A full house to this session run by Tsutomu Yasui gives some validation to the fact that Kanban is gaining traction with the agile community. All the details and materials for the game are available at http://www.yattom.jp/trac/public/wiki/ProjectGames/TheKanbanGameEn. I only sat in on the first half of the session so I could fit in some other last minute talks.
Agile User Experience Design Emergent Practices
I had an aim to get to at least one talk by Jeff Patton (especially for bragging rights for one of my work colleagues, Teale Shapcott)! I actually got to have a brief conversation with Jeff later in the evening which was awesome.
adapting to agile difficult for UX practitioners – Jeff Patton came late to usability but early to agile usability
five stages to agile adoption (salesforce.com) anger, denial ,bargaining, depression, acceptance
design – agile (how to build product), designer (what to build based on user needs)
iteration – agile (short time box to build software), usability (builf representation of product idea for evaluation and change)
story – agile (short description of what user might want built), usability (agile design for goal)
customer – agile (someone who writes a user story), usability (a person who buys a product)
small bit of software – agile (developer can build in a few days), usability (something a user can complete is a single sitting)
test – agile (means complete and meets acceptance criteria), usability (user can use the software and it meets their needs)
usability practitioners view of design and development – understand business need, understand user need, personas, create and validate high level design, create and validate UI design, create and communicate design specification, develop software, usability test finished product
you could do all that for a sprint right? – agile changes usability practice but does not have to threaten it
patterns have emerged as usability practitioners have adapted – had to go postal or figure it out – great idea is not a pattern, great idea that multiple people use is a pattern (at least 3 companies)
usability designers are part of product owner or customer team – in drivers seat, part of the planning, part of product owner team or the product owner. Product owners already take multiple roles, product owners are thinking about this release and the next release
research, model, design up front (but only just enough) – learnt how to cut up work, high level design but just enough, task model (but agile people think they are stories), usability people need to be connected to backlog, own and leverage it
chunk your design work – break up design work to perform incrementally throughout development, organise story into a map that helps communicate structure of the system (see The new user story backlog is a map on Jeff’s blog), organise the backlog (don’t just prioritise – communicate with user about what we are seeing)
buy design time with complex engineering stories – product owners responsible for scheduling, sometimes highest value is to put a story that is easy to design but hard for developers to build to buy time! (Lynn Miller talks about SketchUp File – Save As as easy to design but took ages for developers to develop)
schedule continuous user research in a separate track from development – Kitchen Stories a silly Swedish movie has usability connotations, research is continuous, not just a phase, schedule visits with users ahead of how we know why we want to be there
leverage time with users for multiple activities – do some usser interviewing, do prototyping, show and review current software (one mand band), use RITE to iterative UI (rapid iterative testing and evaluation) (see numerous RITE articles on agileproductdesign.com), use time before sprint to refine design, test something and fix it to burn down failures
prototype in low fidelity – prototype in public so people can see what you are doing, look at Balsamiq as a tool
treat prototype as a specification – have a discussion
designer developers iterate design outside development iteration (eg. CSS, HTML and visual design), “art is never finished, only abandoned” (Da Vinci)
become a design facilitator – designers do collaboration and facilitation, practices like design studio and sketchboard technique to get developers involved, sick of developers armchairing their design (get them to sketch it out, developers get to weigh in good ideas, developers get their design ripped apart, usability people get people to read their designs)
Finally, most usability designers won’t go back after doing agile!
Agile By The Numbers: What People Are Really Doing In Practice
I was keen to go and see Scott Amber speak, you can view the session or view the data. According to Scott, this is what people are doing in practice and this talk is exploring some myths.
just because majority doing agile, not everybody needs to do agile
Majority of teams doing agile?
in 76% of organisations, 44% of project teams doing agile
numbers claiming to be doing agile, can’t test this theory, expect number is high
how do you measure agile?
Pretty much all development in agile?
agile practices that most effective – CI (65%), daily standup (47%), TDD, (47%) iteration plan, refactoring, retrospectives, pair programming, stakeholder participation, shippable software, bundown tracking
practices that want to adapt – almpot all technical – acceptance and developer TDD at top of list
Agile is just for small teams?
1-5 and 6-10 success, starts to taper off for teams 11 and up, but success at all sizes of teams
Does not apply to regulatory situations?
33% need to apply to legislation
Agile and CMMI don’t work together?
yes 9%, only small amount of people doing it
no statistical differenece between CMMI and non-CMMI agile projects
Agile process empirical?
teams collect and act on metrics, 51% collect but do it manually (according to Scott Ambler, don’t trust manual metrics as they are behind and altered to tell a better story and meet bureaucracy), 26% no and 19% majority automated
Agile teams doing greenfield development?
78% working with legacy in some way, 57% evolving legacy code
Jeff Frederick ran his Scrum Is Evil session that I had first seen at CITCON in Brisbane earlier in the year. It was interesting to see that the outcomes were exactly the same half way around the world!
Conference Banquet & Keynote User Interface Engineering
It’s very hard to take notes in a banquet with the lights dimmed, but Jared M. Spool gave a very entertaining keynote on User Interface Engineering, including some iPod vs Zune bashing and an old Apple video on future design.
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