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Many Agile teams are struggling to connect user experience and the design process with Agile ways of working and often Scrum. In this Poster (and post) I´m trying to describe the connection, and how you can collaborate in the team to learn more about user needs and solutions to solve real user problems together. I´ve been using this poster for over a year in my combined PO and UX training (Build the Right Product – Innovation through Collaboration & Design Thinking) and in my Agile coaching.

Download the Agile User Experience in a Nutshell in high resolution (PDF) >
Agile User Experience in a Nutshell Poster

My hope is that this poster might give some guidance in how User Experience can work in an Agile setup in combination with the posters; Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell and Agile in a Nutshell (with a spice of Lean UX).

What does UX mean?

UX stands for User Experience. Basically, the expected and needed user experience of the service or digital product to meet user and business goals. To connect user needs and business goals is basic when working with user experience, it is basic to meet users and understand who they are – and involve and understand stakeholders. Any team can work with UX as long as they get to do this, and have the methods and processes to do it in a structured and effective way. (more…)

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Many of our decisions, conclusions and actions in a team come about after a good meeting. But what is a ‘good meeting’? How do we make them productive, informative and how do we engage all invited in order to close it with the expected results. Meetings do come in many different shapes and forms, quick stand-ups, day or two long workshops, planning, retrospective the list goes on.

How do you engage people in effective collaboration? Should you entertain them? When you walk in loaded with your beautiful agenda, prepared meticulously ahead of the meeting, to find yourself demotivated by yawns of few attendees. And you, dear meeting goer, ever find yourself spending meetings daydreaming? Not feeling like your voice is heard? Already planning not to show up on the follow up meeting? Daydreaming? Sleeping?
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To be able to stay focused on what really matters you need to have a clear strategy. When companies are small it is not always easy to have a clear strategy and act on it, but it is usually a lot easier than in big companies. To be able to do innovation and also stay customer focused even in big organisations a clear vision and strategy is essential. And every one in the organisation needs to understand the strategy.

There is a research done by Harvard Business School saying only 5% of the employees know about their business strategy. This is really scary for anyone running a business, and something everyone in a position to make strategic decisions needs to take really seriously. If people in the organisation don’t know about, or understand the vision or the strategy, how can they then make tactical and operational smart decisions making the business go in the right direction? There is only one answer to that question, they cant.

A Collaboration and Visualization tool to make Strategy Transparent

This fall I’ve been doing a talk around the topic “Customer Focused with an Agile Mindset” where I talk about how leaders of organizations need to grow an Agile mindset and make a strategic decision to become customer focused to be able to survive in the fast moving complex world of today, and how that can be done. The Innovation Map is one of the slides of my talk and I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback on it. Something many people feel is missing today is a holistic overview of the different strategies the organization have, and to be able to use it in their daily work making sure they are on the right track.

The Innovation Map is a great tool to be able to visualize what strategic initiatives the organisation have, or perhaps don’t have. Also it can be used to visualize the initiatives TOGETHER, ACROSS the organization. In this way when involving more people we can easier see the full picture of where we are going, and what we can do about it. By involving the people working front line with the customers knowing about their needs as well as those that can create the solutions to help the customers and not only management, you grow both an understanding of what the business strategy is – AND – you get their valuable knowledge of what the customer needs are and what can actually be possible to do or not do today and in the future. Then it will be up to management to prioritize the strategy based on different business scenarios.

Download the FREE Innovation Map Now (.pdf)

innovation map

Debt in any level will eat your business

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This is a dialogue board, created to facilitate good discussions around business strategy and tactics in a startup. At Dandy People we are using it to start up our consulting business, but it can be used by any type of organisation, or part of an organisation that wants to improve their customer focus, culture, leadership and take action as a team.

Building in Illustrator

At Dandy people we like to build our new business in a way that involves and inspires the people in our organization. To facilitate the discussions we wanted to have on our first mini-conference 2 months after starting up our shop, and after hiring 2 new people, I did this Lean Business Strategy & Tactics Dialogue Board. Off course we had already done som strategy and tactics work already before we started our company, but we felt that we wanted to be transparent and bring our new Dandys onboard with the idea of the company to enable them to feel as involved and motivated as possible. And off course, they are smart and experienced people, so why shouldn’t they be able to help us improve and grow? And I can just say that it worked like a charm 😀

Free download of the board here (as high resolution PDF) >

The Lean Business Dialogue Board

Feel free to use the board if you want, also we would be happy to facilitate the workshops with you and your team if you feel a need for that. Thats kinda what we do at Dandy People 😀

The board consist of 3 areas:

    • Business Strategy
    • Culture and People
    • Tactics

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As many of you might know, the product owner role is perhaps the most difficult role in the Agile setup. It sometimes feels like it takes super powers to manage. Here I have tried to capture some of the important mindsets, processes and tools that I find valuable for coaching and training Product Owners and Agile Teams and leaders.

As a product Owner you need an understanding of what value the business wants to accomplish (not necessary how the business works), strategic and tactical skills in the craft of product development (mostly done by slicing), ability to work together with the team in the discovery process and with the stakeholders to understand their needs and goals and great communication skills to manage expectations.

UPDATE MAY 22nd 2017: Now you can download this poster in Italian  >

UPDATE JUNE 4th 2017: Now you can download this poster in Spanish >

UPDATE JANUARY 1st 2018: Now you can download this poster in French >

Download the Free Agile Product Ownership Poster in English as high resolution (PDF) >
Product Ownership Poster

As Agile practices proves to work better than other practices and spreads, it starts to involve the organization outside of IT or the development department. When companies start moving towards a more Agile organization across the silos, they might realize they are missing actual product owners and a product owner organization with representation from the business, and they bring in people from the business side to the PO role. What might strike many new product owners is how different the Agile way of working is (usually they love it), and how different the PO role is from their earlier experiences, maybe as a mid level manager. The product ownership is about NOT managing the details, NOR the people. It´s NOT EVEN about knowing what the solution should be. It might off course seem a bit frightening and confusing to some people, depending of the company culture off course, to focus on vision and learning along the way what is the right thing to do.

The Agile Product Ownership (not role) is about trusting in the capabilities of the team, and the process of learning as a team, prototyping and testing to find what is valuable and deliver piece by piece. The every day of Agile business and working as a Product Owner is about delivering value. And it is so rewarding when you know that you can do that, even though you in the early stages had no idea what the solution would feel like or look like, and that was probably the only thing you could agree about 🙂 Being able to trust that process and using proper methods to learn and deliver valuable solutions piece by piece, and doing it over and over again. That is what good product ownership is about – and it´s teamwork, not a one mans job. (more…)

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Cross functional teams are complete in expertise but not necessarily collaborative. Sometimes team members hold on to their expertise too much and the team does not perform to its potential. This Lego game illuminates the difference when members allow themselves to take on tasks outside their expertise, being so called T-shaped. Play the game to kick-start your change and create collaboration.

This post was first published on the Crisp blog when Mia Kolmodin was a Crisp consultant.

Collected downloads from this post – updated June 2017
X-team Facilitators Instructions as PDF >
The X team silos game poster in PDF >

Playing the game.

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