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How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan
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How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects: A 4-Day Plan

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This presentation was given at the Usability Professionals Association 2008 Conference. It is for UXD professionals who are ready to take their next career step and move into a leadership role for …

This presentation was given at the Usability Professionals Association 2008 Conference. It is for UXD professionals who are ready to take their next career step and move into a leadership role for complex projects. We'll discuss practical techniques, along with hard-earned lessons, for bringing order to the often overwhelming chaos of difficult projects.

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  • So I have a good sense of the level of detail that I need to cover, help me get a sense of your level of experience and comfort with some concepts and deliverables: How many people, as a regular part of your job, are part of a software development or implementation team? Of those people, how many of you work within software dev/imp methodologies such as Agile or SCRUM, XP, etc.? How many people have been involved in projects that included Use Cases? How many people have created Use Cases? How many people are familiar with Entity Relationship Diagrams? How many have created one? How many people are consultants or contractors (either independent or part of a usability/UXD consulting firm)? How many are employees of companies that are not usability/UXD consulting firms – that is you’re part of an internal team of usability experts? How many consider yourselves 1) usability professionals (evaluate other people’s creations for usability), 2) information architects, 3) interaction designers, 4) business analysts? Anything I’ve missed?
  • Transcript

    • 1. How UXD Can Provide Leadership Skills for Complex Software Projects A 4-Day Plan Greg Laugero Industrial Wisdom, LLC [email_address] 720-249-2400
    • 2. Who Am I and Why Am I Here?
      • Co-Founder of Industrial Wisdom
      • Leader of the UXD/IA practice
      • Co-Author
        • Managing Knowledge: A Practical Web-Based Approach
        • Enterprise Content Services
      • Clients
        • GlaxoSmithKline
        • Microsoft
        • British Telecom
    • 3. The UXD Opportunity
      • We can move from practitioners to leaders.
      • We have techniques and methods—a language—that can help bring order to these chaotic projects.
      • We just need the courage, conviction, and opportunity to do it.
    • 4. Software in the 1990s Websites Enterprise Software (ERP, CRM) Owned by Marketing Built by Agencies Extension of Advertising Owned by IT Built by SIs Extension of Operations Right Brain Visual-Design Driven Left Brain Process Driven Skills Requirements Use Cases Software Code Deliverables Brand Guidelines Creative Briefs Photoshop Files
    • 5. Software in the 21 st Century RIA, Kiosks, Mobile Enterprise Software (ERP, CRM) Personas and scenarios Flows & wireframes Usability testing/eval Good-looking HTML Deliverables Complex project mgmt User experience design Info Architecture Usability assessment Analytics Skills Owned by business & IT New business channels More than websites
    • 6. Merging Roles RIA, Kiosks, Mobile Enterprise Software (ERP, CRM) UXD Usability Professional Business Analyst IA/ID
    • 7. Chaos Reigns
      • Business can’t tell IT what it wants
        • Businesspeople think IT “doesn’t get it”
        • IT thinks the business is confused
        • Software companies get blamed
      • Director is “in over his head”
        • Unrealistic executive expectations
        • Not sure where to start
        • Under or “wrongly” staffed
        • Wants to believe that technology will be the hero
      • Most of these projects fail to deliver their objectives
    • 8. How do you know…?
      • Requirements gathering sessions mired in error and exception cases.
      • Timelines are rarely settled.
      • Management’s expectations are continuously reset.
    • 9. The UXD Opportunity
      • We can move from practitioners to leaders.
      • We have techniques and methods—a language—that can help bring order to these chaotic projects.
      • We just need the courage, conviction, and opportunity to do it.
    • 10. The 4-Day Plan Presentation Present the Results Day 4 Flow Maps Go to Work Day 3 Use Cases Identify “Happy Paths” and Exceptions Day 2 Entity Relationships High-Level Requirements Get Fundamental Questions Answered Day 1 Deliverable Goal
    • 11. Session Goals
      • Learn how to turn UXD and usability skills into a foundation for leadership
      • Learn a 4-day, focused approach for gaining control of potentially complex software projects
      • Experience practical techniques and deliverables for the 4 days
      • Understand the mind shift that is necessary to assume a leadership position in complex software projects
    • 12. You might be skeptical…
      • Can you really do this in 4 days?
      • How do I get the authority to do this?
      • Do I really need to follow all steps?
      • Is this really my job?
      • Who should be in the room?
    • 13. Is four days realistic?
      • It depends…
        • on the scope of the project
        • on the willingness of the participants
        • on the availability of the participants
        • on your workload
      • Treat 4 days as 4 steps.
      • Bring energy and get a lot done on day one: you’ll guarantee participation on subsequent days.
