I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Lviv, Ukraine to speak at the Lviv IT Arena conference. Speaking internationally in a country I had never traveled to and experiencing the discomfort of not understanding the languages and culture made for a very memorable trip. I met some wonderful people and formed some hopefully lasting networking and collaboration relationships.
Agile2014 marks another Agile conference this year. As usual it did not disappoint. This year was extra special because I was able to be a reviewer for the Collaboration, Culture and Teams session track and was also selected to present my session on the UX Runway. It was great to once again catch up with old friends and meet new ones; even some from my home state of Minnesota! Some Women in Agile also got together for an impromptu session in the Open Jam area and though I was not able to make it, I heard great things! After attending many conferences over the past few years I wanted to make a list of some of the things I’ve learned for how to get the most out of your time there.
On a project I was ScrumMastering for I noticed much contention between many of the different roles on the team. In keeping true to Agile and Scrum we are supposed to be “cross-functional” but what does that really mean? I kept hearing “they’re not doing their job” and “that’s not MY job” in regard to requirements gathering, writing stories, and even bug fixes. There have been many pieces written on the roles of members of a Scrum team as well as many things written on cross-functionality of members, but what does that really mean and where do we draw the line to keep people accountable?
If you’ve been following my blog and writings you maybe know a bit about my work with User Experience and what I call the UX Runway – UX working an iteration or two ahead of technology to make designs which technology teams can then develop to. One of my co-workers, James Schmittler has written a great piece about what actually happens each day of a two week iteration from the UX perspective during the UX Runway. It gives a great insight into how a typical iteration looks in UX land and some key places where PO and technology integration is needed. It mirrors well with my project management/ScrumMaster perspective on the UX iteration and I’m excited to share it here:
So I’ve alluded to a UX runway and my work with Agile and UX in some of my previous posts, but what does that mean? Agile has been the buzz for the past decade and UX was quick behind. First, let me give some background on UX and my role on the team.