1 - Forgo the Ego
I don't let my ego enter into my work - at all. Would I say 100%? Most definitely. The user is always right. Or rather, the user is mostly right only because there are certain priorities that have to be taken into consideration. I don't take some user feedback too literally, meaning I won't take feedback and immediately implement them without further thought. There are also times when I must ignore the feedback only because it either doesn't make sense to fit it into the design. That doesn't happen too often.
What I always do is to let the user speak in spite of poor quality feedback. I let the user be heard regardless and by doing that, I serve them better. I also know that in order to be flexible, my ego has no place in my work. I let the user tell the story. I'm only a messenger.
2 - Prioritize the Plan
What I need in order to have User Experience successfully implemented is by prioritizing the plan. It's not just enough to go around wandering the software development roadmap without any dates or focus, hoping that Development will do its duty. It simply doesn't work that way. If any place is worthwhile going, it needs to be defined in a specific manner, with dates and with priorities.
3 - Know thy User
If you don't know what your user is doing, how will you be able to sell the software? It's as fundamental as that. Most of what software development and for that matter, User Experience is about is to fill the user void. Other times it's to actually create and fill the void at the same time - that's when users didn't even know that they need a better experience in productivity savings or improved efficiency. Better User Experience provides that.
4 - Test, test and test some more
Usability testing will reveal all that is wrong and right about the concept. Advanced Prototype testing will tell you where users will have the most trouble and areas where they are successful in performing certain tasks. Testing and the results that come with it is the cornerstone of change. Break it, fix it,then break it and fix it some more.
5 - Apply the Correct Principles
That means to further your own knowledge by taking a certification course in usability or just merely keeping in touch with current best practices and timeless principles. There are many resources out there. And just like any successful career or vocation, that extra "edge" will always propel you forward.