    • 14. How Do I Get the Authority? Your Own Knowledge and Experience (Believe in Yourself) Convince Yourself Make the Case (to Yourself first) Ask
    • 15. Do I need to follow all steps?
      • It depends…
        • Complexity of your project
        • Existing methodologies
        • Timelines
      • If you skip a step, do it deliberately and know how you’ll close the gap.
    • 16. Is this really my job?
      • It’s somebody’s job.
      • It might as well be yours.
      • UXD provides the language, techniques, and skills to facilitate.
    • 17. Who should be in the room?
      • Core Group:
        • You
        • The person responsible for the success of the system
        • The person responsible for implementing the system
        • The person responsible for documenting requirements
        • 1-2 SMEs
      • On the bubble:
        • Technical architect
        • The person responsible for supporting the system
      Core Group On-Call Individuals Stakeholders
    • 18. Personas: Your Cast of Characters
      • Dealing with unrealistic management expectations
      • Doesn’t understand staffing needs
      • Probably inherited technology decisions
      Director, Deer in the headlights Motivation: Needs a successful project for credibility and advancement Success looks like: Initially a deployed system, but will soon learn that results are key How to handle: You must make him/her look good at every step.
    • 19. Personas: Your Cast of Characters
      • Lots of institutional knowledge (often technical)
      • Knows the details and is proud of it
      • Will make anything more complicated if he can
      Mr. Exception Case Motivation: Most comfortable in the analysis phase -- infinitely Success looks like: Validation from others as to his institutional knowledge How to handle: Channel his energy and validate his input
    • 20. Personas: Your Cast of Characters
      • Thinks he knows UXD because he uses the web
      • Will try to show off through criticism
      • Perpetuator of myths and outdated ideas
      Mr. Web “Know It All” Motivation: To be visible, perceived as “smart,” and heard Success looks like: Seen as having deeper web expertise than you, especially if you are a vendor How to handle: Validate input, but defend your decisions with evidence
    • 21. Personas: Your Cast of Characters
      • Often a key stakeholder
      • Rarely looks up from laptop
      • Attention will ebb and flow
      The Multi-Tasker Motivation: Involvement in everything Success looks like: Providing just enough input to make the project successful (but no more). How to handle: Don’t fight the trend. Work with it.
    • 22. Personas: Your Cast of Characters
      • Executive without much relevant experience
      • Often talked about, rarely seen
      • Probably is only interested in visual design
      The Absent Presence Motivation: Not sure, since he/she is rarely in the room Success looks like: Ditto How to handle: Help the team make intelligent decisions and hope for the best
    • 23. Overview of Method Justification Requirements Design Build Functional Requirements Test UX Modeling Detailed Requirements Competitors Personas Flows, IA Wireframes, User Testing Prototyping Primary Activities Secondary Activities Front-end Development User Acceptance Testing Flash, Flex, AJAX Metrics System Strategy and Vision Detailed Wireframes Metrics Today’s Discussion: The 4-Day Plan
    • 24. Day One: The Basics
      • What types of users do you have?
      • What does each type of user do?
      • What are the underlying structures that govern the relationships between users and tasks?
      NOUNS AND VERBS
    • 25. Day One Scenario
    • 26. Nouns and Verbs Director: We have accounts that are on contracts with distributors and others that are not. Our contract accounts have special pricing and purchase their products through a distributor – not directly through us. But we still want them to be able to use the website. That is, we want to be able to sell them products, but they should get their contract pricing and the distributor should get credit for the sale. Web Know-It-All: The system has to be easy to use. I know that when I go to a web site, if it isn’t easy to use, I just won’t go back. I mean, if I can’t find what I want in three clicks, I’m outta there. Mr. Multi-Tasker: Direct customers purchase from us, and they don’t have contracted pricing. They get standard pricing. Mr. Exception Case: Yeah, but what about customers who purchase for more than one account? How do we handle them? What happens when they log into their account in the system? Director: How many of those do we really have? Mr. Exception Case: I’m not sure. We’d have to look that up. The Multi-Tasker: What about recurring orders? Our competitors do this. We need to let our users do this too.
    • 27. Nouns and Verbs
      • Explicit Nouns
        • Contract Accounts
        • Direct Accounts
        • Distributors
        • Users
        • Products
        • Orders
      • Implicit Nouns
        • None
      • Explicit Verbs
        • Place an order
        • Sign-on
      • Implicit Verbs
        • Set up an account
        • Modify an account
        • Research products
        • Check order status
        • Check order history
    • 28. Entity Relationships 0 to many 1 and only 1 1 to many Accounts Customers Products Nouns Verbs Nouns connect to other nouns using verbs manages includes orders
    • 29. Underlying Structures
      • What is the relationship:
      • User
      • Account
      • Contract
    • 30. Underlying Structures
      • What makes up a contract?
    • 31. Underlying Structures
      • What is the relationship:
      • Order
      • Account
      • Contracts
