The enablers of customer value delivery

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I’m sure you’ve heard of value stream mapping or VSM — that critical tool used to identify waste, automation, and other opportunities within a process to reduce time and cost or increase quality and accuracy. While VSM is certainly a worthy topic to write about, it is not the topic of this article. The kind of value stream I’m referring to is not a tool; it’s an awareness of how your business serves its customers.

Value streams are made up of chronological activities that begin with a trigger or need and end with some…

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Before I get into the meaty stuff, let me clarify this article’s title. Moving from a project-based to a product-based work orientation is complicated, but it can be simplified, well understood, and well done nonetheless. You won’t learn all you need to know here, that’s why there are entire books and certification courses on this stuff, but you will gain a general understanding. And that’s a great place to start!

It’s impossible to talk about moving from project to product without talking about agile ways of working. So, you will encounter a mixing of the topics and language. I encourage…

The next level in strategic planning

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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard the term ‘OKR’, or you’ve starting working with them in your organization. If neither apply, congratulations! You’re about to learn some new lingo in strategic planning methodology.

I’m not going to provide a business case for employing OKRs (objectives and key results) in your organization. Plenty of others, like Paul Niven and Ben Lamorte have made it their job to do that. …

Spoiler! Not only can Human Factor Design and Experience Design coexist, they are codependent.

I’ve spent the last several years focused on the concept of experience design; building out an innovation-based operating model I call OpenXD. The foundation of OpenXD is the idea that all work — personal and professional alike — should be predicated on the development or improvement of a human experience.

Recently, a colleague suggested I learn more about human factor design. His description of the concept raised questions for me regarding my construct of experience design and how the two are related. Are they the same…

A feel-good story about jealousy, disdain, and teenage parenthood.

Image by Emily Campbell from Unsplash

I grew up in a two-bedroom, one-bath home in South Louisville, KY. Doors wouldn’t close all the way, even the bathroom door, so privacy wasn’t easy to come by. Window units kept certain rooms of the house cool in the summer, but at least we had electricity — something a few of our neighbors couldn’t always afford. Something in the house was always broken, creaky, or less than sub-par in some way. It wasn’t all bad, though. It did it’s job, keeping us sheltered. It was all my parents could afford…


The Project Management Institute Conference (PMICon19) was held in Philadelphia this year; a fitting location for celebrating history and the last 50 years of project management. The most influential projects of the last half-century were spotlighted at the conference, and included such undertakings as the World Wide Web, Apollo 11, the Human Genome Project, Live Aid, and the Prius.

Click here to see what else made the list.

Of course, the only reason to visit the past is to inform the future. …


“People who add value to others do so intentionally. I say that because to add value, [people] must give of themselves, and that rarely occurs by accident.” — John C. Maxwell

Before I get on to the topic at hand, I’d like to call out something that’s become apparent to me. My current writing projects have a business/work focus. That’s because the topics I’m exploring are directly tied to my work and profession. I’m using my writing to dig deeper into the various aspects of my experience design model to learn, get feedback, and continuously improve the model. I’m finding…


In its most basic definition, ideation is the creation of ideas or concepts. Many see ideation as a purely creative process delivering innovative opportunities for individuals and organizations. As such, ideation is quite a powerful tool for designing the future. However, if the power of ideation isn’t harnessed in a way that allows for perceptive action to be taken, then it can’t be productive. Productive ideation is structured creativity culminating in testable hypotheses.

The Creative

I define ideation as the process through which possible solutions to objectively identified root causes of a need or pain point, are brainstormed, prioritized, and formulated into…

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle concept tells us that beliefs are what drive people to follow those they see as leaders, as well as purchase certain products and services. The limbic system — the part of the brain Mr. Sinek refers to — is what controls motivation and emotion. It is where all our decision-making processes begin. The science behind it is undeniable, and Mr. Sinek has gotten very successful spreading the word. So what? How does this priceless piece of information translate to making money, helping your organization succeed in its mission, and developing a cult-like following for your brand…

BLOT: Customer experience design is critical to organizational success, but organizations are missing the opportunity to engage their most valuable human resource in the development and oversight of an effective experience design program — program and project management professionals. Organizations shifting their strategic focus to customer experience as the key driver for business asset acquisition and improvement should be looking to today’s program and project management professionals for assistance in strategic decision-making, and in experience design.

Alice, a functional leader needs to reduce call center costs. She identifies a cost savings opportunity related to the service provided to customers in…

Marissa Forbes, MPS, PMP, SA

Experience Designer and Program Manager with 20 years of experience in project management and process improvement — PMP, SA. Mother, wife, writer…

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