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Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever

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7

The Response: Strategy and Tactics

Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation.

MAX EUWE

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NOW THAT IT’S TIME to actually respond to our stakeholders, we need to take everything we’ve gathered so far and apply it on the spot. Responding to stakeholder feedback is a matter of forming your words in a way that will yield the best response by staying focused on the goal of the meeting: to get agreement from them. There is a structure and format to your response that will make it easier to get what you need out of your time together. To accomplish our goal, we break down our response into several core parts that will form the building blocks of our words. That logic will flow together and make it possible for us to present our reasoning in such a way that it will communicate the very best response. This is the key to articulating design decisions.

When we communicate with people about design and expect to get their buy-in on our project, it’s no different than other communication mediums that demand a response, such as marketing and advertising, politics, or even military campaigns. There is a rhythm and pattern to our response that mimics these other communications approaches. As with any good communications plan, we need to have an objective or goal, a strategy for achieving the objective, tactics for delivering the strategy, messaging for employing the tactics, and, finally, ...

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