One team – shared ownership

Historically with customers and service providers, the relationship was perceived to be just that, the customer is just the customer and the one bringing the money to the table, so therefore all the effort, problem solving and responsibility lay with the service provider.

While this looks fine on the surface, as projects start to deviate from the initial path (which undoubtedly sometimes they do) and this split down the middle made for challenging times.

People are on the backfoot, as the responsibility of the project shifts between the two parties depending on what is required at that point. Customers don’t feel like they own the project and the outcome, service providers feel they have to make all the hard decisions and bring knowledge to the table that should come from the customer.

At Jadu we like to think differently, treating everything with the same level of detail as we do our code, and this includes customer relationships and inclusion. We subscribe to the view that the client and Jadu are in fact ONE team, working in harmony to deliver the best results. There is no us and you or service provider and customer, just team members, team members all united for that one common goal – to deliver an awesome product. We, of course, do.

Having an all inclusive project team, makes for all inclusive team members and visibility within that team. We regularly share the work we are producing, discussing ideas and approaches to hurdles as they hover on the horizon. Working agile at Jadu also means we can give transparency throughout the project, so each step of the journey is charted and explored. Gone are the days of radio silence while people busy themselves with the heavy load of a project. Now we all share, all of the time. From regular creative review meetings, to iteratively releasing parts of a website as its being built, all team members are on the same page.

Testament to this is our recent work with Manchester City Council, where together we produced a site that changed the face of local authority websites forever. Right from the project start, Jadu and MCC worked together in discovery of the project. We explored analytics and user research, all the time referencing our key strengths within the team, Manchester’s knowledge of their constituents and goals, and Jadu with a wealth of UX and web experience. The Manchester site has since gone on to win awards such as a Lovie and a UKUX award, all of which would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the whole team.

True design is inherently linked to collaboration, as bringing knowledge together adds up to an amount greater than the sum of its parts. Designing for the web is more akin to product design than traditional graphic or print design, it’s about understanding users and making something that works, fits a brief and helps someone along with their day. These things can only really be attained if we work together, one team with a shared ownership and collective responsibility to make something that can potentially be life changing.

Originally posted on the Jadu blog here:

Posted on 28th Jan, 2015