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Re: UX roadmap development guidance for product owners

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  • Jon Innes
    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
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 10, 2011
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      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
      >
    • hughrbeyer
      ... to identify the types of questions that Product Owners should ask of their business partners as they define the desired long term user experience visions
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 12, 2011
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        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Van Cleve, Paula M" <paula.m.van.cleve@...> wrote:
        >
        > Thanks Austin and Hugh for the practical advice! Our challenge now is to identify the types of questions that Product Owners should ask of their business partners as they define the desired long term user experience visions and plans to enable the desired UX over time through their solution roadmaps.

        This is another short question with a long answer. But if you're thinking in terms of "what questions to ask," you're very likely starting out on the wrong foot.

        If you want your solution roadmaps to reflect the real issues of the business, you've got to understand the  the detailed practice of the business--not only the goals of the directors, but the day-to-day activities and behaviors of the people who actually make the work happen. You can't do that by asking questions. The managers don't know the answers and the people doing the work have never articulated them. You need to design a method to find out what's really going on--from managers and individual contributors both--and then conceptualize an integrated response. Your solution roadmaps then implement aspects of this overall response.

        Hugh Beyer
        InContext Design 
      • Jon Innes
        I ve been following this thread. I have to agree with Hugh and others here about the importance of user stories not being fiction . If you re in a B2B or IT
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 22, 2011
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          I've been following this thread. I have to agree with Hugh and others here about the importance of user stories not being "fiction".

          If you're in a B2B or IT space, I just got interviewed by a VC by the name of Bruce Cleveland. He was an exec and early employee at Oracle and Siebel and remains very active in Silicon Valley. We discuss the challenges you might face in your projects. You can read the interview at:

          http://www.interwest.com/rolling-thunder/on-demand/more-on-user-experience-an-interview-with-jon-innes/



          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "hughrbeyer" <beyer@...> wrote:
          >
          > I just posted a reference to my monograph on UX and Agile (User-Centered
          > Agile Methods) which deals with this question in some detail. But here's
          > the short version:
          >
          > Yes, UX work should be built into every sprint, so it's not an
          > independent activity from development. But that UX work is specific to
          > particular user stories--each user story that requires a UI requires
          > some UX time to design and validate that UI.
          >
          > What goes on your roadmap is the other UX work. Before development
          > starts, you need some user research and conceptual design work to
          > organize the whole system. I think of this as teaching your
          > Customer/Product Owner what they need to know to guide the team. UX has
          > a primary role to play here, since they are generally the ones with the
          > field research skills to get the right data from users and pull out the
          > implications for design.
          >
          > In a system of any complexity (i.e. requiring the coordinated work of
          > several development teams to deliver), you're likely to want to maintain
          > a UX stream in parallel. The role of this team is to maintain the
          > coherence of the user experience across the whole system. The people on
          > the team may not be full time--they're likely to be on individual Agile
          > teams as well--but keeping this a separate activity maintains it as a
          > focus.
          >
          > Hugh Beyer
          >
          >
          > --- 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
          > >
          >
        • Robin Dymond
          What is a UX road map? When I think of product road maps it is usually because a sales guy wants to know what we will be building in 2014 so he can go pitch
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 4 7:52 AM
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            What is a UX road map?

            When I think of product road maps it is usually because a sales guy wants to know what we will be building in 2014 so he can go pitch the future to a customer. Except the future has a way of changing that seems to surprise customers who have been sold a vision of the future. After the rise of facebook, the decline of Nokia, the rise of Android, the decline of Windows Mobile, the rise of Twitter, the decline of Yahoo etc. etc. you would hope that people would start to understand that the future is rather unpredictable, in both a macro and micro scale.


            Robin Dymond, CST
            Managing Partner, Innovel, LLC.
            www.innovel.net
            www.scrumtraining.com
            Americas: (804) 239-4329
            Europe: +32 489 674 366


            On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:53 PM, Jon Innes <jinnes@...> wrote:
             

            I've been following this thread. I have to agree with Hugh and others here about the importance of user stories not being "fiction".

            If you're in a B2B or IT space, I just got interviewed by a VC by the name of Bruce Cleveland. He was an exec and early employee at Oracle and Siebel and remains very active in Silicon Valley. We discuss the challenges you might face in your projects. You can read the interview at:

            http://www.interwest.com/rolling-thunder/on-demand/more-on-user-experience-an-interview-with-jon-innes/



            --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "hughrbeyer" <beyer@...> wrote:
            >
            > I just posted a reference to my monograph on UX and Agile (User-Centered
            > Agile Methods) which deals with this question in some detail. But here's
            > the short version:
            >
            > Yes, UX work should be built into every sprint, so it's not an
            > independent activity from development. But that UX work is specific to
            > particular user stories--each user story that requires a UI requires
            > some UX time to design and validate that UI.
            >
            > What goes on your roadmap is the other UX work. Before development
            > starts, you need some user research and conceptual design work to
            > organize the whole system. I think of this as teaching your
            > Customer/Product Owner what they need to know to guide the team. UX has
            > a primary role to play here, since they are generally the ones with the
            > field research skills to get the right data from users and pull out the
            > implications for design.
            >
            > In a system of any complexity (i.e. requiring the coordinated work of
            > several development teams to deliver), you're likely to want to maintain
            > a UX stream in parallel. The role of this team is to maintain the
            > coherence of the user experience across the whole system. The people on
            > the team may not be full time--they're likely to be on individual Agile
            > teams as well--but keeping this a separate activity maintains it as a
            > focus.
            >
            > Hugh Beyer
            >
            >
            > --- 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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