When Josh Seiden, Giff Constable and I first launched Proof (now Neo NYC) we had a vision for a studio that designed and built meaningful, successful digital businesses for our clients. We would work with agile methodologies and incorporate lean thinking into our process focusing heavily on early experimentation, validation and course correction before committing … Continue reading Clients don’t want to buy experiments
Seven years ago I moved back to the East Coast and took a job at an agency. Before accepting my offer I asked my potentially new boss how much support she believed the agency had for interaction design (they were strong on visual design and content). She replied with a note from the President of … Continue reading Do you really have executive buy-in?
The difference between successful teams and leaders and those less so boils down to humility. Specifically, it's being humble enough to admit they don't know the answer up front. That simple admission changes the dynamic of the team immediately. It levels the playing field by letting everyone else admit that they're not confident in their … Continue reading I have no idea what I’m doing
I found the following excerpt on Derek Siver's blog. It's from a book called Art and Fear: The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would begraded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on … Continue reading Quantity trumps quality (at first)
In the industrial-era model of managing a company creativity was reserved for the executive suite. Only leaders and managers were allowed to determine what the company was going to build and how to implement it. These decisions were then pushed down to the execution teams who took this direction and executed it to the letter. … Continue reading Democratize creativity
I spend a lot of time consulting with large organizations grappling with making Agile work as an engineering practice and then expanding it to include marketing, product management and eventually user experience and design. Often these companies have invested not only in training but in full-time coaches dedicated to making sure these new practices stick. … Continue reading Agile coaches, I am your friend
Change is hard and often scary. Change in the enterprise is even scarier because it involves changing the way people work, how they're compensated and incentivized, how they manage (and are managed) and what determines success. Whenever I work with organizations undertaking a significant change -- like becoming more agile or building in lean … Continue reading Turn Left!
Implementing an agile product development process has many challenges. One that is not regularly addressed is who will lead each of the scrum teams. Many organizations default to the, seemingly obvious, answer of the scrum master. Often ill-defined (even with "certification") this role is essentially the Agile version of the project manager. But Agile teams … Continue reading Designers — an untapped pool of Agile leadership
Making user experience and design work in an Agile environment is one of the biggest challenges facing product development teams today. Lean UX is the most effective way to design a process to solve this challenge. However, there is an even more fundamental and critical transformation your organization has to make in order to facilitate … Continue reading The answer to the Agile-UX question
“That’s not Agile!” “We’re not being lean enough.” “We’re not supposed to make deliverables!” Sound familiar? I hear these statements all the time from teams moving towards a more evidence-based approach to product discovery, conception and production. Somewhere, someone made a decision for the teams to now “do Agile & Lean” … Continue reading Purity vs. Pragmatism