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Mentoring as a Leadership Strategy to Improve UX Practice

Workshop Exploring Mentoring Strategy, Techniques, and Successes

UX professionals mentor others for many reasons, whether out of business necessity or the desire simply to nurture and shape another person's career. Mentoring takes time and competes with other resource requirements for an organization. Join us to brainstorm how we can promote, justify, and design mentoring programs as a business and UX leadership strategy. The facilitators will share data from a prior UX mentoring survey to jump-start discussion.

Workshop by Deb Sova (Sova Consulting Group, LLC), Laurie Kantner (TecEd, Inc.), Lori Anschuetz (TecEd, Inc.), Ron Sova (Sova Consulting Group, LLC)
Advanced Practitioners (AP)
3:00pm to 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 06, 2012
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About the Workshop

1) Introductions. Facilitators and participants will introduce themselves, briefly sharing their organization name, job title, and high-level experience as UX professionals. Facilitators and participants will be wearing name tags that reflect their mentoring experience as 2) Workshop Overview. Facilitators cover workshop topics and goals, and participants share what they hope to gain from the workshop. 3) Mentoring Survey Results. Review and discuss results of The UX community's 2010 mentoring best practices survey the facilitators conducted with 60 UX professionals and 30 non-business professionals and 2011 Idea Market discussion led by the facilitators. Emphasis will be given to understanding the ramifications of the results and how they may affect our resulting mentoring best practices approaches and recommended materials 4) Mentoring Stories. Participants will share mentoring stories that include: 1) Organizational needs. What precipitated starting a mentoring program? 2) Personal needs. What was the mentor or Learner looking to accomplish? 3) Acquiring mentoring candidates. Who was recruited into the program and why? 3) Ramping up the program. How was the program set into motion? 4) Teaching, learning, and leadership qualities. What qualities of the Mentor and the Learners contributed to a successful mentoring experience? 5) Materials used. What references examples and real-world samples were included in the program? 6) Estimated success of the program. How successful was your mentoring experience? How many of the Learners have gone on, in turn, to mentor others, or to begin incorporating UX best practices in the current organizations? What other criteria do you use to measure the success of your mentoring experience? The group will discuss commonalities of mentoring stories, as compared with the presented researched 5) Work Group Exercise. Participants will form working groups of 3 to 5, based on similarities or differences in mentoring and learning experience, organization type, and business needs. Work groups develop lists of challenges within their business settings for implementing a mentoring program and approaches to overcoming those challenges, including: Formal program parameters, Informal program parameters, Ad Hoc program parameters, or Guerilla, as determined by work groups. 6) Full Group Exercise. Share approaches, strategies, and guidelines for establishing mentoring programs, including: Goals that support multiple business needs (such as increasing UX skills or adding staff without hiring), Goals that support personal needs (such as gaining skills to lead a mentoring program that will, in turn, build future leaders), and Tracks that support optimal approaches (such as Formal, Informal, Ad Hoc, and Guerrilla). The facilitators will consolidate all information into a cohesive guideline for publication. 7) Conclusions. Participants share the take-aways that they are most interested in sharing with their co-workers upon return to work, and/or that they think would be salient points for the mentoring-related article the facilitators intend to produce.