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2012 feb 25 agile ux nyc, seiden, requirements to hypotheses

  1. 1. Replacing Requirements with Hypotheses AgileUX NYC 2012 Feb 25, 2012 Josh Seiden @jseiden
  2. 2. Me and my hashtags Josh Seiden www.proof-nyc.com @jseiden @proof_nyc #leanUX #leanStartup www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 2 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  3. 3. Internet Mouse www.proof-nyc.com www.slideshare.net/jseiden 3 License: Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 United States
  4. 4. Internet Mouse www.proof-nyc.com www.slideshare.net/jseiden 3 License: Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 United States
  5. 5. What are we talking about? Requirements and hypotheses can both be used to frame the work of teams. - Example of a requirement: create an Internet Mouse that people can use when surfing the internet on their TV from their couch. - Hypothesis: we believe that people will pay for a device that makes it easier and more fun to surf the internet from their living room couches in front of the TV. www.proof-nyc.com www.slideshare.net/jseiden 4 License: Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 United States
  6. 6. For many teams, in many contexts, hypotheses are a more effective way to manage your work than requirements. 5
  7. 7. Extreme uncertainty www.proof-nyc.com www.slideshare.net/jseiden 6 License: Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 United States
  8. 8. The problem with requirements The business owners express needs as “requirements.” Problem: the team has no visibility to user/market need. Problem: “The business” does the thinking, the design/dev team does the implementing. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 7 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  9. 9. Requirements vs. hypotheses When you’re in production, building to a known standard, you want requirements. When you’re in an environment of uncertainty, you want hypotheses. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 10 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  10. 10. Why hypotheses are better
  11. 11. Why are hypotheses more effective? They are understood to be only provisionally true: in other words, they express assumptions that need to be tested. Hypotheses are answers put forth in the spirit of a question. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 12 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  12. 12. On questions... “We get wise by asking questions, and even if these questions are not answered we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on it’s back as a snail carries its shell.” James Stephens, The Boyhood of Fionn www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 13 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  13. 13. Wisdom? Who cares? “Working software is the primary measure of progress.” “Validated learning is the primary measure of progress.” www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 14 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  14. 14. Reduce Inventory, Risk and Waste Make a Get design feedback decision from market Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 15 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  15. 15. Reduce Inventory, Risk and Waste This is going to be BIG! Make a Get design feedback decision from market Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 15 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  16. 16. Reduce Inventory, Risk and Waste This is No one going to be clicked. BIG! Make a Get design feedback decision from market Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 15 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  17. 17. Reduce Inventory, Risk and Waste This is No one going to be clicked. BIG! Make a Get design 3 MONTHS feedback decision from market Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 15 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  18. 18. Reduce Inventory, Risk and Waste This is No one going to be clicked. BIG! Make a Get design 3 MONTHS feedback decision from market 3 HOURS Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 15 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  19. 19. Less risk, more often The old way... The new way! Concept credit: @clevergirl www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 16 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  20. 20. What is a hypothesis?
