Exploring organisational competences in Human Factors and UX project work: Managing careers, project tactics and organisational strategy.

in Ergonomics, Journal article


Organisational competence in Human Factors and UX (user experience) has not been looked at before despite its relevance to project success. We define organisational competence as the collective competence of the individuals, bringing together their complementary abilities to deliver an outcome that is typically more than the sum of its parts. Twenty-two UX and Human Factors practitioners were interviewed about their project work in two contrasting domains: web design and safety-critical systems to explore organisational competences. Through doing a FRAM analysis 29 functions and six main areas of competences were identified: the central project process; the process of learning about the problem; maintaining and developing client relations; staff development; evolving practices; and the management of documentation for audit and quality control. These dynamic and situated competences form a web of interactions. Managing competences is essential for project success. Implications for managing careers, project tactics and organisational strategy are discussed. Practitioner Summary - Please provide a short summary indicating in clear terms the reason for the study, the form of investigation and the major finding (max 50 words): Organisational competences impact how routine and non-routine project work is performed, but these have received little attention in the literature. Six key areas of competences in Human Factors and UX project work were identified from practitioner interviews. Managing combinations of adaptive competences is important for developing careers, project tactics, and organisational strategies.