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Re: [agile-usability] Re: Integrating usability testing with Scrum

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  • Marius van Dam
    Hi David, If team members have interpret[ed] by the book scrum to mean the UX person cannot do any up-front visualizations and wireframing that can be
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 15, 2010
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      Hi David,

      If team members have "interpret[ed] 'by the book' scrum to mean the UX person cannot do any up-front visualizations and wireframing" that can be easily countered.

      Jeff Sutherland, one of the Scrum co-founders frequently highlights that next to a definition of DONE (is a story implemented completely?) there should be a defenition of READY. Each team can define for themselves which conditions must be met for a story before it can be planned into a sprint. What their definition of READY is depends, but at least the details of the story must be clear enough so that the developer can start coding right away and can spend his time building the story instead of figuring out what to build. What better, more tangible way is there to reach this then to create mockups, screen designs or wireframes? At Jeff Sutherlands company Patientkeeper all stories have some screens designs attached to them. 

      UX/Interaction designers can be on the Product Owner team (just like a BA could be) and help the Product Owner to flesh out the details. What you should not do however is try to create a detailed spec for the whole application each time you do UX for a user story. Personally I like to create some quick clickable mockups using Balsamiq. 
      Also try not to go to far in adding every exception and edge case. Otherwise the effort to implement those stories becomes too long. If you spend time polishing each story then a lot of other stories (which may have higher priority) may not get built. Instead discuss with the PO which edge cases can be put on the backlog as separate stories which can then be prioritized in relation to the rest of the stories.

      Kind regards,

      Marius


      2010/12/14 stratosphere88 <dmscom@...>
       

      Integrating UX in Scrum can be challenging but it is possible. Integrating usability testing into scrum will be far easier if you have integrated a strong UX practice in Scrum first...or at least the rest of the organization recognizes the importance of UX in the software development process (regardless of what methodology you follow)

      If the organization practices scrum, sometimes the demands they put on the UX team member can be quite challenging (especially if they interpret"by the book" scrum to mean the UX person cannot do any up-front visualizations and wireframing.

      Regardless, I have seen and run successful usability tests in a scrum framework with a team running 2 week sprints and doing it over 3 sprints. The first thing we do is identify what our goals are (what interaction(s) do we anticipate needing usability tests...could be a feature that is a differentiator, could be a feature that is known to be difficult or complex to use, etc etc.)

      Next we take a sprint to develop the usability test and designs (2 weeks). We create a user story that reflects the work the team is doing to prepare for the usability test. (paper designs, prototype if needed, etc) We also use the sprint to recruit the subjects for the test and plan the test procedures.

      The next sprint (2 weeks) we conduct the test (on-site,off-site, or more often these days, remotely using tools available).

      The final sprint we take all that we learned and summarize it for the product owner(s) as well as create new user stories for the backlog to reflect any changes we would like to see as a result of the test. Those stories are prioritized in the backlog by the business and worked on when appropriate.

      I always include development and QA resources in this activity as a way of teaching them the value of usability testing. The summary that we create helps sell the value of the practice. Usually product owners see the value and proactively put stories in the backlog so the team can plan another test at a later time.

      David



      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "lauren2miller" <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
      >
      > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as people and improve their design thinking.
      >
      > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
      >
      > I would love to hear about your experiences!
      >
      > - Lauren
    • Lane
      Hi, One of the most effective practices I ve seen for integrating user feedback in Scrum is a concept called Five Users Every Friday. Tom Illmense presented
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 15, 2010
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        Hi,

        One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are two links with some information.

        http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
        http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html

        You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff Gothelf TheLadders

        http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile

        Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with their sprints.

        Best regards,

        -lane

        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "lauren2miller" <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi,
        >
        > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
        >
        > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as people and improve their design thinking.
        >
        > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
        >
        > I would love to hear about your experiences!
        >
        > - Lauren
        >
      • Lauren Miller
        Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn t yet wide acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too intense for my
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 15, 2010
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          Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular basis.

          On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Lane <lbh.inc@...> wrote:
           

          Hi,

          One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are two links with some information.

          http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
          http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html

          You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff Gothelf TheLadders

          http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile

          Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with their sprints.

          Best regards,

          -lane



          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "lauren2miller" <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
          >
          > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as people and improve their design thinking.
          >
          > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
          >
          > I would love to hear about your experiences!
          >
          > - Lauren
          >


        • Adrian Howard
          ... Smaller tests more often seems to be a common pattern with folk integrating usability testing into agile processes. You might also find these of interest:
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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            On 16 Dec 2010, at 05:06, Lauren Miller wrote:

            > Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
            > acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
            > intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
            > basis.

