Product 2016

2016 Line up  ::  Software Delivery Track   ::   Agile Business Track   ::   Agile Teams and Practices Track   ::   Product Design and Management Track    ::   Bonus Doubles Track

Product Design and Management

 

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adrianhIterative Persona – Adrian Howard  , Quietstars

Intermediate

How can you help everybody in your team understand the customer, especially if you’re not sure yourself? Persona help, but traditional persona development sometimes doesn’t work well in agile contexts.

We’ll show you how to iteratively build models of your customer with the whole team. Demonstrating practical techniques for integrating ongoing research with agile approaches to product vision and strategy. 

How can you get everyone in the team to understand your customers, especially if you’re not 100% certain yourself?

Persona research-based examples of the people who use your product can help. Unfortunately in agile contexts traditional persona development often doesn’t work well.

How do we use persona when our understanding of the product and market are still evolving? What happens when we lack the resources for extended up-front research? How do teams manage changes to existing persona? How should we communicate persona to agile teams? How do we keep the value of long-term research in an environment of rapid iteration or continuous delivery?

We’ll show you how to incrementally build models of your customer with the whole team. Demonstrating practical techniques for documenting persona, communicating ongoing research, and integrating it with agile approaches to product vision and strategy.

Learning outcomes:

* When and how often to revisit persona descriptions.
* Different ways of communicating persona to agile and lean teams.
* How to revisit and modify persona without eroding trust in their validity.
* Understand the value of persona in defining and driving your product vision.
* Understand how you can refine your product persona during product development.
* How to ease the adoption of persona by involving the whole team in their creation.
* Find out how to use persona to realign your product vision as you discover product-market fit.
* Learn how to avoid a long up-front persona creation process while keeping the value of research based persona.

Adrian Howard is passionate about building effective teams and great products.You’ll find him working with startup and product development teams, combining coaching & teaching with hands on UX & development work.

With more than fifteen years experience working with startups, established businesses and agencies Adrian is an active member of the Agile, Balanced Team & Lean UX communities. He regularly teaches and speaks on integrating Lean, UX and Agile methods.

You’ll often find him ranting in a corner of the bar about how agile, business and user experience folk need to play nice together. Be kind and buy him whisky.
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katmatfieldHow to do effective research in an irrational world    Kat Matfield    The Round/Silicon Milkround

Intermediate

Agile research and discovery phases rely on observing and speaking to real users about their real behaviour. Just one problem, we can’t always trust what they say or what they do. This talk outlines the ways in which your users (and the rest of us) behave irrationally, and how to conduct research that gets you to the truth, regardless.    

Regular contact with users is now common for even the smallest of agile teams. But some of the fundamental techniques used for user research and discovery can lead you astray. Why is that? Put simply: your users don’t always know what they want or even what they do. Because of cognitive biases (‘bugs’ in our thought processes) none of us are as rational as we’d like to believe, or as good at predicting what we’ll want or do in the future. You can’t fix this kind of bug, but by using insights from behavioural psychology you can tailor your research and discovery phases to avoid them. That way, you can build products that users will love (even if they didn’t realise they would).

Kat Matfield is a digital product and service designer. She’s worked with start-ups and large corporates to help make innovative new digital services or improve existing ones. She’s fascinated by all the areas of life in which people believe strange things and behave irrationally, and how to design services that embrace this, instead of fight against it.
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catswetelFile_000UX and A3 Thinking: User First Problem Exploration – Cat Swetel, Tidal River & Mike Caponero

Intermediate

Has your team or organization ever delivered a fun, shiny solution, only to realize later it was a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? A3 Thinking (pioneered by Toyota) is a method for problem exploration and validation that can mitigate the risk of delivering unneeded products and features by helping to identify, explore, and validate problems and solutions.   

Has your team or organization ever delivered a fun, shiny solution, only to realize later it was a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? Has your team ever felt the features you developed were treating symptoms without ever really identifying users’ underlying problem?

A3 Thinking (pioneered by Toyota) is a method for problem exploration and validation. It can mitigate the risk of delivering unneeded products and features by helping to identify, explore, and validate problems and solutions in a disciplined manner. During this workshop, attendees will learn how to use an empathy map, a common UX tool, to inform the A3 process, write great hypotheses, and design effective experiments. This workshop is ideal for those in a UX role or anyone working on an Agile team currently using personas or empathy maps.

Cat is an experienced lean and agile practitioner and coach. When not working, she enjoys hiking, reading feminist literature, and making jokes about Bitcoin.

