Abstract/Description

The Standish Group’s annual Chaos Report shows the success (meaning on time, in budget, in scope) of Agile projects at 42% with Waterfall projects at just 14%. Clearly a big win for agile. However the report also shows that 50% of the software features still go unused. We end up with code which never gets used which is still being maintained at high cost.

Agile by itself is not enough. We will describe how techniques drawn from User Centered Design can help to highlight and eliminate the unused features while also building a metric driven backlog for development. These techniques will be familiar to anyone with Lean Startup - just enough detail at each stage to be successful, with early and often testing of the results.

This session will provide an overview of this user centered approach followed by a deeper dive into each stage of the process. Following this we will then:

- Demonstrate how to use a minimal preparation task analysis method to observe users and gather metrics
- Show how the metrics gathered can be used to help identify the highest possible value and steer stakeholders away from those features which will not be used
- Verify back to end customers the user stories through a task map, providing a single view of all user needs
- Show how the design can be quickly reviewed and tested at low cost and effort
- Describe how the development team is engaged throughout to spread the understanding of where the true value lies.

This session is for anyone who wants to maximize the impact of their software delivery:
- UX practitioners wanting to learn an approach for engaging with Agile teams
- Developers who want to ensure their software will be used
- Stakeholders who are struggling to articulate what should be built
- Managers who want to maximize the impact their software teams have.

We have trained this approach to an IT department of 180 people at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies and have seen some tremendous results. These easy to learn techniques are a simple retooling of personnel and practices already in place.
We commonly hear phrases from business analysts who have gone through this process “I’ve been supporting these users for 5 years and I had no idea this was what they were actually doing.”

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