Image credit: Umberto
Since changing roles last week, my learning objectives for this module have shifted. As such, I should reconsider my SMART goals. I’ll no longer be focusing on building my UX skillset, and as such I don’t think my goals of improving my UX deliverables and developing my research skills are relevant.
With that being said, I believe that my change in focus will aid me on my professional journey. As project manager, I have a vantage point to oversee each facet of our project, artistic, UX and technological.
By improving my understanding of all disciplines in software development, I will be more equipped to navigate technological requirements and challenges wherever they arise. Quoting Vikram Mansharamani (2004), “Ideological reliance on a single perspective appears detrimental to one’s ability to successfully navigate vague or poorly-defined situations”.
In this week’s post, I’m going to offer final reflections on my current goals before I retire them and introduce new goals for the final four weeks of this module.
Improving my UX Deliverables
In week 6 I stated that I was happy with my progress towards this goal, and I have continued on that trajectory. Earlier this week, I delivered a storyboard that communicated my plans for the ‘demo clip’ component of this assignment. supplementing that storyboard, I also wrote out all the tasks required to deliver that demo clip, and assigned them to the appropriate team members.
Avoiding writing burnout
I openly admit to experiencing burnout in regard to work towards our project, and I have felt the same fatigue when writing this blog.
I’ve come to realise that I can celebrate the burnout I have felt this module. I have learned how I am affected by burnout, how it manifests itself in my work, and, critically, how the choices I make can remedy episodes of burnout.
Here, I quote Jocelyn Lowinger (2020): “No matter how good you are at stress management, or how resilient you are, there are some circumstances and situations (such as a pandemic) in which recognising, preventing and responding to burnout becomes a lifestyle choice that we must take as seriously as managing asthma or other chronic diseases.”
Refining my academic writing
While my confidence in academic writing is growing steadily, I recognise that the blog format I write doesn’t require strict adherance to academic writing best practices. In week 6, I mentioned that I felt reassured by the freedom to write creatively in these blogs.
I’d now like to challenge myself with a more traditional academic writing project. Guidance provided by the University of Edinburgh (2021) states that “A literature review is a piece of academic writing demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the academic literature on a specific topic placed in context”.
If the assignment brief allow it, I’d like to produce a literature review in UXD740 exploring how nursing and compassionate care in medicine might inform UX research practice; a notion that I have explored several times over the last 12 months.
Developing my research skills
I haven’t had the opportunity to engage in any more research since my last review of this goal in week 6. At that time, I discussed becoming more concise when I speak. Certainly, I think learning to talk less will give the users I interview a larger window to convey their own thoughts. This is supported by Back, et al. (2009), who identify ‘invitational silence’ as “a silence meant to convey empathy, allow a patient time to think or feel, or to invite the patient into the conversation in some way.
My next module is dedicated to UX research, and I anticipate that will be an ideal time to revisit this goal.
Here are my new SMART goals for the next four weeks:
Avoid crunching in week 12
To avoid crunching before the final deadline, as we crunched before pitching in week 6, I will dedicate time each week to reviewing our backlog for blockers and unrecorded requirements. I will aim to lead the team to completing all work for the assignment by the 15th August, leaving time quality check everything before submission.
Deliver project management that elicits a positive response in team retro
I should confirm that the project management I deliver is positively received by all team members, and that they feel it has streamlined the project’s journey to delivery. I will encourage my team to share their reflections of the project management in an adjourning retrospective session at the end of week 12, after the final assignment has been delivered.
List of figures
Fig. 1: storyboard for a three-minute demo clip, required for this assignment.
BACK, A.L., BAUER-WU, S.M., RUSHTON, C.H., & HALIFAX, J. 2009. ‘Compassionate silence in the patient-clinician encounter: a contemplative approach’. Journal of palliative medicine, 12(12), 1113–1117.
INSTITUTE FOR ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT. 2021. ‘Literature review: A general guide on how to conduct and write a literature review’. University of Edinburgh. Available at: https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/study-hub/learning-resources/literature-review [accessed 23/08/2021].
LOWINGER, J. 2020. ‘Reframing burnout can help us manage it better’. InsightPlus [online]. Available at: https://insightplus.mja.com.au/2020/34/reframing-burnout-can-help-us-manage-it-better/ [accessed 23/08/2021].
MANSHARAMANI, V. 2012. ‘All Hail the Generalist’. Harvard Business Review [online]. Available at: https://hbr.org/2012/06/all-hail-the-generalist [accessed 23/08/2021].