One of the core principles of Lean Ux is the need to optimize your workflow and remove unnessassary tasks and deliverables. What have you done to become more efficient lately?
Think about the Goal of what you're trying to do, then execute on that Goal. Oftentimes I try to dive into a project and throw something good together as soon as possible. Taking that extra moment to really think about the goal will prevent wasted time.
For me personally,
- Find/use the most efficient design tool for you (Photoshop, Sketch, or in the browser)
- Invest time in learning more tool shortcuts or find/build resources such as plugins or styleguide
- (not so much workflow thing) Spend less time surfing the web
Agreed on all of these - especially your third.
To piggyback off these, I say spend some time determining what your most important task at a time is and relegate all other work onto others. If you don't have the power to leverage other people, just say no to anything that is not a priority.
The thing that'd made me more productive than anything is learning to divorce the solution from its execution. We all care about craft, but it's often a waste of time to sweat the details on an idea destined for the trash anyway.
Taking a solution to a certain level of fidelity can bail you out of a creative stall and inform other things, but more often than not if you're obsessing over a button's letter-spacing when you haven't even figured out the overall task flow it's time to move on.
Look to the why of the work, then try and find a more effective way of doing the same thing.
A bunch of the reasons for deliverables are around communication. Getting person X to do Y. These days I tend to work more closely with people and use a lot more of that radical communication technique known as "talking" ;-)
Another reason for deliverables is alignment. Getting the same goal and understanding in everybody's heads. These days I spend a lot more time facilitating design and research work among the whole team. For example having the whole team observe usability tests and help with the analysis and synthesis. It's much, much easier for folk to understand the importance of an issue if they've all seen it themselves.
A big, big cause of waste is building the wrong thing. How can we poke at our assumptions and validate them before we start executing. These days rather than having big up front research and design phases, we attempt to do research and implementation as a continual process. Looking to validate little bits of features before we build them.
From everything I've read, Lean UX seems like a great philosophy if you are working internally for a product company.
I work for an agency and am unfortunately not doing that. We don't do a lot of learning and assumption challenging for our clients which appears to be at the core of Lean UX.
As such, I've become more efficient by being more thorough. I do detailed content inventories and workflow diagrams, I specify every possible edge case and interaction in my wireframes, and I walk clients, developers, and designers through all of it.
Can it be tedious? Absolutely, but the time saved during IA saves a ton in development.