Project Management with Scrum

10 Jun 2008 - 2:11pm
6 years ago
3 replies
1261 reads
gasin
2008

Hey All,

I would like to know if anyone out there has any experience working with the Scrum Project Management and how it ties in with the whole design process (starting from site maps and wireframes to visual comps).
Scrum (for those of you are not aware of it) is a more start up like management style where there is more of emphasis on collective responsibility (as opposed to responsibility of the proj manager). Also, in Scrum the work requirements, development and QA happen side by side (as opposed to one after another). So basically, you work on smaller pieces of the puzzle. This seems like a very beneficial procedure for dev and QA since they can work on smaller pieces side by side.
Design however doesn't happen on a small chunk by chunk basis, and the designers cannot design just a wireframe and visual for one page for the first round of deliverables and then design the another bunch of pages for the next round of deliverables and so on and so on...

Would like to hear back from you all as to how to work with other teams with a Scrum style of management.

Thanks,
G

Read more about Scrum::
http://www.rallydev.com/documents/scrumprimer.pdf

Comments

10 Jun 2008 - 6:01pm
Itamar Medeiros
2006

There were several threads in this list regarding Agile Methodologies
(http://www.ixda.org/search.php?tag=agile). One I particularly
recommend you checking it out is:

"Interaction Design in an Agile Environment"
(http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=28227&search=agile)

There was this really interesting talk during the IxDA Interactions
'08 conference call "User Interface Design in an Agile Environment:
Enter the Design Studio": the video of that talk has recently been
made available at: http://interaction08.ixda.org/Jeff_White and Jim
Ungar.php

---
{ Itamar Medeiros } Information Designer
http://designative.info/
http://www.autodesk.com/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30115

11 Jun 2008 - 12:38am
White, Jeff
2007

This is quite a question, G. :-) A large portion of this community and the
design community in general feel passionately that Agile is not a good
environment for things like experience design - UCD, IxD, UI, etc. See the
references Itamar sent, they lead to some pretty passionate debate. I don't
share that opinion, but that's not the point :-)

That said, the key to doing design work in the context of agile boils down
to a few things, IMO:

1. Get design ahead of development. I disagree that designers can't focus on
chunks at a time. You don't have to do everything all at once & go for the
"handoff", but as you imply it's unwise to make design decisions in real
time w/o exploring alternatives, doing research, discovering context, etc -
so design has to get ahead. Assuming you're integrated with the team at the
very beginning or 1st sprint, you can let the engineers focus on
non-UI-intensive features while you're out interviewing, doing design work,
or whatever tasks you need to do. You should aim to do just enough research
& design to address the features the team anticipates working on in the next
two sprints. So, 1st sprint - UI research and design, developers "laying the
scaffolding" so to speak. And I know not being to do all of the design work
at once in a holistic fashion is certainly a departure from what we're used
to and know as a best practice - just remember, things can always change if
they aren't right in agile. If your teams resist experimentation and
reworking things, they are not practicing agile correctly.

At the beginning of the second sprint, you have enough design done to last
the team 2 or 3 sprints. You'll need to be tightly integrated with the team,
as issues arise and decisions need to be made, but really you're off
focusing on more research for upcoming features, usability testing the
features currently being built, bringing changes to the table, etc. Getting
ahead allows for the more traditional IxD / UCD practices that we're used
to. But really, you have to let go of the idea of doing design for all of
the requirements and then handing that off to engineers. For better or
worse, that approach simply will not work in Agile.

2. Find different ways to communicate. If you spend tons of time on
traditional documentation, you'll drown. Wireframes can be sketches on a
whiteboard presented in person to the team, with a picture taken and posted
on a wiki or similar tool for documentation. Once the team understands the
general design approach, they'll be busy setting up back end stuff for those
features while you're off doing the finished graphic treatment for your
wireframe, then delivering that to the team just in time. In general focus
more on face to face communication and collaboration instead of producing
documentation by yourself and then handing it off to engineers.

3. Take more of a leadership role. Agile, and Scrum specifically, encourage
role sharing. The role of design and even research can and should be shared
with the engineers on your team. But it's important that you the play the
role of educator/design leader. In the past the teams I worked with have
done collaborative design sessions (facilitated by a design lead), gone
along with the lead designer/researcher on interviews, observation,
usability testing, card sorts, etc. It's a really good idea to bring an
engineer along with you as note taker if you're using these research
techniques.

There's a lot more to be said, but hope this helps.

Jeff

On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 12:11 PM, G <gasin at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hey All,
>
> I would like to know if anyone out there has any experience working with
> the Scrum Project Management and how it ties in with the whole design
> process (starting from site maps and wireframes to visual comps).
> Scrum (for those of you are not aware of it) is a more start up like
> management style where there is more of emphasis on collective
> responsibility (as opposed to responsibility of the proj manager). Also, in
> Scrum the work requirements, development and QA happen side by side (as
> opposed to one after another). So basically, you work on smaller pieces of
> the puzzle. This seems like a very beneficial procedure for dev and QA since
> they can work on smaller pieces side by side.
> Design however doesn't happen on a small chunk by chunk basis, and the
> designers cannot design just a wireframe and visual for one page for the
> first round of deliverables and then design the another bunch of pages for
> the next round of deliverables and so on and so on...
>
> Would like to hear back from you all as to how to work with other teams
> with a Scrum style of management.
>
> Thanks,
> G
>
>
> Read more about Scrum::
> http://www.rallydev.com/documents/scrumprimer.pdf
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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>

11 Jun 2008 - 3:53am
Jens Meiert
2004

> I would like to know if anyone out there has any experience working with
> the Scrum Project Management

Just a very quick note that me, I had quite good experiences with
Agile Development in general and scrums in specific, as they do help
all people involved getting quick status updates and iterating in a
very fast way. However, scrums are a tool that does not replace
"traditional" project management (that's what I kind of read between
the lines) though.

--
Jens Meiert
http://meiert.com/en/

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