敏捷development processes are popular among programmers, and for several years we have studied how tobest integrate Agile methods and user experience methodsto create great products that don’t abandon usability while chasing after speedy programming. Our earlier research considered the broad perspective, so we now dive into a smaller number of projects to collect deeper insights for ournew course on Lean UX and Agile

I recently interviewed eight professionals who work in Agile environments to learn about their journey, their successes and failures. I spoke with people ranging from User Experience (UX) designers to developers and product owners. All worked in an Agile environment for at least two years.

敏捷Is Here to Stay

没有回头。我谈到的每个人都承认这个过程并不总是顺利,但是today it is much better than when they first startedseveral years ago. Even at the 2-year mark, some people confessed that it’s not all roses, but it’s much better than it was before —没有人想恢复to a traditional development瀑布等过程。

In general, Agile teams agree that this framework facilitatestransparency。问题较早识别,功能更快地提供。开发人员和设计师花了几个月和几个月的日子已经过去了,独立工作,只有在最后确定的问题。敏捷最小化了最后一分钟的惊喜,允许开发人员更有效地预测时间表。

“我们聪明地努力。整个月内没有14小时。我们是一支球队,我们经常发布......由于我们使用没有单片的较小的块,预测比巨大的东西更容易,并且可能需要9个月。每个人都意识到进展。“Victor, Software Engineer

“在敏捷之前,它更难以留在轨道上。现在有更多的问责制。事情更透明。“Anca, Software Engineer

Practice Makes Perfect

After a few years of trial and error, Agile teams are getting the hang of it. People are better attimeboxingor setting time limits on activities. Daily standup meetings that used to go on for 30 minutes or more are now getting closer to 15 minutes. Team members are better at being concise and sticking to the agenda. There is a greater understanding and appreciation for the “rules” and how the process benefits releases.

时间估计更准确。在早期,一些团队比他们可以处理更多sprints(or units of time), but today this is less of an issue because they have learned what is reasonable work for a given sprint.

“The awkwardness is wearing off. People had to get used to the funny way of calling things and the new activities.”Michelle, UI Designer

Communication Is Key

对于某些团队成员来说,使用敏捷的最大好处是通信。Scrum方法为跨职能团队成员提供了贡献思想,股票职责和将过程的结构组成。

“敏捷的最大优势是回顾。它允许人们冒着肮脏的洗衣,改进,并尝试不同的东西...起初我非常专注于以下规则。在不同Scrum团队工作后,我了解到我必须为这些团队工作......现在我们有一个共享词汇,共同的理解。“杰夫,产品经理

“scrum的值是对话。不要在遵循所有规则后击败自己。我们尽可能多地做。“Cathy, Product Owner

组织内的敏捷挑战

对于许多人来说,敏捷的道路仍然颠簸。公司 - 广泛的支持是一个艰难的战斗。团队必须努力展示非信徒的价值敏捷,并鼓励他们突破他们的舒适区。

缺乏高管支持

One of the major challenges with Agile is getting support from the top. Some of the people I spoke with expressed their frustration with the lack of engagement with management. Without executive backing, teams are forced to cut corners and work less effectively. Misunderstandings about the Agile process result in communication breakdown and incoherent planning.

“利益攸关方的要求与Sprint规划在敏捷混乱之外。”Julia, UX Designer

“We’ve had to work on stuff that is not part of planning.”Cathy, Product Owner

“Our group is embracing Agile, but our organization is not there yet. We’ve had a couple of Agile coaches, but the coaches were not great at swaying senior management. They didn’t have an impact to get senior management onboard.”曼迪,高级程序员分析师

Inadequate Resources

The lack of executive support usually results in diminished resources. The practitioners I talked to agree on the merit of Agile and Lean methodologies such as Scrum. Each Scrum component is structured to address a process need. Some of the most successful projects occur when teams can commit to the methodology. However, almost everyone I interviewed didn’t follow the recipe or was forced to take shortcuts. The main reason: lack of resources.

没有用户的研究和可用性测试

Our Agile panelists agree on the importance of validating designs. Unfortunately, most teams don’t conduct user research on a consistent basis, if at all. People cite tight deadlines and staffing shortages as reasons for deficiencies in以用户为中心的活动。然而,discount usability methods可以根据需要容纳短时间时间。

跳过用户研究非常有风险。即使是最好的设计思想也是假设。一个有限的限制Genius Designer.。User research allows us to test our assumptions and prevents cognitive bias from taking over and leading us astray.

