Often the challenges related to people, organization’s structure, and the underlying processes are the hardest things any gives system faces. They’re also some of the primary reasons we’re building these systems for in the first place. What I’m trying to say here, is that it’s not enough to build a system. That itself won’t solve anything. You need to make an organization to adopt it and maintain it over time. Get people excited about it. Only then the system will start solving the things it was meant to.
This is why I tend to start any systems project by running a so called Challenges Workshop. This workshop is meant to reveal a lack of alignment and personal biases across teams. It has a tendency to show organizational challenges too, which is where the name comes from.
To run this workshop, I use a model that Jonathan Courtney describes in his article called “Lightning Decision Jam—solve problems without discussion.” The output of the workshop is a set of prioritized actions that directly inform the backlog of the design system.
Keep in mind that while the format of this workshop is very strict, things don’t always go like planned and you need to be ready to go with the flow. People will ask questions. There will be unexpected breaks. The important person you expected won’t be able to join. But that’s all ok.