47769Re: [scrumdevelopment] UX role in Scrum teams
- Jul 27, 2010Hi Demetrius,
I had a similar situation. Three teams: UX, UI and java. The UX and UI guys were filling a pipeline
with screen shots which the java guys were supposed to implement.
The UI team started doing Scrum first. Eventually they were so productive, that the customer/PO had
to stop the team for 6 months until the Java people caught up. They never really did either, until
they started doing Scrum too. So, first question: Are you producing an inventory of features waiting
to be implemented? In this case, when the UI work resumed, many months later, they decided the
implement in the next sprint. By keeping the two teams in lockstep, it worked. (There were geography
and language issues, which discouraged a collaboration directly in the sprint).
I had another similar situation: One team developing a new UI to an existing application. We defined
the application as User Stories, but needed to come up with an information architecture (IA). The
stories defined what, and the IA described how (from the users point of view). The Product Owner was
very interested in the IA. We went through multiple iterations with our best people working on the
design, only to have the P-O redesign it once he saw it. (It reminded me of the letter writing
example in Parkinson's Law: http://tinyurl.com/2vel7sb ). In this case, it was as much about control
as about method.
Perhaps the P-O thinks he is saving time and/or money by evaluating mock-ups rather than actual
running systems. Maybe some experimentation with alternative approaches would be convincing.
In general, I would suggest keeping your presentation layer as thin as possible and as decoupled
from the application as possible so it is easy to change. A usability test with real users late in
the project can really make a mess of your beautiful UI concept ...and your schedule ;-). I would
look for signs of inventory accumulating, shortages of work, or excessive redesign. These indicate
your process is wasteful. And I would try to find out why your P-O wants to work the way he does,
then show him a better way to accomplish his goals...
Hope this helps,
On 28.07.10 00:44, Demetrius Nunes wrote:
> Hi there,
> Our customer is used to discuss, validate and accept user story definitions
> based on high fidelity screens and prototypes, which demands the UX people
> to work ahead of the developers, showing these prototypes to the customer.
> Only after that, the Product Owner feels comfortable to commit the story to
> the backlog.
> Is it acceptable for UX people to work ahead of the developers to prepare
> and design the user interfaces and interactions of user stories before the
> actual sprint where these stories will be built, or, ideally, UX should
> always be working together with the developers on the same stories in the
> same sprint?
> The Product Owner feels comfortable working this way, as long as the
> developers participate thru the whole process and the UX people support the
> developers during the sprints, but I fear this might be a sub-optimization
> of the process, although is hard to see it being done any other way,
> specially because our customer is very attached to the UX quality of the
> user interfaces.
> The PO likes to make an analogy with the auto industry, in the sense that
> there is a product concept, design and prototyping phase of a car (in which
> manufacturing engineers are also involved), before the actual manufacturing
> phase, where engineers will then do most of the work figuring out how to
> build the assembly line for that car. Is this a good analogy?
> Best regards,
Lean Agile Scrum Konferenz in Zürich mit Mary Poppendieck und Henrik Kniberg.
Schlagen Sie die Brücke von Scrum Team bis zum schlanken Unternehmen!
Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
Independent Scrum Trainer and Coach
Sierra-Charlie Consulting | Zurich | Switzerland
Member of DasScrumTeam.de
tel: +41 44 586 6450
cell: +41 79 422 6722
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