As the conversation around Lean UX heats up in the blogs, Twitters and conferences a lot of reference is made to the ideas of lean startup promoted by Eric Ries, Steve Blank and others. Many discussions focus on how user experience and design can exist in the highly iterative and test-driven world embodied by that movement and the companies that employ it. Indeed, lean startup thinking along with Agile philosophies served as inspiration for the Lean UX methodologies and practices I and others have promoted. It’s no surprise then that when the conversation is focused on other types of organizations the Lean UX approach meets with skepticism.
In the second part of this two-part series on adding game mechanics to Agile (read Part 1) processes, I want to discuss limiting the amount of cards a team has “in flight” at any given time.
By in-flight, I mean cards that are actively being worked on by developers. Limitation is defined as not taking another card from the backlog until there are less cards being actively coded than the limitation. Specifically, consider limiting this number to one less than the number of developers you have on your scrum team. There are several benefits to this technique. Here are three:
Seems like everybody wants to gamify everything these days. Far be it for me to not jump on this bandwagon as well :-).
When properly harnessed, adding game mechanics to certain processes can make them more fun, engage the team performing them and increase the productivity and quality of output from that team. As we continue to evolve our Agile practices, we’ve experimented with some game mechanics to see what, if anything, is effective in increasing our velocity as well as the quality of our work. In the inaugural post of this series, I’d like to show you how aging your feature cards can help your team focus and unblock itself.
I was speaking to an entrepreneur the other day when he mentioned he was looking for a “creative director with UX skills.” He added,”…someone whose aesthetic I really like.” I responded ,”Good luck.”