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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
In our current project, a software for managing sports events, user stories play an important role when it comes to development. Interestingly the focus of the requirements conversation changed completely from one level of maturity to the next. And there is a pattern behind it, as it seems. It leads to user story mapping.
Currently, I’m involved in a project to develop an event management system for large sports events. The goal is to replace a few existing systems with one integrated system that is able to cater for the coming needs. End of elaboration is closing in and we’re planning for the incremental delivery to follow during construction. Budgeting, estimation and release planning all turn around features (Part 2).
Currently, I’m involved in a project to develop an event management system for large sports events. The goal is to replace a few existing systems with one integrated system that is able to cater for the coming needs. The project will last for about five years. The project team will grow to approximately 20 persons. We apply an agile unified process.
Part 1: Understanding business is a success factor. We use methods from user centred design rather than from business modeling.
Given that stars to road has grown quite a bit it is time to give a quick overview over the toolbox we described so far (or wanted to but did not yet). This list is meant to grow, once we add more tools into the toolbox.
Since the signing of the Agile Manifesto a plethora of other Manifesto’s have arrived on the scene. Software Craftmanship, Project Management to name but a few.
They add NO value to development, in fact it seems their sole purpose is so that the signatories can make more money.
To me, this feels like the rash of CMM’s that arrived in the 90’s. The original CMM was a useful tool for measuring the maturity of an organization. We needed one and only one. The CMM was diluted by a number of new flavours; for Hardware; for Testing; for Software resulting in a lack of clarity of objectives & direction. Finally this was consolidated into CMMI and now it has become about implementing maturity (which even sounds ridiculous).
How long will it be before the various manifestos are consolidated into another chocolate teapot? See http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/about+as+useful+as+a+chocolate+teapot.html
Much of Agile is simply about common sense. Do what is needed when it is needed!
Most of the real value of Agile methods is in how it enables us to knock the rust off old ways of working. The revelation that software development needs “people centric” is, in fact, no revelation at all.
The really big news is that developers need to engage in with the business. Oddly, this is the message that the vast majority of agilista’s fail to deliver to, failing to properly engage the business in the agile development process!
Agile practice recommends to focus on business value. Those items with the highest business value should be implemented first. At the goto zürich conference held in April 2013, one recurring topic was how to prioritize backlog items.
CIO magazines article on the importance of BAs to IT and CIOs is an interesting read. In particular it reinforces the difference between BAs who slavishly “flog the dead template horse” and those who are communicators and analytical thinkers. Take a look at the article here. Which type of BA are you (really)?
If you ever tried to propose an idea to somebody, you have certainly experienced a few personalities, like Joey has in this story. And after having met them Joey, for example, felt the urge to pin a picture of a cake in a sunset to his cubicle walls. For others, this is not sufficient and they have to create a lengthy comic strip.
Have you seen the keynote of Stephan Frickas at the RE ’12 in Chicago? His team created a simulated environment and let real users experience prototypes to figure out, if the requirements (and the design) fit. It’s killing or curing the user centred way!
Innovative climate! Creativity methods! Excellent people! Agile! Leadership! Crowd innovation! Strategy! These is just some of the good advice found on the Internet on how to make a company more innovative. But there can be a bit more structure to such advice: four skills.