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Re: [agile-usability] Agile for Agencies (marketing websites)

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  • Four Hewes, Caspian Design
    Guillermo, Here s some initial feedback to your questions - which I hope helps frame your understanding of Agile as you explore adopting it in your agency. The
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 7, 2008
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      Guillermo,

      Here's some initial feedback to your questions - which I hope helps
      frame your understanding of Agile as you explore adopting it in your
      agency.

      The Agile way is one of ongoing transformation of products, oneself
      and the business. The Agile way supercedes the concept of "business
      as usual" with the concept of "business as necessary for sustained
      acheivement of [healthy, humane business] goals."

      Ultimately the Agile/XP/Scrum approach to developing software would
      change your organization, its roles, performance measures, how it
      determines value, staff relationships, perhaps even the meaning of
      "managing" and the compensation structure. Certainly the role of IxD
      would be changed, perhaps even replaced (depending on how your agency
      responds to Agile's demands).

      While one can "adapt the Agile model" and "bolt on" to existing
      methods, structures and culture specific agile practices, that would
      not yield much sustained potential value, nor harness its fundamental
      potential.

      I find these questions help people grasp Agile's purpose and power as
      they begin to investigate its application in their circumstances:
      How deeply would my organization (whether the team, project, business
      unit, enterprise or leadership) and each person in the organization
      be willing to change their definitions of our work and our goals?
      How willing are we (jointly and individually) to approach our
      business goals if we know we will achieve the results we need and yet
      _can't_ know before we start (nor before we're done) our final
      product, our specific contributions or the subsequent path our
      business will need to take?


      Yours,

      Four Hewes

      At 1:59 PM -0700 4/4/08, Guillermo Torres wrote: [Edited for brevity
      & compactness]
      Hi, I am new to Agile/XP/Scrum, doing some research to see if it
      makes sense to apply this process where I work. I am an interaction
      designer at an interactive marketing agency. ...Ideally we would
      follow a waterfall model...So I was wonder if anyone here has tried
      to adapt the Agile model for this type of product... [to] see if
      Agile or Scrum are processes that I build a case for and sell it
      withing the agency. thanks, Guillermo
      --
      --
      Four Hewes, Principal
      Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
      technology and business
      Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Design Services
      four [at] CaspianDesign ]period[ com
      http://www.CaspianDesign.com
    • Tom Hume
      Guillermo My company has a similar set-up to yours, from the sound of things. We find that clients like the seeing-things-early elements of iterative delivery,
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 7, 2008
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        Guillermo

        My company has a similar set-up to yours, from the sound of things. We
        find that clients like the seeing-things-early elements of iterative
        delivery, but that we frequently end up running multiple projects
        simultaneously within a team of 7 (and that getting feedback from
        multiple off-site stakeholders can derail things on occasion)... and
        we suffer the losses that context switching in this situation entails.

        Tom

        On 4 Apr 2008, at 21:59, Guillermo Torres wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        > I am new to Agile/XP/Scrum, doing some research to see if it makes
        > sense to apply this process where I work. I am an interaction
        > designer at an interactive marketing agency. We create mostly
        > online experiences and RIAs (flash web sites). These projects
        > usually run for about 3 months at the most.
        >
        >
        > Ideally we would follow a waterfall model (strategy>interaction
        > design>visual design>development>QA) but it is very often when our
        > client demands to see final comps right away, they usually don't
        > understand strategy or interaction design deliverables. So we have
        > to develop prototypes right away, then ID has to come in and "fix"
        > what was built.
        >
        > So I was wonder if anyone here has tried to adapt the Agile model
        > for this type of product.
        >
        > if you haven't I would still love it if your opinion on certain
        > resources on methodologies we could follow, and see if Agile or
        > Scrum are processes that I build a case for and sell it withing the
        > agency.
        >
        >
        > thanks,
        >
        > Guillermo
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --
        Future Platforms Ltd
        e: Tom.Hume@...
        t: +44 (0) 1273 819038
        m: +44 (0) 7971 781422
        company: www.futureplatforms.com
        personal: tomhume.org
      • Guillermo Torres
        Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client expectations or certain project circumstances. On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:39 AM, Desilets, Alain
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 10, 2008
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          Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client expectations or certain project circumstances.



