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OPEN TALK (ProductWorld): Aligning UX and Product Teams for Success


Kandis O’Brien
The SIX, Co-Founder

Kandis is the co-founder of The SIX, a strategy and innovation consultancy that empowers enterprise clients like Google, Salesforce and Cisco and pioneering startups like Alucio and VianAI to ideate, collaborate and execute quickly and efficiently for sustainable growth. Kandis is passionate about helping organizations build better products, services and organizational cultures leveraging human-centered approaches including Design and Vision Sprints. She is also the organizer of Design Sprint NYC, the official Google Design Sprints Global Chapter community for practitioners and facilitators.


When we imagine an ideal product team our vision is usually of a small, autonomous group of product strategists, designers and engineers all aligned and moving with momentum towards a shared mission.

The reality tends to be somewhat different …  especially in large enterprises where functions like Product Management, UX and Engineering sometimes remain inextricably and intransigently siloed even when they are ostensibly working on delivering the same product.

In this talk we’ll explore:

  • The roles of Product Management and UX across the full product lifecycle
  • Common misconceptions and frustrations about product and UX functions and how skillset biases and levels of influence across functions can radically impact what a team does and what actually gets build
  • Essential tips for getting product teams aligned around What to build, How to build it and most importantly, WHY to build it
  • Case studies from The SIX on using Design Sprints and rapid prototyping to help teams align and test product market fit in 5 days or less.