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Crafting digital experiences with agile and design by James Hayes

Crafting digital experiences with agile and design by James Hayes

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The predominant mindset around complex problem solving is decomposition; we inevitably jump to ways of ‘chunking up’ a solution. At Aginic, our experience of delivering hundreds of engaging data experiences is that this often misses a step that is crucial to creating compelling digital experiences: experimentation. In this talk we’ll describe how we have baked in experimentation to our ability to explore and navigate complex problem spaces and how this has helped deliver engaging outcomes for our customers.



This talk is a must for anyone tackling complex projects, particularly involving data.

The predominant mindset around complex problem solving is decomposition; we inevitably jump to ways of ‘chunking up’ a solution. At Aginic, our experience of delivering hundreds of engaging data experiences is that this often misses a step that is crucial to creating compelling digital experiences: experimentation. In this talk we’ll describe how we have baked in experimentation to our ability to explore and navigate complex problem spaces and how this has helped deliver engaging outcomes for our customers.



This talk is a must for anyone tackling complex projects, particularly involving data.

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Crafting digital experiences with agile and design by James Hayes

  1. 1. Crafting Digital Experiences with Agile and Design James Hayes About James: CEO of Aginic, a consultancy specialising in the delivery of analytics, BI and AI solutions utilising design led and agile approaches. Over the last 15 years James has worked with some of the largest organisations in the UK and Australia to transform ways of working, unlocking the potential of teams to deliver awesome customer experiences.
  2. 2. Hello! Our story Brief introductions Exploring solution vs exploring problem The problem The learning What we’ve learned The solution Our take on the solution 01 02 03 04
  3. 3. Brief intro to Aginic.
  4. 4. We are a diverse crew of creative data analysts, designers, engineers, delivery coaches, and cloud technicians that love to combine our technical skills to solve problems.
  5. 5. We’re on a Journey Founded in 2014 by Brett and Marty. From 2017 to 2021 we’ve opened offices along the way We have grown exponentially to over 90+ people Between 2019-2021 we’ve grown into 4 chapters and 3 capability areas Analytics, Delivery, Design, and Engineering
  6. 6. We solve problems, differently. Specialising in advanced analytics, data science and data visualisation. We extract, aggregate, model data and provide actionable insights. Data & Insights A team of design and engineering professionals. We craft digital experiences with the user in mind every step of the way. Digital Experiences A team of agile and lean coaches help deliver awesome outcomes rapidly. Agile Consulting
  7. 7. Our journey today.
  8. 8. Discovery ● Set the initial course ● Understand the end user ● Establish the ‘happy path’ roadmap ● Identify the slices of value
  9. 9. What our ‘Discovery’ typically looks like... Understanding the vision Forming the team Validating Constraints Identifying Value increments Understanding the end user Journey Mapping and Persona development MVP Identification Roadmap Validation Work Breakdown for MVP 1 Setting up for early sprints
  10. 10. Agile delivery ● Clarity of vision ● Great understanding of the customer ● Collaborative delivery team ● Empowered to solve problems ● Constant engagement and feedback ● Incremental Value delivery
  11. 11. The happy path: Everything is awesome! Project Scope MVP MLP Story Story Story ● Work with clients to understand the value they are chasing ● Create a shared vision of success ● Collaborative Delivery team ● Target early delivery of value through an MVP Discovery guides us to valuable increments
  12. 12. Horizontal vs vertical “slices” ● Technology-centric approach ● One layer of the data architecture at a time - typically “bottom up” ● Slower delivery of value to business users ● Limited opportunity for business user input and prioritisation based on value ● Business-centric approach ● Designed to get insights in the hands of business users a “slice” at a time - as quickly as possible ● Each next “slice” is chosen based on the next highest value ● User feedback and usage will steer the direction
  13. 13. Why this Work Breakdown stuff matters ● This is ‘ground zero’ for agile ● It’s hard! ● Getting this part is arguably the most important aspect of your project ● The stuff we’re talking about later assumes you’ve got this part running well Target early realisation of value
  14. 14. The problem.
  15. 15. Where we ended up Where the gold lives The chasm of dissatisfied users
  16. 16. Complexity and Problem Decomposition ● We started to find ourselves ‘boxed in’ ● What if the initial guidance isn’t quite right? ● What if (god forbid) the RFT didn’t nail the value equation? How do we know we’re incrementing in the right direction? Project Scope The unknown MVP MLP Story Story Story What we actually need
  17. 17. So just course correct right? ● It may be really hard to get support for a change ● How do you know the new course will be better? ● Sunk cost fallacy ● Change is hard! The juggernaut is moving...
  18. 18. The learning.
  19. 19. Experimentation ‘phase’ ● Deliberately try to prove / disprove your roadmap assumptions ● Prototype / User Testing ● Architecture storytelling ● Platform validation What’s all this then?
  20. 20. What a ‘good’ experiment might look like QLD government agency engaged Aginic to assist with the development of an assessment tool that helped to define an employee’s maturity within the context of a Digital Capability Framework. Aginic conducted a series of experiments to create a Digital Capability Assessment Tool using design thinking and iterative development approach.
  21. 21. How we approached the project Discovery Phase 1 - Functional prototype Development Experiment Phase 2 - Productionise Development Testing phase
  22. 22. Phase 1
  23. 23. Phase 1
  24. 24. Testing and Experimentation ● Application was in use inside the organisation for several months for selected audience ● Lot of data was collected during the period that shaped the next iteration of the product
  25. 25. Phase 2
  26. 26. Design approach.
  27. 27. User experience Focuses on the experience users receive when interacting with a product. Component of CX.
  28. 28. Customer experience Focused on improving a person’s overall experience with a company, at all touchpoints.
  29. 29. Service Design Service design addresses how an organisation gets something done and how that is experienced by the customer and the employee.
  30. 30. How can we avoid the ‘detour’? ● Detailed requirements specifications with a fixed scope contract will prevent experimentation ● We need: ○ Clarity on the outcomes desired (tell me about the treasure not the means of travel) ○ Checkpoints to validate we’re on course ○ Trust Outcomes vs Deliverables
  31. 31. The solution.
  32. 32. Experiment then we’re good right? ● Can help set course for the right roadmap ● Build confidence in the early phases ● Get early engagement / buy in But... ● Divergence can still occur ● Conditions change ● Competitors can raid your value ● We also need to talk about Procurement... Well, maybe...
  33. 33. Culture of continuous experimentation ● Continually revisit experimentation ● Commit to meaningful increments but re-test assumptions in between Validating hypotheses as a norm
  34. 34. How we deliver digital experiences Experiment Digital experience project Deliver an experience increment Scope out, de-risk, validate Scoped out development (prioritised backlog)
  35. 35. Delivering the Experience
  36. 36. Recapping our Journey
  37. 37. Any questions? If you have a question, please put it in the Q&A section. Depending on time we will either read out the question or bring you on camera to ask the question. Please indicate if you don’t want to be on camera.
  38. 38. Thanks for your time.

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