Software Development is Hard. Updated.

A while back, I put up a previous version of this primer talk that I sometimes do. Most recently to a group of projects managers at the Department of Business and Innovation, here in Melbourne. I thought I’d share the latest version, and you can see it below.

Problem Solving with agile UX – Part 2

6 up 1 up exercise

6 up 1 up exercise

In Part 1, I talked about the motivation behind the “Problem Solving with agile UX” session at the recent LAST (Lean, Agile, and Systems Thinking) conference. Here, I’ll describe what happened on the day.

Back in May, Pete Grierson, a User Experience consultant at realestate.com.au, agreed to present at a meeting of the Melbourne Agile and Scrum Meetup Group. He’s got solid experience at realestate, and in previous roles with agile UX, so I was pleased that he agreed to present that night.  Here’s my writeup of that event.

Originally, one of the options for that meetup, was to have a workshop section. However, the number of people, the size of the venue, and time limitations, meant that it wasn’t practical to do this. Instead, I decided to team up with Pete at LAST conference, and it was great to have a full house for our session.

You can see Pete’s slides used to support the workshop, in the Slideshare deck, below. As I wanted to avoid “death by Powerpoint”, at all costs, most of the time was spent doing a series of exercises, rather than dwelling on the slides.

We also had a video camera setup in the room, and if the video turns out any good, I’ll link to it here.

The session and the exercises had the goals of:

  • demonstrating how UX practices can increase shared understanding by supporting user stories and user story backlogs.
  • showing that UX can be a valuable weapon in your armoury; helping a team build something that is really useful, and valuable to a customer.
  • demonstrating that it’s most valuable to have the whole team involved in UX style activities, in order to collect latent knowledge about the issues, goals, and possible solutions. It’s not just the job of a UX person, all team members (product owners, business analysts, developers, testers), can and should be involved.
  • Showing that it need not take huge amounts of time to include UX practices in agile projects.
One thing I didn’t mention specifically is that UX techniques work great with Story Mapping as promoted in the work of Jeff Patton. My fellow conference co-organizeer, Craig, did a session on story mapping, earlier in the morning. I’ve also written about story mapping, on this site.

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Problem solving with agile UX – Part 1

In this article, I’ll explain the motivation behind the “Problem solving with agile UX” session that I lead with Peter Grierson, at LAST Conference, on 27 July. Part 2 discusses the session at the conference.


What movies are on tonight?

Let me clearly state, that I like Cinema Nova, quite a lot. They have quite a few screens, which means that there is usually a pretty good choice of films on any one night. So, this is not meant to be a heartless lampoon; more like constructive criticism.

One common scenario is that my movie going companions and I will finish work, and will often go for a quick meal at a local restaurant, either before the movie, or after it finishes. This means that  there are 2 windows of viewing opportunity; movies that start at around 6pm (finishing around 8pm), or ones that start at around 7:30.

As part of this scenario, I also want to find out what a movie was about. Although I regularly listen to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews podcast, and often watch At the Movies, I can’t always remember that the “free-wheeling rock ‘n’ roll love story set against the raucous magnificence and unforgettable sounds of Scotland’s leading music Festival” is called You Instead.

Also, I’d quite like to see how long the film is, to gauge whether I need to buy a choc top to stave off hunger pangs, or to not drink a lot of water, in the case of a long movie. This also gives me an idea of whether I’ll get home in good time on public transport, or whether I should get a taxi instead.

The first port of call on this is, of course their website. You can see below, the “Session Times” page:

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