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The Agile & Lean UX News #95

Welcome to issue #95 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We’re currently looking forward to attending the ResearchOps global workshops that start this week. You should check and see if one is running near you — they’re going to be great. But before you do, check out what we have for you this issue.

Articles of Note


Beyond “Outcomes Over Outputs”

by John Cutler (@johncutlefish)

“It’s my belief now that the “outcomes over outputs” refrain is more of a proxy discussion for a couple [of] deeper discussions around incentives, pull vs. push management, coherence, psychological safety, transparency, building trust and autonomy as a team, strategy, and focus. It’s the convenient, no-brainer, never-lose tagline. Who doesn’t want outcomes? But when we frame these other questions, it gets more nuanced.”

Growing up Lean: Lean Strategies for Maturing Products

by Janna Bastow (@simplybastow)

“Building an MVP and launching a product is actually the easy part. It’s much more difficult to manage a product in its maturity or decline stages, so I wanted to tackle the challenges of a product that’s past its initial growth stage, and share some tips”

How LEGO Run Design Sprints at Scale

by Jonathan Courtney (@Jicecream)

“For your first sprint, pick some of the most curious and enthusiastic people to work with. A critical mass creates change faster, of course, but at the start it’s enough to get a small amount of people that will enthusiastically spread it. When you get to the second sprint, combine people who’ve done it before with people who haven’t.”

Foundations of Atomic Research

by Tomer Sharon (@tsharon)

“Atomic Research is an approach to managing research knowledge that redefines the atomic unit of a research insight. Instead of reports, slide decks, and dashboards, the new atomic unit of a research insight is a nugget. A nugget is a tagged observation supported by evidence. It’s a single-experience insight about a customer’s experience … Atomic Research solves four serious problems and challenges many organizations face.”

How a Product System Can Help You Focus on What Matters

by Paolo Tripodi (@paolotripodi_)

“The purpose of a Product System is to help the team form a shared mental model of their product and elaborate a common language to ideate and build. Think of it as a lightweight scaffolding you can use to iterate, rather than static documentation. Startups can use their Product System as a canvas to keep perspective on who they are and what they’re doing. Grown products can use it as a template to re-organize existing knowledge.”

Worth Another Read


Tips For Bringing UX to the Agile Party

by Neil Turner (@neilturnerux)

“I think that an important part of sprint zero is defining the user experience vision. There should be an agreed and common user experience vision so that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. The vision might be expressed in the form of a vision statement, a problem statement, a product review or even as a possible press statement following the launch of your new site or product (just don’t make it too fantastical). The user experience vision should continually inform the design — don’t just create it and let it gather dust somewhere.”

Leading Experience 2018 Redux

There were a bunch of fascinating sessions at this March’s Leading Experience conference. We think you’ll find these of especial interest:

If you liked these check out the other sessions and Adaptive Path’s write-up of the event.

Something for You To Watch


Learning From User Research War Stories

(Steve Portigal, 37 mins)

“When you’re in the field think about improvising as working from a script that has been created on the fly. Of course improvised performances don’t always proceed gracefully and sometimes they come to an awkward halt but improvisers don’t consider that a failure and neither should you. These awkward moments can happen despite doing everything right. So if the script that you start with falls flat, you can begin creating a new script. Pivoting to a new conversation.”

System Thinking for Product Managers

(Johanna Kollmann, 30 mins)

“Johanna explains that everything around us is a system: Our development teams are a system and our products become one as soon as users interact with them… and systems can be mapped and modelled in incredibly powerful ways. More importantly, systems lend themselves well to a process of continuous improvement, so all product people can benefit from understanding systems, knowing how to map them, and knowing how to change or influence systems.”

The Human Nature of Failure and Resiliency

(Vicky Brasseur, 40 mins)

“Just because failure happens doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to prevent it or—at the very least — to minimize the damage when it does. As a matter of fact, embracing failure can be one of the best things you do for your system. Failure is a vital part of evolution. By learning to love failure we learn how to take the next step forward. Ignoring or punishing failure leads to stagnation and wasted potential.”

Upcoming Events

Advanced Lean Startup, 31 May - 1 June, Milan

A Tale of Two Decisions: Scaling Design Decisions, 5 June, New York

Product Camp Poland, 7-9 June, Gdynia

UX Scotland, 13-15 June, Edinburgh (10% off with code Adrian)

Enterprise UX, 13-15 June, San Francisco

Agile Australia, 18-19 June, Melbourne

How to Achieve Product-Market Fit, 21 June, Palo Alto

RebelCon, 21-22 June, Cork

User Research London, 21-22 June, London

UXPA International Conference, 26-28 June, Rio Mar

The Lead Developer, 27-28 June, London

UX Bristol, 13 July, Bristol

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

Refresh 2018, 7 September, Tallinn

Product Innovation Summit, 27-28 September, Boston

EuroIA, 27-29 September, Dublin

Industry, 1-3 October, Ohio

Business of Software USA, 1-3 October, Boston

MWUX, 11-13 October, Chicago

Agilia Budapest, 15-17 October, Budapest

World Usability Congress, 17-18 October, Graz

Leading the Product, 18 October, Melbourne

Mind the Product, 18-19 October, London

Leading the Product, 23 October, Sydney

DesignOps Summit, 7-9 November, New York

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 meet us in person we’ll be talking at UX Scotland & Lead Developer London in June, and UX Bristol in July. Do come along and say hello.

We’re also running two one-day public workshops on user story mapping in June and October this year. See our workshops page for more details (if you want to run this workshop inside your company drop us a line at

Finally — we currently have some spare coaching capacity. If you can’t get the support & advice you need within your org our 1-on-1 remote personal coaching sessions can help. Visit our coaching page for details.

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

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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