“We work under internally imposed deadlines and sometimes need to push things out without testing, which is suboptimal for users.”Julia, UX Designer

“It’s really hard to make usability testing happen. We are short-staffed and don’t have a primary researcher. We’ve borrowed someone from marketing, but he doesn’t know the product enough or abide by our philosophy of ‘we love our users’.”Julia, UX Designer

“我们没有时间运行用户测试。”Victor, Software Engineer

The good news is Lean UX techniques such as sketching, wireframing, and纸质原型设计获得了支持。鼓励设计师创造低保真原型,作为展示思想和减少重物的一种方式。缺点是许多组织没有使用目标用户测试它们。

“We try to be somewhat lean. My boss is encouraging us to not use wireframes — go with sketches. It was a difficult transition. People joke of me being a wireframing addict. Sketches helped me understand the idea of what we are all thinking.”Julia, UX Designer

“We’ve been doing quick and dirty paper and drawing mockups and collaborating with development more.”曼迪,高级程序员分析师

Tips for Running Smooth UX Agile Teams

Keep Teams Consistent

建立一个良好的,凝聚力的团队需要域名知识需要时间,以便快速做出正确的决策。每个敏捷团队都可以不同地工作,并具有独特的团队动态。扰乱系统疯狂地打断速度,因为必须重新建立知识和期望。

“团队一致性是关键。停止重建和随身携带。团队一起待在一起,一起学习,并保持更好,更快。“Derek, Lead Researcher & UX Designer

“这对我来说是一个挑战,因为资源没有专用。一周我们有这个人;下周我们有另一个人。We got an Agile coach onsite but if everyone doesn’t get the training or stick to a project long enough, then you have to start over again when you get a new person … Don’t move people back and forth between Agile and waterfall.”Michelle, UI Designer

积极主动而不是反应

If you are used to workinghead down对于长时间的时间,那么你需要改变你的工作风格或风险过时。合作是成功产品开发的关键。跨职能团队成员的参与促进了透明度,并允许提前确定问题。参与设计过程的各个方面,包括规划。准备分享您的想法,展示您正在研究的内容,并有助于讨论。

“Everyone needs to be proactive in improving communication. Be invested in your team and what you are creating. Be an owner not a renter.”Julia, UX Designer

“Developers need to ask, not just take orders. Everyone needs to be interested in working as a team.”Julia, UX Designer

Have a Dedicated Scrum Master, Especially at the Beginning

If you are thinking about going Agile or you are just starting out, make sure to allocate budget for a Scrum master. This person will ensure that the process goes smoothly. Without an experienced coordinator, there is a good chance that things will go wrong, leaving people feeling disgruntled about the process.

“确保您有专用Scrum Master。如果你不能这样做,很清楚角色。“曼迪,高级程序员分析师

“The Scrum master is a sheep dog, bulldozer, and coach. They make sure issues get resolved and the team is motivated. The danger of not having a Scrum master is that everyone thinks the process is disorganized.”Jeff, Product Owner

UX必须至少在Sprint之前工作

敏捷是发展友好的,但这不是降低UX的影响的借口。有效的UX专业人员通过积极贡献思想 - 从积压梳理和打印规划到布线和用户研究,纳入敏捷过程中的敏捷过程。UX设计师必须在冲刺之前计划活动那which means being proactive and testing assumptions and tackling designs ahead of the rest of the team. They conduct show-and-tell activities ahead of sprints to introduce concepts to users and team members so that, when development is ready to begin, the team has the designs that they need.

“UX设计人员必须至少在冲刺之前进行一步。换句话说,在当前冲刺外进行研究和设计工作。我必须继续为团队奠定曲目。“Derek, Lead Researcher & UX Designer

“The UX person should go ahead of the sprint with mockups.”Michelle, UI Designer

“在发展方面设计一点。开发更舒适。他们不想要含糊不清的概念。“Jeff, Product Owner

Conclusion

敏捷will continue to gain momentum as organizations discover the benefits. UX professionals must adapt to Agile and lean UX processes, which value transparency, collaboration, and responsiveness or risk being left behind.

The Agile user-experience process is more than just being a thoughtful designer; you must first know the user and continually test your assumptions. Don’t allow user research to run away from you during the compressed timeline of the Agile process. Get out of the office and learn from your users. It is possible to incorporate lean UX techniques into an Agile development process. Methods likeonline user testingcan get you user feedback in minutes.

Want to learn more about creating a great user experience in a fixed timeline?Join us at the Nielsen Norman Group’s full-day精益UX和敏捷有关更多深入的建议。