            Smaller tests more often seems to be a common pattern with folk integrating usability testing into agile processes. You might also find these of interest:

            * Cindy McCracken & Skye Pazuchanics' session Making Usability Testing Agile talks about their experiences integrating usability testing at iContact - http://is.gd/iXwWl

            * Moses Hohman & Suzy Thompson's session Integrating design & agile on a budget has a nice piece on integrating regular discount usability testing in an agile process - http://is.gd/iXwSW

            Cheers,

            Adrian
            --
            http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
            t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh
          • Carol Smith
            Hello everyone, I encourage those of you integrating usability techniques in an Agile environment and interested in getting better, to participate in this
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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              Hello everyone,

              I encourage those of you integrating usability techniques in an Agile environment and interested in getting better, to participate in this workshop in June:

              Workshop Title: Integrating with Agile: Advanced Techniques
              Location: UPA 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia - http://usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html
              Day/Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
              Time: 2:40 p.m. - 6:00 p.m
              Facilitators: Carol Smith (Midwest Research) and Thyra Rauch (IBM)

              ABSTRACT:
              Advanced workshop where we will explore usability techniques that integrate well in an Agile environment and the timing for integrating those techniques. We will discuss common team issues such as working remotely and additional advanced issues based on the attendees position papers.

              GOALS FOR THE SESSION:
              Attendees at this session will explore:
              • Usability techniques that work in Agile environments.
              • Usability techniques that could be adapted to work in Agile environments.
              • When and how those techniques can best be integrated into projects.
              • Working with the team, and working remotely.

              AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
              This workshop will be highly participatory with all participants expected to help structure the Workshop and contribute to the discussion. Attendees are expected to be experienced usability practitioners who have Agile team experience.

              -------------------

              Carol J. Smith, Midwest Research

              UPA 2011 - Atlanta, Georgia - 21-24 June, 2011 - Conference registration opens soon!

              http://usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html



              On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 9:56 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh@...> wrote:
               


              On 16 Dec 2010, at 05:06, Lauren Miller wrote:

              > Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
              > acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
              > intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
              > basis.

              Smaller tests more often seems to be a common pattern with folk integrating usability testing into agile processes. You might also find these of interest:

              * Cindy McCracken & Skye Pazuchanics' session Making Usability Testing Agile talks about their experiences integrating usability testing at iContact - http://is.gd/iXwWl

              * Moses Hohman & Suzy Thompson's session Integrating design & agile on a budget has a nice piece on integrating regular discount usability testing in an agile process - http://is.gd/iXwSW

              Cheers,

              Adrian
              --
              http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
              t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh


            • hughrbeyer
              One main point of 5 users every Friday is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too,
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 8, 2011
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                One main point of "5 users every Friday" is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too, if that's what you can manage. You schedule and recruit the users and then you figure out what you'll have ready for them to test--and in an Agile project, there will always be something to test. That way you don't allow recruitment to be the gating factor. It takes time to line up the users--if you wait to set them up until you have something to test, you have a hard time fitting into short sprint timeframes.

                Hugh R. Beyer
                InContext Design
                Email: beyer@...



                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Lauren Miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
                > acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
                > intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
                > basis.
                >
                > On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Lane lbh.inc@... wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > Hi,
                > >
                > > One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback
                > > in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense
                > > presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are
                > > two links with some information.
                > >
                > > http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
                > > http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html
                > >
                > > You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff
                > > Gothelf TheLadders
                > >
                > >
                > > http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile
                > >
                > > Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with
                > > their sprints.
                > >
                > > Best regards,
                > >
                > > -lane
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <agile-usability%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > > "lauren2miller" lauren2miller@ wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi,
                > > >
                > > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do
                > > user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we
                > > start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
                > > >
                > > > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over
                > > the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over
                > > from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope
                > > of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only
                > > UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum
                > > process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or
                > > prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less
                > > interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging
                > > the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as
                > > people and improve their design thinking.
                > > >
                > > > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to
                > > help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this
                > > successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
                > > >
                > > > I would love to hear about your experiences!
                > > >
                > > > - Lauren
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Robin Dymond
                Hi Lauren, It is a myth that you can t do good usability/ux/ucd and do scrum by the book. Remember the goal is great software, not pretty wireframes high
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 8, 2011
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                  Hi Lauren,

                  It is a myth that you can't do good usability/ux/ucd and do scrum by
                  the book. Remember the goal is great software, not pretty wireframes
                  high fidelity concepts.

                  Please read the archive of this list, lots of people are doing it,
                  stepping out of the dev path into researcher advisor is not so much
                  fun, especially if you like building great UX.

                  I wrote a step by step guide I posted here last week, and it became a
                  blog post at www.Innovel.net, try it out.

