The missing link between business need
and software development: product design
Ari Tanninen
Wildcard Conference 2013
Jūrm...
Ari Tanninen
Product development consultant
15 years software product development, 8 years Agile/Lean
BEng, finishing MBA
a...
Hello, who are you?
IT workers?
Business / management / designers / development?
Consulting / sub-contracting / internal d...
The problem
Disconnect between buyer and vendor
Consequences of disconnect
Fundamental issues
Proposed solutions
Design & ...
The problem
Req.
spec.
Contract
Buyer Vendor
I need some IT!
Sure! Just write down
precisely what it should do.
Here’s a specialist to...
Surely my expensive vendor is best in
designing my IT system!
How could I possibly know
precisely what I need?
That’s why ...
Example of disconnect
BuyerIT consultant
“How do you receive customer
orders? Phone, email? Actually,
which of your compan...
Consequences for users
• Complexity due to feature bloat
• Features missing
• System does not fit work
• System changed wor...
Other consequences
• Systems never fit their intended use
• Expensive projects
• Failed projects
• Poor business
• Taxpayer...
Vendors assume buyers are aware and able to articulate their needs
Gathering requirements assumes they exist to be gathere...
More detailed requirements!
More control!
More change management processes!
Solution?
Agile software development?
Solution?
Image: flickr / IamNotUnique
Let’s look at design and feedback first
Design
"Design is the successive application of constraints
until only a unique product is left."
-- Richard W. Pew
Take a...
Design problems / solutions
What users ask is not
what users need
Tacit and latent needs
Describing problems/solutions
wit...
The key to design is creating new knowledge
Feedback and learning is essential
Feedback in Waterfall
Spec.
Real users
in context
System
Perceived needs
Biz processes
Workflows
Org structures
Domain know...
Feedback in Agile
Backlog.
Real users
in context
System
Perceived needs
Biz processes
Workflows
Org structures
Domain knowl...
An improved solution
How about this?
Prototype
Perceived needs
Biz processes
Workflows
Org structures
Domain knowledge
Real users
Product/servic...
Rough comparison
Max design
iterations
Cost of iteration
Waterfall 1 cost of project
Agile
project length /
length of iter...
Service design
User-centered design
Participatory design
Co-design
Design thinking
Co-creation
Prototyping
Personas
Scenar...
Participatory design
• Collaborative design & development
• Buyers, vendors, stakeholders, users
• New concepts, products,...
Some tools
• Low/high-fidelity prototypes
• Role-play & drama
• Wizard of Oz
• Service blueprint
Simulation! Not
conceptual...
Examples
• UI & device paper prototypes
• Future library service (drama & Wizard of Oz)
• Talking sports watch (Wizard of ...
User interfaces and devices
Image: flickr / Samuel Mann Image: flickr / benarent
Functional paper prototypes
Even detailed d...
Future library service
Concept, picture & video: Pirjo Kivistö, Marika Latvala, Mia Rahkonen,Terhi Kärpänen, Mikko Tenni /...
Talking sports watch
Concept and pictures: JuhoVesanto, Marjo Karjalainen, SamiVirtanen, IrinaYlikylä, Riikka Heloma / Lau...
Service blueprint
Image: flickr / Kennisland
Image: flickr / rachel.shadoan
Public-sector service
Images: Gosei Oy
Automating existing public-sector service
Service blueprints (a powerful alternativ...
Public-sector service
Crashed system
Blind user using a system
Child using multiple touchpoints
Images: Gosei Oy
Drama & r...
Cardboard hospital
Juha Kronqvist, Heini Erving,Teemu Leinonen (2013): Cardboard hospital: Prototyping patient-centric env...
Cardboard hospital
Juha Kronqvist, Heini Erving,Teemu Leinonen (2013): Cardboard hospital: Prototyping patient-centric env...
OURCity Meri-Rastila
http://meidankaupunki.wordpress.com
Images: flickr / MarianaSalgado
OURCity - sub-project of World Des...
Advantages
• Fast feedback
• Validated learning
• Cheap
• Stakeholder buy-in & commitment
• Increased communication
bandwi...
Summary
Service/prod design + Agile
Prototype
Perceived needs
Biz processes
Workflows
Org structures
Domain knowledge
Real users
Pr...
Key points
• Remember the disconnect
• Software design != product/
service design
• Design services and products
• Iterate...
Questions? Thoughts?
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The missing link between business need and software development: product design

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There is a disconnect between IT buyers and IT vendors. Buyers assume that vendors will figure out what their IT system should precisely do. Vendors assume that buyers surely know their business and know exactly what their new IT system should do. Requirement analysts are deployed to gather requirements and write a specification which becomes the basis of a contract. A project is executed and the end result is taken to use. Users hate the system because it is clunky, does not meet their needs and is too complicated.

Why? The problem is systemic. Both the buyer and vendor assume that someone knows what the new system should do and how. In new product/service development requirements do not exist and cannot be gathered, they have to be developed collaboratively and iteratively. When automating an existing business no one knows with sufficient detail how that business works.

Agile software development proposes to fix the problem by iterative and incremental development where feedback from users using working software is used to guide the development effort. But working software is an expensive way of getting feedback when compared with role-play or paper design prototypes.

To solve the disconnect a new mindset and tools are needed. The mindset should be one of product and/or service design, where multiple stakeholders engage in a participatory design process centered around common, cheap, design artifacts.

This topic will include discussion about:
- the disconnect between business and software
- the nature of product and service development
- the role of feedback and learning
- participatory design and user-centered methods including service blueprints, role-play, prototyping and simulation and how they can be used to fix the disconnect
- advantages: better products, new ideas, engaged stakeholders, utilizing latent and tacit knowledge, increased empathy, cheaper more purposeful systems

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The missing link between business need and software development: product design

  1. 1. The missing link between business need and software development: product design Ari Tanninen Wildcard Conference 2013 Jūrmala, Latvia, Sept 13 “Bridging the gap between business and development, development and user, and buyer and vendor with participatory product and service design”
  2. 2. Ari Tanninen Product development consultant 15 years software product development, 8 years Agile/Lean BEng, finishing MBA ari.tanninen@gosei.fi @aritanninen
  3. 3. Hello, who are you? IT workers? Business / management / designers / development? Consulting / sub-contracting / internal development?
  4. 4. The problem Disconnect between buyer and vendor Consequences of disconnect Fundamental issues Proposed solutions Design & feedback Nature of design Feedback in naive Waterfall Feedback in naive Agile An improved solution Product/service design Participatory design Tools Examples Advantages Products and services have form (or shape), and structure Product design creates the form IT systems make up the structure
  5. 5. The problem
  6. 6. Req. spec. Contract Buyer Vendor I need some IT! Sure! Just write down precisely what it should do. Here’s a specialist to help you out! Analyst Dev team Ummm... Users Tell me everything! We hate it! Happiness is to code! Aaargh!Aargh! Aaargh! Aaargh! Aaargh! System Followed by... Change management process and more billing!
  7. 7. Surely my expensive vendor is best in designing my IT system! How could I possibly know precisely what I need? That’s why I pay consultants for! Buyer Vendor How could I possibly know what my customer needs? Or how their organization works? And how their business ticks? Surely my customer knows! The disconnect
  8. 8. Example of disconnect BuyerIT consultant “How do you receive customer orders? Phone, email? Actually, which of your companies receives these orders?” “Do you expect us to know? But you are the software consultant!” Image:Wikimedia Commons Prototype factory built, need IT to orchestrate customer orders, production, deliveries and billing. Consultants designing business processes that are to be automated in part by IT.
  9. 9. Consequences for users • Complexity due to feature bloat • Features missing • System does not fit work • System changed work and now needs changes • Systems and service touchpoints work poorly together • Fragmented user experience
  10. 10. Other consequences • Systems never fit their intended use • Expensive projects • Failed projects • Poor business • Taxpayer losses Buyers effectively outsource ownership of their products/services
  11. 11. Vendors assume buyers are aware and able to articulate their needs Gathering requirements assumes they exist to be gathered Fundamental issues Buyers taught to believe in IT as fairy dust The words we use guide our thinking: “requirements gathering”, “business process consultant”
  12. 12. More detailed requirements! More control! More change management processes! Solution?
  13. 13. Agile software development? Solution? Image: flickr / IamNotUnique
  14. 14. Let’s look at design and feedback first
  15. 15. Design "Design is the successive application of constraints until only a unique product is left." -- Richard W. Pew Take a need. Create solution. Try it. Take another need. Add to solution. Check that solution still fills all needs. Fix if broken. Take the next need... Repeat until done.
  16. 16. Design problems / solutions What users ask is not what users need Tacit and latent needs Describing problems/solutions without common language Observation, prototypes, simulation Iterations, experiments Design artifacts as boundary objects Cannot ask users, must iterate and experiment with artifacts
  17. 17. The key to design is creating new knowledge Feedback and learning is essential
  18. 18. Feedback in Waterfall Spec. Real users in context System Perceived needs Biz processes Workflows Org structures Domain knowledge Assumpations! Requirements gathering years / months / weeks Software development years / months Deployment hours Feedback years / months
  19. 19. Feedback in Agile Backlog. Real users in context System Perceived needs Biz processes Workflows Org structures Domain knowledge Assumpations! PO work weeks / days / hours Agile software development weeks / days Deployment hours Feedback weeks How to get faster feedback and even more iterations?
  20. 20. An improved solution
  21. 21. How about this? Prototype Perceived needs Biz processes Workflows Org structures Domain knowledge Real users Product/service design weeks / days Agile software development weeks / days Deployment hours Real users in context System Real users Feedback immediate Feedback immediate Why code & deploy, can’t we bring users into our office? (the last feedback loop from users omitted for clarity)
  22. 22. Rough comparison Max design iterations Cost of iteration Waterfall 1 cost of project Agile project length / length of iteration cost of project / number of iterations Product / service design & Agile unlimited negligible Writing functional software is an expensive way to get user feedback
  23. 23. Service design User-centered design Participatory design Co-design Design thinking Co-creation Prototyping Personas Scenarios Wizard of Oz Drama Role-play Informance Ethnography Bodystorming Experience prototype Mock-ups Video Moodboards Customer journey Service blueprints A few keywords for you to google :)
  24. 24. Participatory design • Collaborative design & development • Buyers, vendors, stakeholders, users • New concepts, products, services, business processes, user interfaces, user experience... • (feelings, smells…) • Fast & cheap learning
  25. 25. Some tools • Low/high-fidelity prototypes • Role-play & drama • Wizard of Oz • Service blueprint Simulation! Not conceptual hand-waving
  26. 26. Examples • UI & device paper prototypes • Future library service (drama & Wizard of Oz) • Talking sports watch (Wizard of Oz) • Public-sector service (role-play, service blueprints) • Cardboard hospital (1:1 prototype of environment) • Urban planning: OurCity Meri-Rastila
  27. 27. User interfaces and devices Image: flickr / Samuel Mann Image: flickr / benarent Functional paper prototypes Even detailed design possible by simulating with users by manual “animation”
  28. 28. Future library service Concept, picture & video: Pirjo Kivistö, Marika Latvala, Mia Rahkonen,Terhi Kärpänen, Mikko Tenni / Laurea University of Applied Sciences Functional future library: working lend/return machine, software, and verbal commands Drama, Wizard of Oz
  29. 29. Talking sports watch Concept and pictures: JuhoVesanto, Marjo Karjalainen, SamiVirtanen, IrinaYlikylä, Riikka Heloma / Laurea University of Applied Sciences Prototype User Concept testing of a sports watch with a remote earphone verbally guiding the user to optimal exercise, like a personal trainer Test set-up: jogger, observer, and a talking sports watch prototype (real watch + person) Wizard of Oz
  30. 30. Service blueprint Image: flickr / Kennisland Image: flickr / rachel.shadoan
  31. 31. Public-sector service Images: Gosei Oy Automating existing public-sector service Service blueprints (a powerful alternative to user story maps)
  32. 32. Public-sector service Crashed system Blind user using a system Child using multiple touchpoints Images: Gosei Oy Drama & role-play
  33. 33. Cardboard hospital Juha Kronqvist, Heini Erving,Teemu Leinonen (2013): Cardboard hospital: Prototyping patient-centric environments and services. Nordes 2013. http://designforhealthcare.blogspot.fi/p/spring-2012-cardboard-hospital.html http://vimeo.com/46812965 http://www.slideshare.net/juhak/cardboard-hospital-prototyping-hospital-env Cardboard hospital space at Aalto University where patients, staff, architects are co-creating ideas for the future hospital for Tampere University Hospital in Finland
  34. 34. Cardboard hospital Juha Kronqvist, Heini Erving,Teemu Leinonen (2013): Cardboard hospital: Prototyping patient-centric environments and services. Nordes 2013. http://designforhealthcare.blogspot.fi/p/spring-2012-cardboard-hospital.html http://vimeo.com/46812965 http://www.slideshare.net/juhak/cardboard-hospital-prototyping-hospital-env
  35. 35. OURCity Meri-Rastila http://meidankaupunki.wordpress.com Images: flickr / MarianaSalgado OURCity - sub-project of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 Co-design of urban area, involving residents, children, city planners, and architecture students Methods scale from individual user interfaces to cities
  36. 36. Advantages • Fast feedback • Validated learning • Cheap • Stakeholder buy-in & commitment • Increased communication bandwidth • Evangelization • Foster innovation & creativity • Access tacit and latent knowledge • User empowerment • Empathy towards users - walk a mile in their shoes
  37. 37. Summary
  38. 38. Service/prod design + Agile Prototype Perceived needs Biz processes Workflows Org structures Domain knowledge Real users Product/service design weeks / days Agile software development weeks / days Deployment hours Real users in context System Real users Feedback immediate Feedback immediate Last feedback loop omitted for clarity.
  39. 39. Key points • Remember the disconnect • Software design != product/ service design • Design services and products • Iterate early with real users - get out of the building! • Validate assumptions about needs and design solutions • Seek to shorten learning cycle • Writing software is expensive • Quick'n'dirty participatory design - 20/80 rule
  40. 40. Questions? Thoughts?

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