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The Agile & Lean UX News #114

Welcome to issue #114 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We hope we have something to pique your interest this week.

Articles of Note


UX Responsibilities in Scrum Ceremonies

by Anna Kaley

“Since UX is typically working a sprint or more ahead of the engineering team, it is already a challenge to keep the team aligned. It is for this reason that attending daily standup and clearly and concisely communicating what UX is doing are so important. Additionally, UX should listen to other teammates during standup for any potential blockers or issues that UX may be able to address or help resolve.”

What’s Wrong With Dot Voting Exercises

by Stephen Anderson (@stephenanderson)

“That idea you were so ardently advocating for, no one voted for it. No one. But you still believe it’ s important. Where does this leave you at the end of it all? I’ve found the value of dot voting primarily as a discussion tool, not a tool for making decisions … Unless you take some time beforehand to prepare a tight structure, and you carefully manage for human biases, I’d be cautious about using dot-voting to make a final call or cull out ideas.”

Product Operations - Turning Data Into Action

by Marissa F. (@marissafong)

“With this baseline, you can make forecasts, develop a strategy, and create a plan. You can also measure how your plan is performing as you execute against it … You will want to track performance and changes to your baseline weekly, so that you can quickly pivot your teams to reach your products’ goals. Share with your team and discuss how you can start being a more metric-driven decision making organization.”

How to Carry Out User Research with Colleagues

by Ria Jesrani, Mansoor Mir (@DrMansoorMir) & Anna Kuforiji (@annakuforiji)

“We do user research at GDS with a broad definition of a ‘user’: anyone who uses the outputs of your work. This can include people within your own department and team. However, when carrying out research with colleagues, there are certain issues and sensitivities you need to be aware of. Doing research with internal participants means certain situations could be easily identifiable and people may not end up being as anonymous as we would like. Here’s how we built on the usual planning process to deal with these potential issues.”

Leading Innovation = Managing Uncertainty

by Tendayi Viki (@tendayiviki)

“If we take our existing product to new markets, we may know the product but we now have to manage market risk (i.e. desirability). If we start creating a new product for current markets, we may know the market, but we now have to manage technical risk (i.e. feasibility). The ultimate level of uncertainty is when we create new products for new markets. This is because everything in our business model changes; from customer segments, key activities, key resources, channels, pricing and many other things.”

Worth Another Read


Designers, Meet Agile

by Marc Sasinski (@sashimijack)

“Because a designer goes from defining high-level requirements to specifying the very concrete steps of what to build and when, the trick is to keep your eye on the big-picture. I’ll have to admit that I’ve found this to be one of the most challenging aspects of designing in this environment. Once you determine what to build as bite-size pieces of functionality in order to get something out, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a systems-level perspective on the holistic user experience — i.e., trying to avoid a Frankenstein-ish product — when priorities shift and you have to come back to a design at a later time.”

Something for You To Watch


Product Management, a Risky Business

(Lucie McLean, 23 mins)

“For high-risk items, there are always learnings. Making assumptions, or just getting carried away with the ‘shiny’ can get us into trouble when building high-risk products, says Lucie. We should aim for the sweet spot between where customers undervalue your product because they don’t know about it versus our own over-valuation. So to move that particular user, ask is your product really 10 times better than what they already have?”

Getting Started with Product Operations

(Melissa Perri, 28 mins)

“Product Operations is a rising trend in the software product industry. It’s a function that seeks out and eliminates barriers that prevent leaders from creating, executing, and managing evidence-based product strategy. It’s not a single activity or project, but an ongoing process of learning, discovering, and improving. It requires commitment and tenacity, but has a huge payoff.”

UX Brighton Redux

UX Brighton took place last November with some great speakers. We hope you find these sessions of especial interest.

  • Building a User Research Practice in the Home Office (Katie Arnold) [Video] [Slides]
  • The Power of Atomic UX Research (Daniel Pidcock) [Video] [Slides]
  • Internal UX (Georgia Rakusen) [Video] [Slides]
  • A True Story of Usability Benchmarking (Katie Taylor) [Video] [Slides]
  • Research Heresies (Will Myddelton) [Video] [Slides]
  • Real World Discovery Research (Emma Boulton) [Video] [Slides]

Upcoming Events

Agile Manchester, 8-10 May, Manchester (10% off with code 10Adrian)

ProductTank: Product Is Hard, 15 May, NYC

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

The Lead Developer, 11-12 June, London

UX Scotland, 12-14 June, Edinburgh

RebelCon, 19-20 June, Cork

UXPA International Conference, 25-27 June, Scottsdale

User Research London, 27-28 June, London

Agile on the Beach, 11-12 July, Falmouth

UX Bristol, 12 July, Bristol

Mind the Product San Francisco, 15-16 July, San Francisco

Design & Content, 17-19 July, Vancouver

Agile2019, 5-9 August, Washington

UX Australia, 27-30 August, Sydney

Industry: The Product Conference, 23-25 September, Cleveland

EuroIA, 26-28 September, Riga

UXDX, 7-8 October, Dublin

Mind the Product, 17-18 October, London

DesignOps Summit, 23-25 October, New York

re:develop, 20 September, Bournemouth

Want to say hello in person? We’re attending Lead Developer London in June, running our popular one day User Story Mapping workshop at Mind the Product London in October, and looking forward to listening to the always entertaining talks at re:develop in September.

If you’d like us to run one of our workshops or talks 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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