If you’re interested in some of the key practices for product design which promotes high engagement, join this session, Infusing Customer Engagements Within Your Product Development, at 10am CST this morning. This free session will be presented online in Zoom.

This session, organized be Emerson user experience design manager Mary Grace Francisco, will also include DeltaV product manager Kenny Marks, release train engineer Amanda McConville, and product owner Duane Harnish. Here is the abstract for their session.

Regardless of the industry you are in, empathizing with your users face-to-face (or remotely) to learn and understand about their pain points and struggles lead to solving the right problems (which translates to business outcomes). Especially in the case of doing collaborative design and development with customers remotely, it requires us to change our ways, to work through the challenges, and enables us to welcome the growth that comes with it.

The Change allows us to dig deep, to think outside the box, and find creative ways to involve our customers within our agile product development process. With this change, one thing is clear now: remote collaboration with customers can be done.

The Challenges give birth to flexibility, sustainability, agility and resilience. With the challenges, another thing is clear: there are tools, methods and techniques to getting the feedback organizations need from customers to build the right thing.

The Growth means recognizing and celebrating the victories as they come, as teams gain insights and learnings from the trials of doing remote collaboration. With this growth, the last thing that is clear now: continuous improvement does not stop, and should not stop, just because there’s a change and a challenge.

This panel discussion will discuss the Change, the Challenges, and the Growth we have had when it comes to doing remote collaborative design and development within our product development process, and as an added bonus, we will do a hands-on activity to gather feedback remotely using a favorite tool/technique, as well as share templates we use to plan and gather feedback from customers.

I’ll be attending the session and update the post with some notes that I collect.


Here’s my notes from this session.

Grace defined customer engagement as the process where product development actively seeks feedback from customers around the creation, validation, and refinement of product features.

Customer engagement is initiated during the development process. The primary goal is to create a product that meets our customer’s needs and improves their experience before it is released to the market. Secondary to this goal is to enable all of our development team members to learn from past customer engagement actions.

The collaborative design and development process with customers has three phases—discover, define and develop. The discover phase focuses on understanding the problem by engaging in market and user research.

The define phase focuses on the specific problems and/or unmet needs of our customers. The development phase focuses on designing potential solutions to problems quickly and cost-effectively.

Amanda showed how the Mural application is used to get feedback from customers in an interactive and remote way. All users can participate in an interactive environment to collect and organize feedback on a shared page.

Duane demonstrated a very simple paint making process and invited the people attending this session to provide feedback while he configured tanks and valves and added dynamics from the process.

Grace expressed the importance of debriefing with session participants within 24-48 hours while the impressions and information collected was still fresh. Other tips were to give the session attendees up to 24 hours after the session to add additional comments and send a recording of the feedback session to everyone.

In order for agile team members that were not present to participate in the debrief, make it a requirement to first review the recording. Password protect the Mural AND lock elements. Finally, encourage voice over feedback but really encourage writing on the post it notes and add initials.

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