  21. 21. What is a hypothesis? An hypothesis is a proposed explanation of the way things work. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 18 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  22. 22. What is a Hypothesis? We believe that ________________. ...and: We’ll know that we’re right when we see this signal: ______________. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 19 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  23. 23. What is a Hypothesis? We believe that people will pay for a device that makes it easier and more fun to surf the internet from their living room couches. ...and: We’ll know that we’re right when 1. People use our mockups without trouble. 2. People offer to pay when we offer to leave the mockups with them. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 20 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  24. 24. Techniques
  25. 25. Process Replace requirements with hypotheses by: 1. Identifying assumptions 2. Expressing assumptions as hypotheses 3. Test the riskiest assumptions first 4. Break your hypotheses down into testable parts 5. Use MVP concept to test your hypothesis 6. Get out of the building 7. Lather, rinse, and repeat www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 22 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  26. 26. Method: Declare your assumptions www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  27. 27. Method: Declare your assumptions What assumptions do you have? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  28. 28. Method: Declare your assumptions What assumptions do you have? …about your customers? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  29. 29. Method: Declare your assumptions What assumptions do you have? …about your customers? …that if proven false, will cause you to fail? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  30. 30. Method: probe deeply for assumptions Who is the user? Who is the customer? Where does our product fit in their work or life? What problems does our product solve? When and how is our product used? What features are important? How should our product look and behave? How will we make money? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  31. 31. Test your riskiest assumptions first high risk known unknown low risk www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  32. 32. Method: Write the test first We believe that ______________. We will know we have succeeded when qualitative and quantitative outcome. This will improve KPI. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  33. 33. Method: Minimum Viable Product www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  34. 34. Method: Minimum Viable Product What is the smallest thing we can make to test our hypothesis? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  35. 35. Method: Minimum Viable Product What is the smallest thing we can make to test our hypothesis? The answer to this question is your MVP. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States
  36. 36. An example 28
  37. 37. Case study: recent client A web service that you plug in to your commerce site Provides a set of features to end users Merchant gains insight because the widget generates metrics www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 29 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  38. 38. Case study: recent client The problem: they had a feature backlog, and were not sure how to prioritize what to work on next. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 30 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  39. 39. Case study: identifying assumptions To deal with “requirements” we built a story map www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 31 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  40. 40. Case study: identifying risk www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 32 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  41. 41. Case study: the biggest risk Do our customers value our offering enough to pay for it? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 33 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  42. 42. The value hypothesis We believe that our customers value our offering because: 1. Our widget adds a valuable feature to their pages. 2. Our widget generates traffic for them. Free offering 3. Our widget generates sales for them. 4. Our widget generates valuable data. Paid offering www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 34 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  43. 43. Case study: find the riskiest assumptions 1. Customers will value our high risk widget’s basic functionality enough to choose it over the 1 free competitors. 2 2. Customers will value our analytics enough to upgrade known unknown to the paid version of our product. low risk www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 35 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  44. 44. Startup Metrics for Pirates Awareness Learns about our product Installation Installs widget on site Values analytics enough Purchase to upgrade to premium Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 36 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  45. 45. Startup Metrics for Pirates We believe that if we show Awareness Debbie how important [our Learns about our product functionality] is she will give us her email address. Installation Installs widget on site Values analytics enough Purchase to upgrade to premium Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 36 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  46. 46. Startup Metrics for Pirates We believe that if we show Awareness Debbie how important [our Learns about our product functionality] is she will give us her email address. We believe that our free offering Installation Installs widget on site is strong enough that she will install us over our competitor. Values analytics enough Purchase to upgrade to premium Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 36 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  47. 47. Startup Metrics for Pirates We believe that if we show Awareness Debbie how important [our Learns about our product functionality] is she will give us her email address. We believe that our free offering Installation Installs widget on site is strong enough that she will install us over our competitor. Values analytics enough We believe that Debbie will value our Purchase analytics enough to pay for this level of to upgrade to premium service. Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 36 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  48. 48. Startup Metrics for Pirates We believe that if we show Awareness Debbie how important [our Learns about our product functionality] is she will give us her email address. We believe that our free offering Installation Installs widget on site is strong enough that she will install us over our competitor. Values analytics enough We believe that Debbie will value our Purchase analytics enough to pay for this level of to upgrade to premium service. Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 36 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  49. 49. Hypothesis: activation/installation www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  50. 50. Hypothesis: activation/installation Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  51. 51. Hypothesis: activation/installation Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  52. 52. Hypothesis: activation/installation Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  53. 