
I think in five to ten years, many of us will have jobs that don’t exist today. See how the global pandemic accelerates changes around us.
As the world continues to adapt to unprecedented technologies, climate change is getting closer to the point of no return. I’m not sure if we will work from home or another planet in a few decades.
What’s the point of limiting our imagination with today’s possibilities or an agile framework?
My proposal is the product team should get past the pre-existing assumptions and be comfy with the crazy ideas that may come before time but has future potential.
On your next innovation project, start with the creative assumption.