AMA with Jenny Arden (Lyft)

over 2 years ago from Jenny Arden, Director of Design @ Lyft

  • Jordan IsipJordan Isip, over 2 years ago

    Thanks for the AMA! I'm curious to hear how your teams are organized and what your team process looks like for tackling work. I'd also love to hear which methodologies you've found to be the most effective? Eg. 2-week design sprints in coordination with dev sprints.

    Appreciate your time answering questions on this thread.

    3 points
    • Jenny Arden, over 2 years ago

      Hey Jordan, right now our company is organized by "Lines of Business" and though design is centrally managed, we imbed design teams into each business. Process is really different from team to team because the work is really different. Ridesharing is definitely our largest and most mature business so they require multiple forms of deliverables and communication to drive projects forward. Early stage work might have several rounds of vision and "clarifying the problem" meetings. Smaller and more nimble teams are able to work a little more fluidly, testing and iterating as they go. I also oversee our Industrial Design team which has an entirely different process that's appropriate for their world. My job is to really support my managers as they set the process that's most appropriate for them (they determine if it should align to dev sprints). Of course I coach a lot and provide guidance when things could be done more efficiently, but in general I let the team determine what process works best for them.

      Now that I've said that, there are some consistent threads to managing a team that I can offer that's in my playbook.

      1. Create a sync or operational meeting early in the week with your managers. This is your air traffic control meeting. Know what's going on and raise any issues that might come up. Avoid fire drills with this meeting. Also use this time to cascade information from leadership.

      2. See the work at least once a week. I setup a crit with each of my main teams and I never cancel (even on vacation, I'm always there). This is often the one time a week the ICs see me so make it count.

      3. I have a monthly All Hands where we talk about the big picture. Sometimes we bring in actual users and hear from them, sometimes we talk about the future. This is not the time to talk about the work but focus on what we're really trying to do as a team and why we're all there. Inspire people!

      Hope that helps!

      2 points
      • Jordan IsipJordan Isip, over 2 years ago

        This is very helpful. That all makes sense and thank you for your detailed response. Love the weekly and monthly breakdown.

        0 points