53. Hypothesis: activation/installation Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. Problem: the installation process is too hard for our customer. It is preventing us from measuring customer behavior. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  54. 54. Hypothesis: activation/installation Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. Problem: the installation process is too hard for our customer. It is preventing us from measuring customer behavior. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 37 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  55. 55. Experiment one: will they install it? www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 38 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  56. 56. Experiment one: will they install it? vs. Install with one click... www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 38 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  57. 57. Experiment one: will they install it? vs. Install with one click... www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 38 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  58. 58. Requirement vs Hypothesis www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  59. 59. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  60. 60. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  61. 61. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  62. 62. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  63. 63. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  64. 64. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. MVP: build a page that supports a concierge installer. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  65. 65. Requirement vs Hypothesis Requirement: build an installer Hypothesis: Our customers will value our free widget enough to install it. Sub-hypothesis: they will install the free widget only if the installation process is easy enough. MVP: build a page that supports a concierge installer. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 39 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  66. 66. The next hypothesis... We believe that if we show Awareness Debbie how important [our Learns about our product functionality] is she will give us her email address. We believe that our free offering Installation Installs widget on site is strong enough that she will install us over our competitor. Values analytics enough We believe that Debbie will value our Purchase analytics enough to pay for this level of to upgrade to premium service. Doesn’t cancel after Repurchase 30-day trial Refers Referral Friends www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 40 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  67. 67. Experiment 2: do they value analytics? Requirement: build an analytics dashboard Hypothesis: Our customers will value our analytics dashboard enough to pay for it. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when 6 customers respond to our mockups by signing Letters of Intent. MVP: Mockup of analytics dashboard. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 41 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  68. 68. Hypotheses win... www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  69. 69. Hypotheses win... A way to re-frame requirements www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  70. 70. Hypotheses win... A way to re-frame requirements  Every decision you make about your offering is a design decision. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  71. 71. Hypotheses win... A way to re-frame requirements  Every decision you make about your offering is a design decision.  Every design decision is an hypothesis. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  72. 72. Hypotheses win... A way to re-frame requirements  Every decision you make about your offering is a design decision.  Every design decision is an hypothesis.  Declare your assumptions and test them. www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  73. 73. Hypotheses win... A way to re-frame requirements  Every decision you make about your offering is a design decision.  Every design decision is an hypothesis.  Declare your assumptions and test them.  Entire team engaged in the feedback loop www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden 42 Share Alike 3.0 United States
  74. 74. Enjoy what you saw? Follow @jseiden and @proof_nyc. THANK YOU! www.proof-nyc.com License: Creative Commons Attribution- www.slideshare.net/jseiden Share Alike 3.0 United States

Editor's Notes

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  • The basic idea here comes from Eric Ries, who talks about Lean Startup. \n\nEric says a startup is “A human institution designed to creates something new in an environment of extreme uncertainty.” \n\nI’ve been thinking about that definition a lot recently--specifically the part about “extreme uncertainty.” Maybe it’s just me, but in twenty years of doing software product development, I’ve never seen a significant software project that operates in an environment of certainty. So right now, my working theory is that this technique can be used on just about any software project. \n\n \n \n \n
  • * Aligns the business against the AGILE/UX team\n* It’s not clear whether the requirement is wrong, or the the solution is wrong\n* It creates the conditions for “agile-fall”\n\n“Business people and developers must work together on a dialy basis throughout the project.”\n\n
  • When you use requirements, you create a dynamic that limits creativity and learning. There are times when you want this. You don’t want people to be “creative” when they are assembling an airplane, for example. But there are also times when you want to encourage creative problem solving.\n\n\n
  • The problem is, how do you create appropriate constraints on creative problem solving?\n\nDesigners are used to making things in a kind of intuitive way, then putting them in the world and seeing what happens. I think if this as kind of throwing a pebble in a pond and watching the ripples. This is fine, but it’s not an easy process to follow in agile teams, because this kind of intuitive design is hard for teams to participate in. It’s very internal. And just to be clear, I think this an important design technique--a solo designer following his or her intuition. But it’s just not very conducive to agile teams.\n\n
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  • James Stephens (February 9, 1882–December 26, 1950) was an Irish novelist and poet.\nJames Stephens wrote many retellings of Irish myths and fairy tales. His retellings are marked by a rare combination of humor and lyricism (Deirdre, and Irish Fairy Tales are often singled out for praise). He also wrote several original novels (Crock of Gold, Etched in Moonlight, Demi-Gods) loosely based on Irish fairy tales. "Crock of Gold," in particular, achieved enduring popularity and was frequently reprinted throughout the author's lifetime.\n\n
  • Albert Szent-Györgyi de Nagyrápolt (Hungarian: Nagyrápolti Szent-Györgyi Albert [ˈnɒɟraːpolti ˈsɛntˌɟørɟi ˈɒlbɛrt]; September 16, 1893 – October 22, 1986) was a Hungarian physiologist who won theNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937.[1] He is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle. He was also active in the Hungarian Resistance during World War II and entered Hungarian politics after the war.\n\n
  • Making progress on features is false progress. In the Lean Startup model, the measure of progress is validated learning. In other words--proving your hypotheses. \n
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