This is not about a Sherlock Holmes mystery and no engineer lost a thumb over it. Even though the machinery involved could easily achieve the latter. It is about industrial robots and tons of machinery to fold metal sheets into origami swans. But mainly it is about a case where creating the right user experience solved the relevant problem.Continue reading
Sometimes we do stuff without actually understanding the purpose behind it. We write user stories because we do and we miss the gist of it. Why are we doing it? Or to be more precise: what for?Continue reading
The stuff I find most exciting is making something work for the users or to put it in more modern terms: people have a great experience when using something I helped create. So I focus on users and user experience. Some people rather talk about customers and customer experience. Whatever the name, it is basically the same isn’t it?Continue reading
At the UX Brunch in Zürich on December 6, 2019 Rahel and I held a presentation and some very engaged discussions on how we as UX professionals ourselves heat-up the burn-out systems we are caught in. Here is a summary including some of the slides of this session.
By Markus und Rahel *)Continue reading
It’s quite easy to rush through creativity workshops enumerating, rating and selecting ideas to hand-over for later implementation. This article is however about a different kind of creativity, the creativity that comes from gaining deeper understanding – together in a workshop.
By Beatrice*) and MarkusContinue reading
Teams form an entity – and they can have disorders. There are a couple of team disorders worth looking at. One of them is Featuritis. And here is the not really serious medical guide to this disorder.Continue reading
Requirements engineering (RE) has a long and successful tradition. Different approaches always existed. Still it is optimized for an artifact driven setup: Individuals pass on documents. Agile practices are however geared for an interaction drive setup where individuals form one “super-brain”. The discussion about requirements is part of the agile conversation. And now, the proven approaches from RE suddenly create friction and bad smells. So, should we forget about requirements?Continue reading
Getting a performant team needs an investment into the team. Agile inspect and adapt is meant to do the trick. Instead of frantically or stoically pulling a cart with square wheels, a team should be able to spot the fault in the system and improve. Observation: teams surprisingly often do not do so.Continue reading
On March 6, I had the opportunity to play the burn-out machine game with about 40 agile consultants in Zürich. We spent two hours with engaged discussions and insights about the very serious and highly relevant topic burn-out. We even had a good time doing so.
Here’s the situation: A customer asked us to improve the quality of their core system so that they again can act on the demands of their users and customers in a timely manner. We had a team room at our disposal and we again made extensive use of the walls. It turned out that the team wall made the difference!
Keeping knowledge about a product alive is no easy task. Software teams struggle with manually mainting vast documentation in UML tools, text documents, wiki sites and more. We all know about the amount of effort and dedication needed to do this well given the amount of redundancy. There is a promising vision of a living documentation, i.e. a documentaiton automagically created from those things the teams create anyway, like automated and manual tests, backlog items, meeting protocols and more.
An important management tool to improve team performance is the Team Squeezer. It’s really simple: just use hierarchical power and exert pressure to make the development team hurry up. Usually the Team Squeezer backfires.Continue reading
The stars to road innovation framework wouldn’t be complete without the concept of stories. The story decides the fate of the innovation. It can prove to be very powerful.Continue reading
Even though – as a UX professional – I must stress the importance of meeting users, I have to admit that the title of this article is not exactly accurate and just meeting users is not really the point. Having revealed this, I should probably explain what really matters when meeting users and give some indication on how to do it. This article covers two stars to road essentials: the UCD cycle and the UX levels.
Lets start at the beginning and lets review a first big challenge creators of great products are facing:Continue reading
Let me introduce two characters, Bill and Chuck. To be honest, they are personae distilled from people you could meet. They are especially interesting because of their behavior: Instead of collaborating to let ideas compete they fight to get their ideas into the market. And sadly, they have good reasons to do so.Continue reading
At the recent Agile Unconference in Zürich I came across the concept of lean agile procurement. The key insight for me was: forget preparing RFPs, rather establish a good relationship with a select list of partners.Continue reading
If you never have had a look at the scaled agile framework, you may want to do so. It’s has some really good concepts in it. Still with all the enthusiasm I feel like being drawn back to the good old times of software engineering. And you know why?Continue reading
In our current project, we use an approach of the minimal viable product and we steer it with the story mapping technique. From the discussions in our team, here are five guidelines (or just one?) for such an endeavor to ensure a better work-life-balance.Continue reading
Companies, not surprisingly, want to make business. New products are not created just for fun but they should contribute to this overall plan. For that, a performing team combining a couple fields of expertise is an excellent asset. Each of these experts brings in their respective methodology. The article agile innovation from stars to road outlines a basic collaborative structure. This article is about one aspect: the users’ experiences.Continue reading
The challenge awaits our project: How to deal with the many expectations from our customers that are far beyond the project budget? The answer in my current project – the sports event management system – is based on user story mapping.Continue reading