Saturday, August 13, 2011

Agile2011 - Final Summary

Agile2011 is over. The last couple days went so fast, I didn't even have a chance to update my blog until now.  Over the last two days I spent a little time on the topic of design. I'll admit it's a topic I don't spend much time on, but I should.

On Wednesday I listed to a discussion on the topic by Mary Poppendieck. Her discussion was based on the  book The Design of Design by Fred Brooks. The design is basically broken into 3 steps;

  1. Understand the problem
  2. Design the solution
  3. Implement the design
A small team is better than an individual for design and the process is iterative across the three steps. Good design is like Wayne Gretzky playing hockey, he skates to where the puck will be. 

The second design topic I heard was Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf. There's a great article that covers his discussion here, so head over to read it. 

One of the themes I picked up on during the conference was the idea of building value. Design plays into this, designing a good solution. A couple speakers talked about how if we get to focused on delivering the user stories, we can loose track of what the real value we are trying to bring. 

Personally, I've seen this with some of my clients. Even though we're using agile, there is still to much focus on competing the stories in the backlog without much thought about what value those stories bring to the business. It's not a question of getting all the stories completed, it's delivering a product that has real business value. 

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