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7248Re: UX roadmap development guidance for product owners

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  • Jon Innes
    Feb 10, 2011
      Hi Paula,

      I'm a consultant (UX guy, Certified Scrum Product Owner) based in SF that specializes in just this area.

      Here's my high level advice:

      You need to make sure UX work is part of the Agile process. Most Agile literature was written by folks who don't understand UX at all. The end result is that it ignores key UX concepts that product companies have found critical to success. Product (and SaaS/internet) companies only get paid if their product is used, vs. other worlds were the developers get paid if they just meet dates. Don't fall into that mindset. Releasing code is not success if it's not useful or usable.

      Mike Cohn, one of the best Scrum trainers touches on some key points in his books. In particular he mentions the concept of a sprint ahead for UX work, which is definitely a good start and a proven best practice. I think he is the only major Scrum coach that even knows what UX stands for.

      I've also found extending other Agile concepts to be helpful. For example, I've extended Jeff Patton's concept of a story map form of a product backlog to be used in different ways. James McElroy & I will be presenting how on how we did this on a project at UPA this year. I'd be glad to share that with you offline if you are interested, but it's a bit more complex than I can explain quickly here.

      I guess if I were to summarize, I'd say measure progress in terms of UX metrics not just code released. Make sure your product owners and business folks define user stories and conditions related to usability. Test early and often as part of the Agile lifecycle and track UX impact. There are some new tools out there that make that much easier. One tool I'm familiar with that might be a good match is Userlytics which is a new remote usability testing tool that allows you to capture qualitative data via video, not just clicks or sat scores.

      PS If you work with Kraig Finstad tell him I said hello.


      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "pvancleve" <paula.m.van.cleve@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > Our IT organization is beginning to integrate user centered design into our work practices including strategic capability roadmaps. We've demonstrated that we can deliver valuable technology solutions but not sure how to evolve our roadmaps more into ones focused first on desired user experiences and then the software and hardware.
      >
      > Does anyone have key learnings or suggested training content that could help guide our product owners and business partners as they start to add the user experience dimension to our strategic roadmaps?
      >
      > Thanks in advance,
      > ~Paula
      >
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