    • 32. Implied Tasks
      • What can the user do?
    • 33. Entity Relationship Diagram
    • 34. Implied Complexities One user needs to manage multiple accounts When placing an order, the user may need to specify an account and a contract. Not all products will be available to all contracts – dynamic product lists and prices
    • 35. Minefields: Confirm Decisions
    • 36. Day One: Lessons Learned
      • Create formal deliverables (though abstract).
      • Don’t be exhaustive. Focus on key issues.
      • Revise them if they change later. Do this publicly.
      • Hold everyone accountable to the decisions made on Day One.
      • It can be expensive to go back on these decisions.
    • 37. Day One: Other Considerations
      • Are “Personas” useful at this stage?
      • What about “Scenarios”?
      • How do “Mental Models” fit in?
      • How to integrate Competitive Analysis?
      • How to use Market Research?
    • 38. Day One: Other Considerations
      • Mental Models
        • Helps you make design decisions for Use Cases
        • Attitudes, concepts, emotions that a persona musters when trying to make sense of a goal or task
      • Competitive Analysis and Market Research
        • Provides input to personas, scenarios, and use cases.
    • 39. UX Modeling and Market Analysis Different personas undertake different tasks (verbs) Division of Labor
    • 40. Tasks + Personas
      • Tasks mapped to primary and secondary personas
      • Roadmap for Use Cases
    • 41. Day Two: Happy Paths/Exceptions
      • How will users accomplish tasks?
      • Focus on Use Cases.
      • Happy paths come first.
      • Exceptions follow.
      START SIMPLE, LAYER ON COMPLEXITY
    • 42. Day Two: Audience Participation
      • What are the high-level tasks?
      • User sets up new account
      • User researches products
      • User selects and purchases products
      • User creates recurring order
      • User places recurring order
      • User modifies recurring order
      • User views status of existing orders
      • … .
    • 43. Anatomy of a Use Case
      • Make a list of known complexities
        • Multiple accounts
        • Multiple contracts
      • Address them systematically
      • Start with “happy path”
      • Layer on complexity
    • 44. Day Two: Lessons Learned
      • Same as Day One.
      • Use a whiteboard to structure people’s input.
      • Stay focused on the simple paths first: “What is the most straightforward, least complex user situation?” (This is how you deal with Mr. Exception Case.)
      • Layer complexity on the simple paths as exceptions: “What happens to the happy path if…”
      • Identify important content as part of each Use Case.
    • 45. Day Two: Other Considerations
      • How do Use Cases jump start Information Architecture?
      • Why can’t I just start with wireframes?
    • 46. Day Three: Uninterrupted Work
      • No meetings.
      • Turn Use Cases into Flow Maps.
      • Just the right level of complexity:
        • know who is going to use your documentation
        • and how they will use it
      DEVELOP YOUR OWN FLOW MAP STANDARDS
    • 47. Day Three: The Flow Map
      • Major pages and other presentation methods (e.g., “lightbox layers,” email, chat interfaces)
      • Numbering scheme for pages
      • Different user’s progressions through the flow
      • Major conditional drivers of the flow (e.g., authentication, customer types, personalization) and where they are relevant
    • 48. Example Flow Map Key
    • 49. Example Flow Map: B2B Ordering
    • 50. Example Flow Map
    • 51. Example: Move Telco Services
    • 52. Day Three: Lessons Learned
      • Same as Day One
      • Know the level of detail required by your audiences and deliver it.
      • Take responsibility for covering all Use Cases.
    • 53. Day Four: Presentation
      • Confirm major decisions.
      • Bring it all together.
      • Focus on the Flow Map.
      REACH CONSENSUS
    • 54. Day Four: Presentation
      • Revisit Entity Relationships: key underlying structures
        • Users, accounts, contracts
        • Accounts, orders, contracts, pricing
      • Review all tasks
      • Review Flow Maps
        • All major pages that will be wireframed next
        • All major content for each page
        • How users will progress through the pages
        • All major conditional drivers of the flow
    • 55. Day Four: Lessons Learned
      • Same as Day One
      • Emphasize the major decisions – this is a big accomplishment.
      • The Use Cases and Flow Maps will be “documents of record” for the project and must be revised if requirements change.
    • 56. Day Four: Other Considerations
      • What’s next?
        • Content models
        • Wireframes
        • Functional specifications
      • More market research?
      • More user research?
      • How will you measure the success of the system?
        • You now have enough information to define Key Performance Indicators.
        • Define a metrics strategy.
    • 57. Conclusion: The Mind Shift
      • From Practitioner to Leader
      • UXD provides a way of thinking that bridges the language divide among stakeholders.
      • You are part of an implementation team, not just a UXD or usability expert.
      • Leadership requires a method, and method requires flexibility.
      • Need to see the “big picture,” which may mean learning new skills.
    • 58. Conclusion: Mind (Career?) Shift Usability Profs. Business Analyst IA/ID UXD
    • 59. Contact
      • Greg Laugero
      • President, Co-Founder
      • Industrial Wisdom
      • [email_address]
      • 720-249-2400

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