SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Strategists (What do they
Re: [Sigia-l] Strategists (What do they do that IA's don't?)
From: Damien Newman (damien_at_thenewmanry.com)
Date: Tue Nov 12 2002 - 13:47:29 EST
I love this - "It's the T model of skills: very deep in one area but very
wide in all other areas."
But I would disagree with Patrick's summation of suggesting an IA is closer
to the user than a strategist. Personally, I don't know what a strategist
is, I took the title when working at Studio Archetype as someone who doesn't
actually build anything, but talks about it.
Someone also said earlier that Strategists can be found when multiple
projects need to be twinned together - this also was the case at places like
Studio Archetype and frog design.
However, certain environments strategists can be used for other things than
providing financial cases for different feature sets or user scenarios.
The combination of strategist, designer (of any specialty), and technologist
working with a client in a workshop can produce excellent skills when trying
to go through problem definition or different scenarios. I think a lot of
have seen the difficulty in working independently of other skilled
associates and not getting enough information or helping the client to
understand enough. Strategists are also often appreciated in conducting
research programs and helping to analyse and articulate what is relevant and
necessary for the design work.
One of the single greatest problems, which I think was crystallised by a
Fast Company piece on the English Strategy Practice, The Fourth Room, is
often that Strategists or Consultants tell you 'what' the problem is, but
not 'how' to fix it, or what to do with it.
>From the Fast Company Piece:
> When a director of one of the United Kingdom's biggest banks called in the
> folks from the Fourth Room to discuss the future of the bank's retail
> branches, he passed a document from a blue-chip consulting firm across the
> table, Schmidt recalls. "He told us, 'We've paid 500,000 pounds [$750,000] for
> that. Five hundred pages long, and it doesn't tell us what we can do, only
> what's wrong.' "
This is clearly a case of too many Strategists and not enough people who
Only a great combination of both and a process that supports the
collaboration of all parties, including the client, can get you a result
that works. All the rest probably adds up to what Dan mentions about the
documents he receives.
Ultimately - one can only benefit greatly from understanding what everyone
on the team does, and how best to use them for the common purpose they are
Damien Newman d_at_mdnstudio.com
mdn studio phone: +44 (0)709 238 3118
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:28 EST