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IBM Academy of Technology

Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference


McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM
Agile UX in Rational Test Lab
Manager (RTLM)
April Gifford
april@us.ibm.com
SWG - Rational
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 2
About this presentation
Comparing and contrasting my experience as an agile UX practitioner to
that of Desiree Sy of Autodesk, as described in her article Adapting
Usability Investigations for Agile User-centered Design, 2007

Purpose
Share my experience
Work toward consumable best practices (or tips and tricks!)

Agenda
Quick overview of some high points from Sys article
Quick overview of the same points from my experience
Why were these agile UX experiences so different?
Some lessons learned


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 3
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Quick background
Adaptations to waterfall UCD
Just in time design

Methods used
Design chunking
User feedback
Use of documents
Cycle planning


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 4
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Chunking
Breaking designs apart into cycle
sized pieces
Well defined design goals
Understanding of the high level
design intent
Mini designs build incrementally on
each other
Ordering dependency
Early design chunks are low level
and fundamental
No effort wasted, no unused designs



IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 5
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Feedback
Mixed design chunks into single usability sessions
For example
Get information on a workflow for a design two iterations away
Contextual investigation
Usability test prototypes for current iteration
Mix and match usability methodologies
Participant profiles got progressively closer to end user profiles
Developers received validated designs


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 6
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Documents & reporting
Oral storytelling via scrums,
cycle planning sessions via
planning board
Design cards (upcoming
designs)
Issue cards (issues, feature
requests, bugs)
Feature cards (implementation
of design)
Owned by developers
Usability criteria are part of
acceptance criteria
No detailed design specs,
design history instead
Team members are co-located



IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 7
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Cycle planning
Cycle Zero/Cycle One
Requirements gathering
Personas, scenarios
Devs work on architecture to allow time for UX activities
Identify major workflows
Inform design decisions
Each cycle thereafter
Finalize the user story of the next iteration
Finalize features needed
Future cycles remain loosely planned
Enabled the UX team to design one cycle ahead and gather requirements
two cycles ahead until product release

IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 8
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile UCD
Agile UX as illustrated in Desiree Sys article




IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 9
Agile UX in RTLM
In my experience



me
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 10
Agile UX in RTLM
First, a little information and history
A new technology to assist lab managers and test professionals in the
coordination and management of test lab assets.
Built on top of Jazz
Joined in late December 2007 as a UX resource working primarily with a UI
developer; supported by ASQ UX lead and ASQ MDS designer for
consistency between products, feedback on storyboards, and planning joint
UX activities
RQM, RTLM




IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 11
Agile UX in RTLM
Chunking
We did not chunk as Sy did
We chunked by feature, not by complexity
We werent progressively building a complete workflow through a feature- it
was happening all at once
So many granular, frequently changing details, easy to lose sight of the big
picture holistic nature of the UI
Ripple effect and waste


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 12
Agile UX in RTLM
A typical chunk to design- one week timeframe
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 13
Agile UX in RTLM
Feedback
Via internal customer team- storyboards
Weekly meetings with the group as time permitted
Weekly 1:1s as time permitted and as needed
Managed beta recently underway
Open beta planned for
Solicited participants in Beta and ASQ DPP, little response to RTLM
Tough to schedule and plan given a moving target and many moving parts
Reactive because we didnt know what was coming down the pike
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 14
Agile UX in RTLM
Documents & reporting
Jazz work items
Frequent conference calls (globally distributed team)
Provided detailed design specs (blueprints) and lo-fi mockups, but no
guarantee that they will be implemented as designed
Difficult to get everyone on the same page


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 15
Agile UX in RTLM
Cycle planning
Cycle Zero/Cycle One? We might have had them, but I dont think so
We generated requirements in the cycle planning meeting
Occurred at the end of most iterations
Stories created for individual work items, not for the cycle itself
Stories consist of a description and the associated tasks (low level)
Rarely design ahead of development- maybe a week or two
Prototypes frequently became the finished product

Well clean up the UI later
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 16
Why were these experiences so different?
My opinion: CHANGE
Packaging
Entire UI
Product scope
Team processes (build, testing, defect tracking)
Schedules
Base technology
Staff & management


IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 17
Why so different?
B..b..bbut the Agile Manifesto
values Responding to change over
following a plan!

When does responding to change
get detrimental? Does it? Can this
even be quantified?

How can we, as UX practitioners,
manage change effectively
without losing the benefits of
following a plan?
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 18
Lessons learned
What Ill try to do differently next time
Keep sight of the big picture and maintain a holistic UX perspective,
instead of getting so consumed by the details
Make absolutely sure we have use cases and design goals
Make the time to figure out how changes might impact any plans, my
schedule, requirements, design, etc
Remember best practices and fundamentals of usable design (not design
by committee)
Learn some coding skills to improve prototype fidelity and turnover
Implement a more robust user feedback process if possible
http://agilemanifesto.org/
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 19
Lessons learned
What might have helped
Real life resources not a bibliography
Not only what worked in a situation, but what DIDNT work in a situation (other
practitioners lessons learned)
Difficulties and get well plans
Flexible UCD suggestions for implementation in a variety of project environments
(best practices and adaptations) reading Sys article sooner!
Basically, anything that helps you hit the ground running because theres no time
to play catch up
Risk mitigation/backups
Involved external stakeholders
Clearer requirements on the whole (Why are we building this again?)
Perhaps a team blog a one stop shop for all things RTLM
http://agilemanifesto.org/
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 20
Questions?
IBM Academy of Technology: Second Agile Methods and Practices Conference
McKimmon Center at NC State Univ
June 23-25, 2008
Agile@IBM 21
Thanks!
To the conference organizers for having me

To you for coming