Mike uses his instructional design skills to continuously improve and adapt trainings to effectively meet current clients’ needs and contexts by engaging participants in the active construction of knowledge of lean/agile principles in socially interactive and cooperative settings. He is a former science teacher and current college debt slave, holding a BS in Environmental and Organismal Biology and MAT in Science Education. Mike embraces the research-backed theories of education in which learners take an active role in the construction of knowledge through inquiry and experimentation; approaches which correspond to the core principles of the improvement and coaching kata of TPS and PDSA/A3 problem solving approach.
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dan-goodwinUser testing on a shoestring – Dan Goodwin, fffunction

Introductory
Interactive workshop (no computer)
Double session

Testing whatever you’re working on with real users is one of the best ways to uncover design issues and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Anyone involved in the design and development process for a product or service can run effective user tests if they follow some simple guidelines. This workshop will show you how.   

Testing with real users is a fantastic way to inform the design process for products and services. You can test just about anything at pretty much any point in the lifecycle of a product and learn loads doing it.

User testing can also be a great ‘gateway’ tool for bringing users into the design process. Get folks on your product team to watch a user trying to complete basic tasks with your thing and they’ll not only be stunned and enthused into fixing things, hopefully they’ll also be encouraged to get users at the centre of the design process (where they should be).

And what’s more amazing is that anyone on the team for your thing can run user tests. They don’t need to be expensive, time-consuming and difficult, they can be quick, cheap and easy. There are a few simple guidelines for user tests which apply to cheap, guerrilla tests as much as they do to expensive tests in lab.

This workshop will explain the benefits of user testing and move quickly into showing you how to plan, organise, and conduct a user test and how to share what you learn with your team. You’ll learn how and where user testing can be used, how you can incorporate it into your project methodology, and how it fits alongside other techniques for bringing users into the design process. Low budget tools for capturing, analysing, and sharing user tests (including those on mobile and touch devices) will be discussed. As it’s an interactive workshop, there will be some exercises to get you planning and conducting a user test. There will also be some discussion of what you might get if you take user testing into higher budget territory with participant recruitment, user testing labs and eye-tracking (and why you probably don’t need to).

Dan is the user experience director at fffunction, a user-centred design agency in the South West of the UK. With a background of fifteen years experience in agency and in-house software and web development, he is an all-rounder with strong technical and people skills in addition to user experience. He loves user research and bringing users and empathy for them into every step of a project.

Dan loves the sea and gets in it or near it whenever he gets the chance. He likes good coffee, good beer, and good and bad flapjacks.”
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darcidRunning Killer Workshops without killing yourself – Darci D Dutcher, LexisNexis

Intermediate

Good workshops are invaluable to companies and teams while bad workshops can be demoralizing and a waste of time. The session will cover tips and tricks that can be used to make sure workshops are a good use of the attendee’s time.   

People in software teams are increasingly expected to run workshops with customers, end users, team members, stakeholders and executives. This is not always a skill that comes easily, nor are many people given much support or training before being thrown into what can be a high pressure situation. This tutorial will cover tips and tricks I’ve learned in 15 years of facilitating workshops in a variety of countries, industries and situations. The exact content of the workshop will be selected by the participants, in “”choose your own adventure”” style.

Topics include
-how to spend the 10 minutes before the workshop begins
-how to get everyone to participate and how to get some people to stop talking!
-room set up for different outcomes
-choosing the right workshop format
-post-it note party tricks!

Darci is a user experience designer and agile consultant with a background in cognitive psychology and technology. Her first job was designing airplane cockpits and she has also done UX work in industries including healthcare, travel, finance, publishing, not-for-profit, compliance and technology. In addition to focusing on solutions that are delightful and easy to use, encouraging collaboration is one of the goals that Darci has wherever she goes.
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lukaszszyrmerUsing Landing Pages to Prove Business Value    Luke Szyrmer    Launch Tomorrow

Introductory

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently, that which should not be done at all””. –Peter Drucker

If you are going to build a product or a feature, make sure your prospects want to buy it with a landing page test–first.

By simulating a buying environment, you create the conditions to test whether your intended prospect want what you have to sell. This approach:

* prevents you from wasting time and money on a product or feature idea that costs a lot to build but has little value to your customers.
* reduces market risk as a powerful type of real option “”put””, before your developers start cutting a line of code.
* narrows the gap between what customers say they want, and what they actually buy.

Using an experiment-driven approach, landing pages can be used to test hypotheses with significant business implications.

Luke Szyrmer is the author of the #1 bestselling book “Launch Tomorrow” in the Amazon category of “Start a Business”. He is a Lean Startup community activist in London, and runs regular meetups to help founders apply Lean Startup principles such as testing to their business. He also co-organises Lean Startup Machine in London. In addition to mentoring at Lean Startup Machine, Luke mentors startup founders. He’s spoken at Google Campus, Launch22, and LeanCamp. Professionally, he is a product manager in financial technology. He enjoys the challenge of distilling complex technical and organizational ideas down to their essence, so others can benefit from his research.
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darwinalastairFaster feature discovery with Google Design Sprints  –  Darwin Peltan & Alastair Lee, Product Pilot

Intermediate

Stop debating new product ideas and start putting them to the test using Google Ventures’ Design Sprints. This technique allows teams to generate new ideas and test them with users in just five days. In this workshop you’ll learn how to plan and run a successful product Design Sprint.    

