UX Strategy: Why change? Organizational drivers.

Summary: An organization doesn’t spend the resources to change without a good reason. Drivers explain why you want to move from your current state to your future state. Drivers are the why behind your strategy.


Strategy focuses on the change from the current state to a future state. Looking forward, it's easy to focus on how you will get there, the barriers in your way, and what success will look like. However, before you jump into what the future holds, you need to clarify your understanding of your organization's past and present.

An organization doesn’t spend the resources to change from the current state to a future state without a good reason. Drivers explain why you want to move from your current state to your future state. What forces are pushing the organization to change states? 

Another way to identify drivers is to ask: what happens if we don’t change? For a furniture manufacturer I worked with this last Spring, they felt that if they didn’t launch an ecommerce site and grow it to 25% of their total revenue within the next five years, their marketshare would be captured by competitors. For the furniture manufacturer, not going out of business drove the change from industrialized manufacturer and distributor to sales and distribution platform.

Drivers represent the forces pushing your organization to change.

Drivers represent the forces pushing your organization to change.

All projects have drivers. Two years ago, I spent nine months working with a vehicle manufacturer who felt they had maximized their current customer’s lifetime value and optimized their current business processes as much a they could. They felt they had maximized their revenues. They envisioned a future state where their customers purchased more over their lifetime. Their drive to increase revenue drove the organization to change from its current state of maximized revenues to a future state where higher possible customer value was possible. Something always drives the change. 

A lot of projects do just fine without ever understanding “why”. However, for transformational changes to an organization, understanding the why helps align the organization to the higher purpose. The why is part of the rallying cry.

More importantly, the why is a critical part of understanding the scope and scale of the changes at work. Lemmings look silly going over a cliff. Unless you put a pack of hungry beasts behind them or a Vegas pool filled with super models below them.


Next, we'll look at an even more important piece of your strategic context. What's preventing the organization from changing. Read about the organizational barriers that prevent good UX from being a success.


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