                  Some great advice from other posters to your question, William Petri's
                  reply is one to show to your dev team :)

                  I disagree that the definition of ready for a story should include
                  wireframes. Ready means the team has enough information to task out
                  the work and that is is small enough to be easily implemented in a
                  sprint. Imposing a complex wireframe as a ready definition is simply a
                  justification for not finding a simpler way to convey the same
                  information. A sketch, sure, a paper prototype ok. They provide the
                  flexbility and collaborative space for change and input from others
                  while conveying your ideas.

                  But I suggest you reconsider and find a way to stay in the game
                  instead of stepping out, because the root cause, you can't do your
                  work in Scrum is not true.

                  Cheers,
                  Robin.



                  On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, hughrbeyer <beyer@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > One main point of "5 users every Friday" is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too, if that's what you can manage. You schedule and recruit the users and then you figure out what you'll have ready for them to test--and in an Agile project, there will always be something to test. That way you don't allow recruitment to be the gating factor. It takes time to line up the users--if you wait to set them up until you have something to test, you have a hard time fitting into short sprint timeframes.
                  >
                  > Hugh R. Beyer
                  > InContext Design
                  > Email: beyer@...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Lauren Miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
                  >> acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
                  >> intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
                  >> basis.
                  >>
                  >> On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Lane lbh.inc@... wrote:
                  >>
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> > Hi,
                  >> >
                  >> > One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback
                  >> > in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense
                  >> > presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are
                  >> > two links with some information.
                  >> >
                  >> > http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
                  >> > http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html
                  >> >
                  >> > You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff
                  >> > Gothelf TheLadders
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> > http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile
                  >> >
                  >> > Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with
                  >> > their sprints.
                  >> >
                  >> > Best regards,
                  >> >
                  >> > -lane
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <agile-usability%40yahoogroups.com>,
                  >> > "lauren2miller" lauren2miller@ wrote:
                  >> > >
                  >> > > Hi,
                  >> > >
                  >> > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do
                  >> > user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we
                  >> > start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
                  >> > >
                  >> > > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over
                  >> > the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over
                  >> > from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope
                  >> > of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only
                  >> > UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum
                  >> > process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or
                  >> > prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less
                  >> > interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging
                  >> > the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as
                  >> > people and improve their design thinking.
                  >> > >
                  >> > > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to
                  >> > help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this
                  >> > successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
                  >> > >
                  >> > > I would love to hear about your experiences!
                  >> > >
                  >> > > - Lauren
                  >> > >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  --
                  Robin Dymond, CST
                  Managing Partner, Innovel, LLC.
                  www.innovel.net
                  www.scrumtraining.com
                  Americas: (804) 239-4329
                  Europe: +32 489 674 366
                • Natalie
                  Thank you for the tips!
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 7, 2011
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                    Thank you for the tips!

                    --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Austin Govella <austin.govella@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 1:05 PM, lauren2miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
                    > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.... There is very strong executive support for changing over from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope of getting better quality products faster (per the usual).
                    >
                    > A couple quick points of advice:
                    >
                    > First, agile is not faster. It release smaller pieces. Smaller pieces
                    > take less time to build and can be completed more quickly, but if
                    > you're building the Great Wall of China, you still have to take the
                    > time to lay every single brick.
                    >
                    > Second, developers will need to book time to watch usability tests,
                    > review and decide on fixes, and implement the fixes. This reduces the
                    > amount of code they can write, but you can't fix the problems you find
                    > if they haven't set aside time to do so. RITE testing is usually the
                    > way to go.
                    >
                    > Third, get a bucket. In addition to time devs book for fixes, get X
                    > number of hours per sprint to use in a UX bucket. This time is not
                    > pre-planned and should be used exclusively as you see fit to fix
                    > things you find or to implement that unsexy code that's super
                    > important to the UX but not sexy enough to make it to the top of
                    > management's priority list. (Sounds scary, but usually the product
                    > manager LOVES this because it gives them wiggle room.)
                    >
                    > Fourth, at sprint planning, have the team sketch flows for each story
                    > with any user interface. And for important data or interaction
                    > screens, have them sketch the screens. You would assist and review in
                    > the planning meeting. (I firmly believe the vast majority of UX+agile
                    > problems arise can be avoided if everyone sketches everything
                    > together.)
                    >
                    > Fifth, put your stuff on the walls so everyone can see it. This shows
                    > everyone what you do and teaches them how to do it themselves.
                    >
                    > Sixth, create broad site architectures, common interaction patterns,
                    > and personas. These are like guidelines so devs can figure things out
                    > for themselves instead of needing you to review everything.
                    >
                    > Seventh, identify your black knights and spend as much time working
                    > with them as possible.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > Austin Govella
                    > User Experience
                    >
                    > Work: http://www.grafofini.com
                    > Blog: http://www.thinkingandmaking.com
                    >
                    > austin@...
                    > 215-240-1265
                    >
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