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The Agile & Lean UX News #109

Welcome to issue #109 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

The Quietstars folk are abed with flu. We hope the winter is treating you better. Either way — here’s some reading for you.

Articles of Note


Why Outcomes Over Outputs?

by John Cutler (@johncutlefish)

“Taking the impact-focused approach challenges the rigidity of the org chart, individual roles & responsibilities, how you gauge the quality of your work (and assess your skills), how and who you hire, philosophies on planning, accountability, and ownership, and initiative funding approaches. Working this way requires new perspectives on management, and leadership at all levels. It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. It’s challenging!”

We Built a User Research Library with Hackney Council

by Mathew Trivett (@mathewtrivett)

“User research doesn’t exist as structured data. It lives as unstructured data inside files — like documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and slides. After prototyping and testing ways to turn documents into data, we learned that the underlying problem is — you don’t know what you can’t see. Rather than pursue complexity, we needed to do what seemed simple at first. Our real challenge was: how might we get user research documents into one place — and make them easy to explore?”

Stop (or Traffic) Light Usability Testing Reports

by Nikki Anderson (@productherapist)

“Overall this approach has really helped me clearly and effectively share usability testing results with colleagues, and has given them much more value than a written report. It makes it easy for people who just want to glance at the results, to understand what the priorities are (summary), but also gives the option of digging deeper into the results (notes) and includes actionable insights based on the test (recommendations).”

Three Things We Learnt About Integrating UX Design into the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

By Jennifer Fabrizi & River Brandon

“It’s about creating a culture — not just a set of workflows. The culture of shared responsibility means we think the user’s actual experience is a result of this thing we made together. I’ve never made anything with a larger team where I was the only one responsible for the user experience. The developers made key choices, the business folks made key choices, everybody contributed to the end result.”

Research Questions Are Not Interview Questions

by Erika Hall (@mulegirl)

“Your research question is simply what you want to find out in order to make better evidence-based decisions. A good research question is specific, actionable, and practical … You won’t even know whether doing interviews is the right thing until after you’ve written your research question. It might be more effective to read existing literature, or observe people out in the world, or do a competitive analysis instead.”

Worth Another Read


What Happens to User Experience in a Minimum Viable Product?

by Ryan Singer (@rjs)

“Does the minimum-viable approach lead to gaps in the user experience? It doesn’t have to. There’s a distinction to make: The set of features you choose to build is one thing. The level you choose to execute at is another. You can decide whether or not to include a feature like ‘reset password’. But if you decide to do it, you should live up to a basic standard of execution on the experience side.”

Something for You To Watch


Maximum Possible Products

(Sally Foote, 23 mins)

“Sally Foote of Photobox had us consider that most product managers don’t work on greenfield products that allow them to design minimum viable services. The majority work with services and technologies that they didn’t design and which on the surface don’t meet their own or their user needs.”

London Lean Kanban Days 2018 Redux

There were a bunch of interesting sessions in last year’s Lean Kanban Days. We think you’ll find these of especial interest:

If you liked the above, do check out the other sessions.

Upcoming Events

MTP Engage, 7-8 February, Manchester

Smart Scrum Product Ownership, 7-8 February, London

ProductCon London, 28 February, London

Lean Product Workshop, 8 March, San Francisco

UX Camp Brighton, 9 March, Brighton

Agile in the City: London, 3-5 April, London (10% off with code “Adrian”)

Balanced Team London, 6 April, London

Agile-Lean Ireland, 25-26 April, Dublin

Agile Manchester, 8-10 May, Manchester

User Experience Lisbon, 21-24 May, LIsbon

MTP Engage, 22-24 May, Hamburg

ACE!, 23-24 May, Kraków

Enterprise UX, 3-5 June, San Francisco

UX Scotland, 12-14 June, Edinburgh

Agile on the Beach, 11-12 July, Falmouth

If you want to meet us in real life we’ll be:

If you’d like us to run a workshop or talk at your company get in touch.

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.

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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