          On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:39 AM, Desilets, Alain <alain.desilets@...> wrote:

          > Ideally we would follow a waterfall model (strategy>interaction design>visual design>development>QA)

          Why do you say "Ideally"?

          Alain Désilets


        • Ron Jeffries
          Hello, Guillermo. On Thursday, April 10, 2008, at 7:44:06 PM, you ... So, maybe if this is happening most of the times, we re mistaken to think that the
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 11, 2008
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            Hello, Guillermo. On Thursday, April 10, 2008, at 7:44:06 PM, you
            wrote:

            > Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client expectations
            > or certain project circumstances.

            So, maybe if this is happening most of the times, we're mistaken to
            think that the "waterfall" style would be ideal?

            > On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:39 AM, Desilets, Alain <
            > alain.desilets@...> wrote:

            >> > Ideally we would follow a waterfall model (strategy>interaction
            >> design>visual design>development>QA)

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            It's easy to have a complicated idea.
            It's very very hard to have a simple idea.
            -- Carver Mead
          • Four Hewes, Caspian Design
            Guillermo, Do you mean skip a website design phase, a project phase....? Please elaborate a bit. Four At 4:44 PM -0700 4/10/08, Guillermo Torres wrote: Well,
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 11, 2008
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              Guillermo,

              Do you mean skip a website design phase, a project phase....? Please
              elaborate a bit.

              Four

              At 4:44 PM -0700 4/10/08, Guillermo Torres wrote:
              Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client
              expectations or certain project circumstances.
              --
              --
              Four Hewes, Principal
              Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
              technology and business
              Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Design Services
            • Desilets, Alain
              On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:39 AM, Desilets, Alain ... design visual design development QA) ... expectations or certain project circumstances. I guess what I am
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 11, 2008
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                On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:39 AM, Desilets, Alain
                <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                >>> Ideally we would follow a waterfall model (strategy>interaction
                design>visual design>development>QA)
                >>
                >> Why do you say "Ideally"?
                >
                > Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client
                expectations or certain project circumstances.

                I guess what I am trying to get at is that in the Agile world, most
                folks do not consider Waterfall to be an ideal that one should even aim
                at.


                Alain
              • Guillermo Torres
                Actually, the biggest frustration comes because we end up having to skip phases when we follow the waterfall model. Due to client demands, usually the
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 14, 2008
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                  Actually, the biggest frustration comes because we end up having to skip phases when we follow the waterfall model. Due to client demands, usually the interaction design phase is skipped, going straight to visual design, and making final comps. Which is hard to do it right so there end up being a lot of revisions to get it right. And once we get initial approval from the client, the interaction designer is called in to "fix" the comps. The development of phase of the project then gets pushed further down, because of the many iterations.

                  So, since we end up having to do so many unplanned iterations I figured that a planned iterative process might ease some of the frustation. And that's why I started to look into Agile Software Development. But Agile seems to be devised for lengthy software development projects, as opposed to short web development processes, particularly when the focus of the project is visual design, not development.


                  I was hoping that someone had tried applying some of the iterative concepts to these type of processes. I was thinking of a process where there are 2 or 3 sprints, of a couple of weeks in duration, the output of these sprints would be a working prototype. after the final prototype is done, the programming team would unfold the rest of the application and submit it for QA. The team could be formed by a visual designer, and interaction designer, 2 developers, a project manager and a copywriter.

                  peas,

                  G






                  On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 6:31 PM, Four Hewes, Caspian Design <four@...> wrote:

                  Guillermo,

                  Do you mean skip a website design phase, a project phase....? Please
                  elaborate a bit.

                  Four



                  At 4:44 PM -0700 4/10/08, Guillermo Torres wrote:
                  Well, most of the times we need to skip a phase, to meet client
                  expectations or certain project circumstances.
                  --
                  --
                  Four Hewes, Principal
                  Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
                  technology and business
                  Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Design Services

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