Successful User Experience in an Agile Enterprise Environment


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This presentation was given at HCI International in San Diego, CA on 7/23/2009 by Melissa Federoff, manager of the Usability Team at is a leader in the enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) marketplace.

Background on the presentation: In 2006,’s Research and Development (R&D) organization transitioned over 30 product teams from a waterfall development process to an agile one. The R&D department is responsible for producing all products offered to customers. After the transition, it was clear that User Experience (UX) team members were dissatisfied. When asked 6 months into the rollout if agile was making their work life better, only 24% agreed. This paper presentation discusses how the team and management responded to this data and as a result reached an 85% satisfaction rate a year later.

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Successful User Experience in an Agile Enterprise Environment

  1. 1. Achieving UCD within Agile Melissa Federoff Usability Team Manager A success story from
  2. 2. Safe Harbor Agreement Safe harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This presentation may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If any such uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions proves incorrect, the results of, inc. could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including any projections of subscriber growth, earnings, revenues, or other financial items and any statements regarding strategies or plans of management for future operations, statements of belief, any statements concerning new, planned, or upgraded services or technology developments and customer contracts or use of our services. The risks and uncertainties referred to above include – but are not limited to – risks associated with developing and delivering new functionality for our service, our new business model, our past operating losses, possible fluctuations in our operating results and rate of growth, interruptions or delays in our Web hosting, breach of our security measures, the immature market in which we operate, our relatively limited operating history, our ability to expand, retain, and motivate our employees and manage our growth, new releases of our service and successful customer deployment, and utilization and selling to larger enterprise customers. Further information on potential factors that could affect the financial results of, inc. is included in our annual report on Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended January 31, 2008, our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for our fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2008, and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These documents are available on the SEC Filings section of the Investor Information section of our Web site. Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make the purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available., inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
  3. 3. Goals of this Talk Overview our User Experience team’s transition to Agile Offer hints at strategies for success
  4. 4. Simple Facts UX at
  5. 5. An easy place to get inspired <ul><li> is the enterprise cloud computing company </li></ul><ul><li>Software as a service model (we host the infrastructure and data) </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application & platform </li></ul><ul><li>59,300 customers | 1.5 million subscribers | 3,600 full-time employees </li></ul>
  6. 6. UX at Where creativity & collaboration rule  <ul><li>An ever growing team: </li></ul><ul><li>Design: Visual Designers, Interaction Designers </li></ul><ul><li>Research: Usability Analysts, User Researchers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Simple Facts Moving to Agile
  8. 8. Why the move to Agile? 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Features Delivered per Team Days between Major Releases Features Delivered per Team
  9. 9. Key differences with Agile FACE TO FACE check-ins daily  increases visibility TEAM DRIVEN decisions  increases accountability TIME BOXED development  increases predictability INCREMENTAL releases  manageability
  10. 10. 6 months later… Survey Question % of all Technology that agreed % of UX that agreed Is agile making your team more effective? 80 30 Agile will maintain or improve the quality of our products. 78 42 Since the rollout of agile, I am having a good time. 52 23
  11. 11. Key Problems Assigned to too many teams (too many meetings!) Timelines too tight Difficult to design complex enterprise features in segments
  12. 12. 18 months later… Survey Question % agree March 2007 % agree March 2008 Is agile making your team more effective? 30 73 Agile will maintain or improve the quality of our products. 42 86 Since the rollout of agile, I am having a good time. 23 86
  13. 13. Simple Facts Transitioning to Success
  14. 14. Key Problem #1 Assigned to too many teams (too many meetings!) Key Solution #1 Change resource allocation
  15. 15. Shared Resources How many scrum teams do you belong to? 1 team, 15% 2 teams, 15% 3 teams, 15% 4 teams, 38% 5 or more teams, 15%
  16. 16. Office Hours Predetermined time and location where scrum teams without designers can stop by for advice
  17. 17. Key Problem #2 Hard to design complex features in segments Key Solution #2 Parallel design & development
  18. 18. Parallel Design Design ahead while developers are working on back end features image from Agile case study by L. Miller, 2005
  19. 19. Key Problem #3 Difficult to get feedback to feature teams in time Key Solution #3 Maximize research efficiency
  20. 20. Rapid Iterative Testing & Evaluation (RITE) image from RITE case study by M. Medlock, 2002
  21. 21. Simple Facts 3 Years Later… Are we done?
  22. 22. Continued Evolution Improving communication and clarity of results Assessing Utility early, before Usability Bringing users into Sprint Reviews
  23. 23. Simple Facts Conclusion
  24. 24. Key Takeaways UX can be incorporated into Agile successfully Constant adaptation and flexibility are required There are lots of success stories to learn from!
  25. 25. Simple Facts Q&A p.s. We’re hiring!!
  26. 26. User Experience of Enterprise Software <ul><li>1. Designing International Enterprise Software Janaki Kumar, Daniel Rosenberg, Paul Hofmann, Michael Arent, SAP Labs, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>2. From Research to Product: Integrating Treemaps into Enterprise Software Joseph Goldberg, Jonathan Helfman, John Beresniewicz, Oracle USA, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>3. Successful User Experience in an Agile Enterprise Environment Melissa Federoff, Catherine Courage,, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>4. Customer Boards as Vehicles of Change in Enterprise Software User Experience Anna Wichansky, Oracle USA, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>5. A Retrospective and Prospective View of Information Technology Professionals’ Use of Tools: Maturing the User Experience Candace Soderston, Microsoft Corporation, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>6. Crafting Contemporary Enterprise Application User Experiences Jeremy Ashley, Misha Vaughan, Oracle USA, United States . </li></ul><ul><li>7. Designing for the Next Generation: Generation-Y Expectations Patanjali Venkatacharya, Sean Rice, Lulit Bezuayehu, Oracle USA, United States . </li></ul>