How can teams quickly discover and validate new product ideas? How do they develop a shared understanding of what’s to be built? How do they include stakeholders in the process to avoid having to sell in ideas later?

The answer lies in Google Ventures’ Design Sprints. This technique allows a team to generate new ideas and test them with users in just five days.

In this workshop we’ll share our experiences of planning and running successful product Design Sprints. We’ll cover

– How to prepare for a sprint so you get the most from it
– The 6 key stages of a discovery sprint and the key techniques to use in each stage
– The main roles within the sprint

Darwin is passionate about building products and services that customers love. He has more than 10 years of experience and has worked with startups, charities and large commercial organisations. Darwin is an active member of the agile community and is a co-organiser of the Product Tank South West community.

Alastair is co-founder of Product Pilot, a digital product development consultancy based in Bristol. He has a background in Product Management and strategic UX and has lead digital teams at the BBC, Time Out, and Bristol City Council.
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BrettAnsleyAccounting for Agile software  –  Brett Ansley

Introductory

Reporting the cost of our projects is a necessary evil and it’s often seen a bureaucratic overhead.

Learn how to achieve a level of reporting that your financial team will love with the minimal impact on your software teams.

Software teams want to be Agile and minimise the amount of bureaucracy that they have to deal with. This is often in stark contrast with financial teams who need evidence of work done to satisfy demanding auditors.

There is a way to keep everyone happy! You will learn how to gather the right information to make financial reporting viable and to work with your financial teams to make it it as easy as possible with a minimal overhead for your software teams.

Brett Ansley –  I’m an efficiency and optimisation freak and passionate advocate of the customer experience. I hate waste and love making the customer’s journey as easy as possible. I have been working in Agile teams for nearly 10 years. I was introduced to Agile by a team of Thoughtworks coaches, I later joined Thoughtworks where I spent time as an Agile coach, Business Analyst, Delivery Principal and Change Programme Director. After 5 years with Thoughtworks I spent a year working at the Government Digital Services (GDS) of the Cabinet Office on the Government as a Platform programme. I left GDS to take up the role of Chief Product Officer for VictoriaPlum.com an online retailer of bathroom and bedroom furniture.

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miketrebilcockCC with Group underneath (3)Growing Skills : I AM DIGITAL – Mike Trebilcock – Cornwall College

There’s something exciting happening with Digital Skills education in Cornwall, find out more about the new Digital Academy Cornwall, how Software Cornwall and The Cornwall College Group are disrupting traditional education to help Cornwall’s Digital economy grow. Expect Robots, gadgets and shameless appeals for help.

Mike is head geek at I am Digital, an exciting new Digital Academy being created in Cornwall with Cornwall College and local industry.  Mike is also Business Systems project lead for The Cornwall College Group, one of the largest further education colleges in the UK.  Mike is an active committee member for Software Cornwall, where he leads educational engagement and outreach, linking with schools, industry and Code Club UK inspiring and growing the next generation of digital engineers. Mike has recently completed a Masters Degree in Agile Software Projects.

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davidespleyLexisNexis logoUser Stories and other agile failures – David Espley, Lexis Nexis

 

Should agile practitioners avoid large corporate clients. Are they just too hard to take on a progressive journey. Helping companies that think they are already agile to actually adopt agile is an interesting challenge, for a start, nobody likes to be told that they are doing it wrong. In this talk David shares his experience of helping larger corporate clients to act more like Lean startups, discusses how you wean people off their agile washed legacy processes and let go of some of the big company baggage.

Should agile practitioners avoid large corporate clients. Are they just too hard to take on a progressive journey. Helping companies that think they are already agile to actually adopt agile is an interesting challenge, for a start, nobody likes to be told that they are doing it wrong. In this talk David shares his experience of helping larger corporate clients to act more like Lean startups, discusses how you wean people off their agile washed legacy processes and let go of some of the big company baggage.

Over the past 20 years David has worked with number of larger clients and helped some of them to achieve their agile ambitions. By working with a ‘top down’ approach and understanding that getting the board bought into the new world is just as important than any other activity he has started to see some repeatable patterns both in success and behaviours.

This talk will argue, that as a community, we need to invest time into educating a wide range of people into the changes they need to embrace; in the same way we try to deliver value to the market, in increments, adapting quickly and failing fast.

David Espley is the CTO at LexisNexis and has spent the last 20 years working in the software industry. Having embraced agile 15ish years ago, he has decided that he now knows less about utopia than when he started but certainly knows more about the destinations along the way. David is currently helping LexisNexis to embrace the ethos of agile and not just the occasional practice.
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2016 Line up  ::  Software Delivery Track   ::   Agile Business Track   ::   Agile Teams and Practices Track   ::   Product Design and Management Track    ::   Bonus Doubles Track