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2314RE: [agile-usability] Re: Personaes and Scenarios vs User Roles and User Tasks

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  • Larry Constantine
    Aug 21, 2006
      Ultimately the relative importance of tasks depends on the user and the
      specific activities in which the user is engaged, which means there is not
      one prioritization but many. To the business, however, the issues are not
      what are the absolute priorities in every case but what to include now, what
      to include later, and what can or should be omitted.

      A major risk is inadvertently shipping a product that is missing some
      essential feature. One approach to reducing this risk is to prioritize first
      by role, then cross checking task support and features to make sure that the
      roles selected are fully supported. We construct a role support matrix to
      clarify the relationship between roles as prioritized and tasks as
      prioritized. If you are doing activity modeling, the same prioritization and
      cross-checking applies.

      In my experience it is not so important to get all the task rankings exactly
      right. What is most of interest from the business standpoint is the high and
      low ends. High ranked tasks, which are priorities for high priority roles or
      across multiple roles, need extra care in design and implementation. The
      lowest ranked tasks that may be desirable but not absolutely necessary are
      candidates for cutting corners or deferral until later releases.

      A fine-grained task model (e.g., essential use cases) is more useful for
      this kind of decision making than scenarios, which are to coarse-grained and
      mix high-level and top-priority tasks with low-level and low-priority ones
      into a single storyline.

      --Larry Constantine, IDSA
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