Smashing’s 2018 Resolutions

We’re well underway into the new year, with many personal resolutions that were made in December now long forgotten. However, as the momentum of 2018 begins to pick-up full steam ahead, our resolutions around our business, strategic direction, and professional partnerships are stronger and more steadfast than ever. We asked a sampling of Smashing’s Leadership Team to weigh-in on the following:

What is your strategic intent/area of focus for Smashing in 2018 from your particular area of expertise? How does this have a  positive impact on the work we do for our partners, and what are the industry influences that the purveyors of digital experiences should be mindful of in 2018?

Brian Burke, CEO | Smashing continues to break new ground in industries where design has the potential to make a real impact in new businesses, products, and services. Navigating and understanding an ever-evolving and digitally-aware global population, we will continue to make sure that the work we do with our partners matches the needs of their users, and affects positive change inside and outside their organizations. Through our work, we will strive to change norms and expectations for the right reasons, and nurture those that we hold dear as a collective society. The value-chain of many industries is being redefined, and we will forge that bond from boardroom strategy through execution, building bridges between design, technology and the human experience, making sure that what we make actually matters.

Lisa Forsyth, Senior Director, Strategic Accounts | Technology changes at a pace we can hardly keep up with, and it’s our job to help our clients navigate the ever-shifting landscape. As digital pioneers with deep expertise in design thinking and developing technical solutions, we’re in the unique position to evaluate business priorities for long-term client partners and advise on the best solutions for their customers. This year, a key focus will be on re-questioning the assumptions behind historical business and technical decisions, and re-evaluating technology to ensure it continues to advance the customer’s strategic goals. Knowing how we got to where we are today helps inform decisions for tomorrow. At Smashing, we paddle out to take new challenges head on and push our clients to grow and adapt their business to stay competitive.

Victor Allen, Chief Technical Officer | In 2018 we will continue to embrace the tenet that technology realizes the potential of design, while design reveals the value of technology. The previous year saw a mainstreaming of interaction technologies, such as Voice UI and AR/VR, that present different, more technical, design challenges. In parallel, foundational technology such as machine learning and blockchain have also opened new challenges for innovation and customer engagement teams. Our team looks forward to guiding our partners in applying the principles of quality engineering and human centered design to overcome these challenges in the year to come.

Brian Marr, Chief Strategy Officer | A Smashing client once described the enterprise he managed as a collection of “Settlers and Pioneers,” with each one being equally important to the success of his company. The Settlers sought stability, predictability, and operational efficiency. They kept the business humming along. The Pioneers sought uncharted paths. They were responsible (or sometimes just obsessed) with driving radical change, innovation, and profit.  They led teams responsible for transforming the company, increasing competitive advantage, and delivering large-scale growth.

For 2018, my ongoing goal is to never, ever settle. Our team will continue to push the boundaries of what is comfortable and predictable. We’ll be the coach and champion of the pioneers, serving as a catalyst to help shape innovation and a profitable future for our clients.

Patrick Cousans, Executive Director, Client Engagement | A key priority is to make sure we do ‘Ready to Start’ assessments. A lot of our potential client partners have urgency to get started quickly. Often times there’s key information that we later find out is missing to really start in earnest. As a result, timelines (and budgets) are affected. Some key examples are:

  1. A goal that defines success for the initiative (including key performance indicators)
  2. A value proposition underlying the work involved
  3. Identification of a Product Owner
  4. Research to support a clear understanding of who the end user/customer is
  5. A collaborative RACI chart identifying all the key players and their roles in the project.

Without these integral components understood collectively, we’ve found that projects have communication and direction challenges at pivotal points.

Tim Wissner, Chief Financial Officer | As our client engagements have evolved over the past several years to be more strategic and closer to the core business of the client, Smashing’s ability to provide research-to-realization and be a complete solution allows us to identify additional insights that many clients haven’t considered. Few agencies have the depth of our end-to-end capabilities or understand how to bring them all together. Smashing will invest more efforts in 2018 to harvest and analyze data for its clients, increasing the value and return on their innovation dollars.

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