PM, UX, PM & UX tools, and the Institutional Memory!

I know this sounds like a fancy Hindi movie title (e.g. Saheb Biwi our Gulam or Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai…..); it obviously isn’t.

Having said that, there is a backstory for this essay (which I learned from a video show from a very popular online journal in India); the backstory is inspired from how well few Asian (and Australian continent) countries have handled COVID19 e.g. China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, etc.). Interestingly, there is a pattern here; these countries were affected severely by SARS virus in 2003; their pubic and private health system was stressed as they were unprepared to handle the virus attack. In short, the institutional memory they created (for themselves) with SARS in 2003 helped them handle COVID much better than most of the other countries could; I urge you not to get into the politics behind it and look at the broader picture here!

Now, with this rather longish backstory, let get to our movie title like essay; Product managers, UXers form the lifeline of any organization (no offense to developers) and they use tons of platforms to record their ideas, stories, design elements, etc. (tools like ASANA, JIRA are used extensively by product managers whereas designers use tools like Sketch, Invision, Figma, etc.). These tools and the associated artifacts (Stored in these tools) tell a story that the enterprises can rely on for a better future (akin to how these select countries handled COVID 19).

I call these stories as Institutional memory, an important component of learning, unlearning, and learning again for efficiency and effectiveness of the future product and UX strategies. How do we build the memory? How can an enterprise future be defined or redefined using this memory? Tools, is certainly an answer but how do we handle scenarios where there are multiple options for our day to day activities? e.g. if I am a designer then I might use AXURE for complex prototyping, INVISION for sharing prototypes for collaboration, FIGMA for even better collaboration, or XD simply because i am familiar with XD. You see the heterogeneity here? If I am a product manager then my stories are in Google docs, in good old XL sheets, in platforms like JIRA, or in collaborative word documents. You see the heterogeneity here?

The aforementioned heterogeneity and the nature of associated people can have an impact on the institutional memory. How do we address it? I spoke to many designers, product managers in the recent past and they agree with this sentiment, I really see an opportunity to build on this hypothesis that will rationalize the heterogeneity to promote the idea of Institutional Memory.

If you agree with the same then I urge you to drop your perspectives/ideas as comments. It will help me learn from your thinking!

Originally published at https://www.raghsforte.com on September 25, 2020.

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Raghu Sarangarajan

raghsforte.com | Growth hacking | Product management | Customer success | Entrepreneur | B2B start-ups | ex-SAP