In this episode, we explore the ideas from the book Lean UX, authored by Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf (Jeff Gothelf was on the podcast earlier to help us redefine the measure of success for software development).
Lean UX is both an approach and a set of tools that teams and Product Owners can use to help integrate the design/requirements/user research aspects into the team’s work.
The essence of Lean UX
One of the aspects that Jeff Gothelf had already highlighted in his Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast episode was the focus on outcomes. In other words, the focus on results, rather than deliverables. In this segment, Josh explains how Lean UX draws from his experience in User Experience to help teams and Product Owners focus on those outcomes. Josh even wrote a book to help you drive your teams to focus and manage outcomes.
We also talk about how important it is to bring teams and designers together, integrating different aspects of the work, rather than separating them into phases, which would lead to the inevitable silos.
In this segment, we also mention Lean Startup as an inspiration for Josh’s and Jeff’s work on Lean UX.
Defining the real meaning of MVP: Minimum Viable Product
Beyond being a catchy phrase, there’s a lot of thinking and reflecting behind the term MVP or Minimum Viable Product. In this segment, we explore the original need that gave rise to the practice of releasing MVP’s, and explore some of the anti-patterns that led to the practical abuse of the idea of an MVP.
Don’t believe in surveys, sit down and ask the users
Another aspect of Product Ownership that often gets too much emphasis is the use of surveys. Surveys can be useful, however they also have some serious caveats. In this segment, we explore some of those problems, and also discuss alternatives to surveys that can help Product Owners and teams get to the real motivations that users have to use their product.
Combining Lean UX with Scrum: an ongoing project
Lean UX is a toolkit, an approach and a point of view that, when used with Scrum, can help teams improve their product development approach. However, teams that are native to software development, but have little to no skills in user research may not be ready to take on Lean UX. For that, Josh and Jeff Gothelf have been working with Scrum.Org to build a course on how Lean UX and Scrum work together. In this segment, we explore the reasons why Lean UX is a good fit for Scrum, and share an update on the project of bringing Lean UX and Scrum together.
Sense and Respond, a new approach for digital businesses
Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf wrote Sense and Respond, a book that shares their experience on how to work with leaders in organizations that are adopting Agile. The Sense and Respond book collects ideas, and principles that Josh and Jeff saw working well. They share their 5 key principles to help motivate change, and how to transform organizations in the Agile way of thinking and acting.
Outcome focus can transform the impact Scrum Masters have in teams and organizations
The key change that Josh and Jeff describe in Sense and Respond is the focus on outcomes. The goal of projects is not to deliver more software, it is to have an impact, to deliver an outcome. They describe that outcome as a positive change in user behavior.
Sometimes just writing a blog post can help the user. We share one example where that happened and discuss the importance of jump-starting the Build-Measure-Learn loop in your organization.
Advice for Scrum Masters that want to focus on outcomes
We end this episode with a discussion on how Scrum Masters can help organizations focus on outcomes. In short, it is about helping organizations work in a continuous delivery model, where we experiment, learn and constantly adapt to the information that we receive over time.
About Josh Seiden
Josh Seiden is a designer, author, coach, and product leader with deep experience creating digital products and services. He brings an entrepreneurial spirit and user-centered perspective to his work with companies large and small. He helps teams find and validate market opportunities, and then to create the right approach to go after these opportunities and to design and ship great products and services.
Josh is a popular and highly sought-after speaker who appears at conferences around the world. He teaches workshops in Agile and Lean methods for product teams and often works with teams as a coach and mentor.