I'm a Product Manager, but looking for a UXers perspective on this.
I've recently (<6 months) brought onboard a UX Lead to my team. I’m starting to get to a point where I feel that there’s an excessive amount of UX process and UX-related activities being introduced to the way we work. And I'm starting to question if all of the UX processes are worth the time and budget, and really going to be making a positive impact to the user.
We do have KPIs set, but sometimes product changes take a long time to impact KPIs, so it's hard to tell if our process is really making an impact to users.
There was a Researcher + 2x Designers in the team, and I would fill the role of team lead for them. About 10 years ago I used to call myself a UX practitioner and "graphic designer", so I felt comfortable talking about design and UX, and guiding the team.
My process to was to brief the team by going through the problem and goals of the thing we’re working on. Plus I’d also go through what my own (or stakeholder’s) ideas were for potential solutions.
I’d sometimes also make wireframes myself and share these with the designers to help articulate what I thought would be a suitable solution.
The designers would then work on design solutions, and the research would collect additional user data or do research we needed.
I felt we we're doing "just enough UX" and "the right research at the right time"
For most projects, the entire UX and design process could be completed in 2 weeks, expect when we did usability testing which would usually take a little longer.
Now the average of 2 weeks is starting to become 8 weeks and a lot more additional UX activities are being introduced as “mandatory steps” otherwise:
The UX Lead is adamant that I remain only in the “problem space”, and do not cross over into the “solution space”. As the Product Manager I have a lot of knowledge about the product, it's industry, the market we're in and it's users. And a lot of the problems we’re solving have “common sense” solutions, or obvious and sensible solutions, which I don’t think need a large amount of detailed UX work to come to a satisfactory solution. There are safe risks to take for a lot of things.
I also enjoy working on the solution for the product of which I’m the Product Manager of. I personally feel invested in the product and want to be part of the solution. There’s demos and “share results to stakeholder sessions”, but if I do not accept the proposed solution then its considered a “change request” and we have to go back to step one. Or we get stuck in a debate where I'm asked to "show my own research and data to backup my feedback". Which would be time consuming to go and collect, plus I have a lot of the knowledge inside my head, without it being ready in a formate to present and defend.
So my only other option is to accept the solution that’s given to me because the UX process has been followed and we don’t know for sure if its right or wrong until the developers build it and its in the hands of the users.
Anyway, this post is getting a bit long now, but I hope this paints a picture of my situation. Happy to answer any specific questions.