The latest Agile & Lean UX news - in your inbox

The Agile & Lean UX News #126

Welcome to issue #126 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

Couple of short pieces from us this month that might be of interest to you:

Articles of Note


Tracking Research Questions, Assumptions, and Facts in Agile

by Rachel Krause (@rachelkrau)

“An assumption is something we take on faith or as a best guess despite a lack of proof. We can’t know everything about users or their environment before starting a project, so some assumptions are usually necessary. The danger with assumptions is that they are often treated the same as facts later in the project, when team members forget that the assumptions have a shaky base. But decisions based on incorrect assumptions can have serious consequences, so teams need to be aware of their assumptions by properly documenting them and creating action plans to turn them into real data.”

Discovery at the Ministry of Justice

by Scott Colfer (@scottcolfer)

“A product discovery figures out if and why we should develop a product. It defines a problem by answering the following discovery questions: Is there a problem? Is it valuable to solve? Is it feasible for us to solve? Is it urgent? Is it pervasive? Are users solving it themselves? Has someone else solved the problem? If we can answer 'yes' to the first five questions and 'no' to the final two questions then we've probably found a problem worth solving.”

A Design System Governance Process

by Brad Frost (@brad_frost)

“You can have a comprehensive design system that contains a slew of well-structured components, thorough documentation, thoughtful guidelines, and a well-considered design language. But if a design system user can’t get done what they’re trying to get done, the whole system risks obsolescence … In our design system work with large organizations, we’ve found that a design system governance process is one of the most important ingredients of a healthy design system that stands the test of time.”

Delivering Digital Service: This Much I Have Learned

by Matt Edgar (@mattedgar)

“Even when working towards shared outcomes, a common mistake is “big design upfront” — trying to second-guess solutions when we know the least about the problem. No one at the centre can predict the perfect structure. No policy of sufficient complexity can be delivered by a single programme of change, chunked up into workstreams, milestones fixed and marched towards unthinkingly. On all but the very simplest delivery, responding to change always trumps following a plan.”

What is a Research Framework and Why Do We Need One?

by Matthew Godfrey (@MatthewGodfrey)

“Having a framework also allows us to better prioritise our teams’ research efforts. Just like any other design and engineering activities research time comes at a cost, and although research is fundamental to helping us make evidence-based product decisions, we still have to prioritise how and where we spend that time. Do we need to allocate more effort now in identifying new opportunities or validating and testing ideas already in the pipeline?”

Worth Another Read


Designers and Developers Playing Nice

by Cassie McDaniel (@cassiemc)

“Competition is fierce in our industry, and as talented new generations join the workforce, it will only become fiercer. Web makers will need to work harder and more efficiently to retain that quality that clients and consumers value: the ability to surprise. For this, we need innovation, but designer-developer cat fights take up precious time that could be put to innovation. If we instead incorporate post-disciplinary collaboration into our process … I believe we’ll be more successful and find our jobs more enjoyable.”

Something for You To Watch


Creating Consistency Within the Chaos of Roadmapping

(Rohini Pandhi, 24 mins)

“The key takeaways from this talk are that roadmaps should be easy to visualize, usable, provide value to specific teams, and be kept up-to-date to make sure information is valid. Roadmapping is a process, not a destination and aligns everyone around common goals.”

Out of the Fog

(Holly Donohue, 17 mins)

“Holly takes the audience through an exercise with the goal of showing how focusing on business outcome works. By viewing each problem through one of four lenses and prioritizing based on product revenue, revenue increases, revenue reduction or cost avoidance [a] value matrix was created. These categories could then be weighted based on the needs of the company, and the result would be a value score that helped with prioritization.”

Front Conference Redux

Last year’s Front Conference Zurich had some really fascinating sessions. We think you’ll find these of special interest.

Do check out the other sessions too.

Upcoming Events

ProductCamp South West, 29 February, Bristol

Impactful Agile Research, 4 March, Berlin

Leading Design, 4-6 March, San Francisco

Service Design In Government, 4-6 March, Edinburgh

Industry, 9-11 March, Dublin (20% off with code “AgileLeanUX”)

The Rise of the UX Developer, 10 March, Bristol

The What and Why of Continuous Discovery, 17 March, webinar

Design Research, 18-20 March, Melbourne

Testing Business Ideas, 19 March, Mountain View

Unlearn - Cultivating Behaviors and Mindset for Extraordinary Results, 23 March, London

The Product Owner Role, 31 March, Manchester

BarCamp London, 4 April, London

Agile-Lean Ireland, 20-21 April, Dublin

Lean UX / Executive Agility, 28 April, London

ProductCamp London, 9 May, London

Agile Manchester, 13-15 May, Manchester

UX Camp Brighton, 16 May, Brighton

ACE! 20-22 May, Kraków

UX Scotland, 10-12 June, Edinburgh

Mind The Product London, 1-2 October, London

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 Adrian will be attending ProductCamp South West tomorrow, BarCamp London in April, and ProductCamp London & UX Camp Brighton in May (all the camps!) We’ll also be at Mind The Product London in October.

We’re also in the middle of planning Balanced Team London 2020 — more info and dates coming soon. Follow the #BalancedTeam hashtag on twitter for updates.

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)

Forward to Friend
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Copyright © 2020 Quietstars, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp