Ever write a usability report nobody read? That’s an example of muda. Did the report note UI inconsistencies due to a lack of communication on the team. That’s mura. Did you stay up all night write design specs nobody followed. That’s muri.
In my experience, three factorsmust exist for teams to transition to Lean.
When it comes to teams, small is better.
While in today’s age of 500 Facebook friends, or something similar on LinkedIn, the evidence still supports Dunbar’s theory that an individual can really only have meaningful interactions with 150 other people in life. It’s a limit of cognitive function, just like the famous 7 plus or minus two. In fact, 7+/- 2 is the ideal size for a lean team.
And when it comes to teams 1+1 does not equal 2. The bigger the team, the overall output tends to drop per person.
Here’s another effect of group size. Thisis a slide showing the forest on a single island in the Caribbean, half is Haiti, known largely due to the recent tragic hurricane. The other half is the Dominican Republic. Note the state of the forest. Haiti’s side is barren. Due to the sad state of that country’s economy, and the fact that they have a high rate of poverty, people have burned or cut down the forest in Haiti. This is an example of the tragedy of the commons. The group took advantage of the resource, and it came depleted. Everyone thought about their own short term interest and now the country’s forest is destroyed. This wouldn’t happen in a small community or team.
So the problem is similar in large companies. Does this look familiar?
Small teams, with shared values, and clear goals tend to perform better. That’s what Agile is about, and that’s what lean is about as well. Get small and focused, and define clear goals.
The next key is iteration of ideas.
RichardDawkin’s invented the term meme to describe the idea of ideas that evolve. In our field, product designs are memes. For those of you in the dark, this is basically the scientific method. You may not believe in science, but I do…
And if you want to improve your odds of succeeding, wouldn’t you want more than one shot?
Scrum stories that go into the product backlog are a great of describing requirements. The Scrum process is essentially like an iterative algorithm, but like they say in computer science, if you put garbage in, you get garbage out. So how can we make this more lean?
We avoid putting bad ideas through the full development iteration.
There’s an old question, “Given an infinite amount of time, could a monkey type the works of Shakespeare? Probably not. And an infinite amount of monkey’s probably would not do much better.” Yet we often see companies hiring a team of developers to find a viable design for a product just by using A/B testing. If I were a VC, I wouldn’t fund that. Would you?
There are some important things to ask about any product. One—Is there a customer for it? Lots of companies fail for this reason. No amount of iteration in development is going to help you here. Steve Blank’s advice. Don’t build a company to learn this. Get out of the building and validate you have a customer first.
The Lean Startup guys are making a lot of progress here, and the good news is they have started to consider UX concepts. I’m even more excited that they’ve refocusedtheagile community on hypothesis testing, which is really core to both UX and Agile. This is leaner…but can we improve it?
I would say yes. Thatbrings us to Lean UX. This slide is from Janice Fraser. Jeff just talked about this earlier. The key message here is you don’t always need to build a product to test an idea. It’s not lean to do it that way. I say think Minimum Viable PROTOTYPE rather than Minimum Viable Product, products are good for testing business models. But they aren’t necessarily required for testing designs ideas.
This brings me to the last of my three factors, metrics or data.
If a team is playing a sport, be it rugby or baseball, the team knows what the goal is. It’s clear if the team is doing well. It’s also clear to the team if they are getting better, or if they are better than the other team. Define clear goals, they will guide you along the way.
There is this concept of a fitness function. Metrics serve as a test if the idea is fit, getting fitter, or fit enough to meet a goal.
Dave McClure, Silicon Valley internet entrepreneur and investor has advised startups to think about 5 key types of metrics using his AARRR acronym. I’ve listed the first 4 here which are UX centric to give you a sense of why UX is not just about the product’s UI design.
So ask yourself and your team. Are you making measurable progress? How do you know? Don’t kid yourself, activity does not equal accomplishment. In the early stage of a product design process, the key progress is about learning how well you are solving a problem for your users. If you don’t do that well, not much else matters.
So you summarize, keep score, and learn together about what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be an IDIOT, nobody wants' one of those on their team. It’s OK to make decisions fast, but for key decisions, get data. Even if it’s after the fact, you don’t want to think you were right when you are wrong. Otherwise you don’t learn much, and you won’t do very well.
TEAMS MEMES AND METRICS Connecting the Lean UX Dots
TEAMS MEMES AND METRICS Connecting the Lean UX Dots Jon Innes September 20th, 2012
The Origins of Lean Toyota’s Taiichi Ohno defined values and practices for removing three types of inefficiencies: • 無駄 = muda wasted outputs • 斑 = mura unnecessary inconsistencies • 無理 = muri wasted efforts Improving quality while decreasing costs Toyota rises from obscurity to leadershipUX INNOVATION LLC 2
Three Key Success Factors for Lean 1. TEAMS: Small focused and cohesive 2. MEMES: Ideas refined by iterative testing 3. METRICS: Define goals and inform decisionsUX INNOVATION LLC 3
MEMES: Ideas That Evolve Geneticist Richard Dawkin’s term for an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. They evolve iteratively and are: • Easily and often copied due to medium they exist in • Subject to mutation • Respond to selective pressures Product designs are essentially memesUX INNOVATION LLC 11
ITERATION: The Philosophy of Refinement Take your best shot, assess & try againUX INNOVATION LLC 12
From Idea to Product Using Scrum Daily Scrum Meeting 24 Potentially Product Sprint hrs Shippable Backlog Backlog Product 2-4 Increment week SprintBased on image from: http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/UX INNOVATION LLC 13
PROBLEM: Some Ideas Are Duds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbonfilament.jpgUX INNOVATION LLC 14
LEAN: Customer Development Don’t build a company to serve customers that don’t exist! Get out of the building! Based on image from Steve Blank http://steveblank.com/UX INNOVATION LLC 16
LEANER: Lean Startup Don’t build companies until you have a product! Build & measure it! Based on image from Eric Ries http://theleanstartup.com/UX INNOVATION LLC 17
LEANEST: Lean UX Don’t build products when prototypes will do! Prototype & measure it! Based on image from Janice Fraser http://www.slideshare.net/clevergirl /UX INNOVATION LLC 18
Metrics Data beats opinionUX INNOVATION LLC 19
Good Metrics Provide Clear Goals Define objective metrics tied to team goalsUX INNOVATION LLC 20
Fitness Functions A fitness function is an objective metric that is used to summarize how close a given design solution is to achieving a goal. Good fitness function metrics are: • Clearly defined, understood by team members • Regularly calculated to inform team decisions • Proven to actually measure what they are supposed to Metrics in Lean serve as fitness functionsUX INNOVATION LLC 21
Dave Mclure’s Categories of Metrics Acquire Activate Retain Refer• Marketing • Get user to • Get user to • Get user to oriented, get user engage with integrate offering recommend to a to know offering product for initial into their lives friend exists 1st use and use long term These cover the entire product lifecycle or UX Categories based on Dave McClure’s AARRR Startup Metrics for Pirates see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irjgfW0BIrwUX INNOVATION LLC 22
Making Measurable Progress? Candidates for design metrics to use in fitness functions: • # of interactions with user segments (personas) • Sign-ups • Return rates • Task completion rates • Time on task • Error rates • Satisfaction scores • Net Promoter Scores Avoid vanity metrics focus on learning how to solve problemsUX INNOVATION LLC 23
Winning Teams Keep Score & Learn Together Don’t be an IDIOT Individual Deciding on Intuition Intuition & theory are great Or BUT Theory learning requires data GET FACTS!UX INNOVATION LLC 24
Final thoughts It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change. Charles DarwinUX INNOVATION LLC 25