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The Agile & Lean UX News #89

Welcome to issue #89 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. Since the last time we talked we’ve written about:

But enough about us — let’s get on with the interesting stuff.

Articles of Note


Case Study: Lean Experiments with Radical Candor

by Tristan Kromer (@TriKro)

“Small, lean methods flex our brains and make sure that we’re constantly pushing an experimentation mindset as a habit. They’re not just a set of abstract principles we talk about and never practice. After all, if we aren’t learning something new or generating data, how can we improve?”

Validating B2B2C With Small Batch Experimentation

by David Bland (@davidjbland)

“When forming your team to run small batch experimentation, I strongly recommend having a mix of product, design and engineering represented. Your in market experimentation should not only validate your value proposition but it should also inform your product design. This doesn’t mean you build all of the features the customers request, but you need to get to the problems behind the feature requests.”

8 Instincts of Great Facilitators

by Dan Brown (@brownorama)

"Turning to a tool can help people express their ideas. When saying something aloud is challenging, people sometimes fare better when drawing a picture or writing out a list. Tools also give facilitators a way of checking reality. By capturing something said or done in writing or pixels, I can reflect it back at the person to validate that I heard them correctly. Finally, tools enable some of the previous instincts like favoring concrete outcomes or turning ideas into action."

Mechanical Turk: Quickly Scale Research Without Breaking the Bank

by Jake Volz (@UX_Jake) & Charles Mitchell

“Despite our changing needs, the scale, diversity, speed, and cost of Mechanical Turk offer so many potential uses that we have found innovative ways to integrate it into our process regardless of what else exists in our tool chain. Mechanical Turk has brought us closer to our enterprise software users by enabling us to fit unmoderated research into our quick development cycles, reach new and international audiences, and leverage large panels of prequalified target users.”

How to Gain Widespread Adoption of Your Design System

by Julie Nergararian (@julienerg)

“Redesigns only work when co-owned by designers and developers. We cultivated this co-ownership, in large part, by building good tools and documentation. Our documentation acts as a source of truth for everyone on the team, and the tools that our designers and developers use mirror each other, giving everyone a shared language and making them partners in the stewardship of our design system.”

Worth Another Read

Integrating UX into Agile Development

edited by Janet M. Six

“In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss integrating UX design and user research into agile software development … How do your organizations integrate UX design and user research into agile development processes? How would you map out your entire development process, step by step?”

DesignOps Summit 2017 Redux

Last year’s DesignOps Summit is a treasure trove of interesting sessions. We think you’ll find these of especial interest.

More info, including slide decks & sketchnotes, are available on the DesignOps Summit programme.

Something for You To Watch


How to Run Product Portfolios

(Barry O’Reilly, 43 mins)

“In this talk I share my lessons learnt from client engagements with many of the world’s largest organizations. I discuss the key issues holding organizations back from unleashing innovation, and explain three areas to consider when aligning your organizational vision, strategy and product portfolio to achieve high performance at scale.”

Why Data Science and UX Research Teams are Better Together

(Chris Abad, 44 mins)

“Chris Abad, who’s currently VP of product and design at User Testing, shares insights into how bringing together qualitative user research and quantitative data science teams is crucial for companies because it can help them to see the complete picture and inform critical product decisions. Chris shares real-world examples and lessons learned as User Testing established its Product Insights team, a team which is made up of UX researchers, data scientists and data engineers.”

Beyond OKRs: The Formula for High Performing Teams

(Christina Wodtke, 54 mins)

“The complex products and services we create require teams that collaborate across multiple disciplines. So how much time do we spend trying to improve our teams and how we work together? Sadly: not much. It takes an awesome team to create an awesome product It’s time to give teams the same attention and craft we give our products. Christina will share lessons and advice from the top Silicon Valley companies that will help you and your teams achieve higher levels of performance.”

Upcoming Events

UX Conf, 20 February, London

What To Do When Agile Doesn't Work, 21 February, London

ProductCamp London, 24 February, London

LeanAgileUS, 26-27 February, Fort Lauderdale

Better Decisions through Experimentation, 1 March, Raleigh

Service Design in Government, 7-9 March, Edinburgh

UXinsight, 8 March, Utrecht

Design Research, 8-9 March, Melbourne

Product Camp Portland, 10 March, Portland

LX: Leading Experience, 19-20 March, San Francisco

Product Management Bootcamp for Agile Teams, 20 March, Melbourne

Lean Startup Summit Europe, 20-21 March, Amsterdam

UX Camp Brighton, 24 March, Brighton

User Story Mapping, 19 April, Hamburg

MTP Engage, 20 April, Hamburg

ProductCamp RTP, 21 April, Cary

Industry: The Product Conference, 23-24 April, Dublin (€100 off with code AgileLeanUXVIP)

Sense & Respond, 25 April, Dublin

Craft, 8-11 May, Budapest

Big Apple Scrum Day, 11 May, New York

UX in the City: Manchester, 15-16 May, Manchester

ACE!, 17-18 May, Kraków

UX Lisbon, 22-25 May, Lisbon

UX London, 23-25 May, London

Advanced Lean Startup, 30-31 May, Milan

Product Camp Poland, 7-9 June, Gdynia

UX Scotland, 13-15 June, Edinburgh

Enterprise UX, 13-18 June, San Francisco

Agile Australia, 18-19 June, Melbourne

User Research London, 21-22 June, London

UXPA International Conference, 26-28 June, Puerto Rico

The Lead Developer, 27-28 June, London

Mind the Product San Francisco, 16-17 July, San Francisco

Design and Content, 25-27 July, Vancouver

Agile2018, 6-10 August, San Diego

UX Week, 21-24 August, San Francisco

UX Australia, 28-31 August, Melbourne

Quietstars help teams improve with tactical workshops, team coaching and personal coaching. Think we can help your product development teams? Have a question? Not sure where to begin? Visit to find out.

If you want to say hello in person we’ll be talking at ProductCamp London and UX Scotland.

Does your organisation have trouble keeping track of the big picture during product development? Are you working with an agile team concerned with delivering more stories rather than a great user experience? Have you ever ended up releasing a product that doesn’t actually solve the customer’s problem? We’re running a one day workshop on user story mapping that can help as part of Lead Developer London on June 26. Tickets and more info on The Lead Developer website. (If you want to run this workshop inside your company drop us a line at

Have something that you think should be in this newsletter? Want to tell us what sucked or rocked about this issue? Drop us a line at

Until next time. Be excellent to each other.

Kathryn (too busy for twitter) & Adrian (@adrianh)

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