What if collaboration, conversation and a belligerent focus on the customer we… – Imtiaz Kaderbhoy

My presentation will take attendees on a journey that starts with a problem (what else could it start with!). And from that problem, how our mindset, from this initial starting point, plays a significant role in the quality of our work and outcomes. Are we willing to accept complexity, visualize, experiment, co-create and start with a human centric approach?

How many of us think we start with a problem, but are solutioning? Recommending the next big IT system to crack the latest nut, recommending a radical process overall with the promise of substantial benefits. How often do we really take the time to understand the problem, draw out cause and effect diagrams and ask why, why, why, why, why?

What happens next, business case, detailed functional specs, feasibility studies. What about learning about the customer, understanding their needs? Could we empathy map, to sit alongside customer journey maps, acquire further insights into our customers to really get a detailed understanding.

Having completed our problem analysis, we’ve summarized, evaluated, and agreed a team view of the problem, we should then start ideating and ask, ‘How Might We’. These three small words pack a lot of punch, and we will seek to understand why this is so important in the delivery of high-quality solutions.

Ideation must be a highly collaborative, fun, and creative process. Hearing an abundance of awesome ideas supports free thinking and help break down barriers especially in hierarchical businesses. Brainwriting, collaborative games can all be used at this stage to help achieve amazing outcomes. How can we implement these practices into our way of working?
What we don’t do is disappear for 2 weeks and write a 200-page functional specification. Let’s collaborate and visualize, and create models that our teams can play with, experience, change, adapt. At this stage, our requirements are writing themselves! And let’s build the minimum set of features required to take our solution to market and test it, learn, and adapt quickly and constantly improve. But how is this possible?

If nothing else, the last 2 years has taught us how important learning and adapting is, so let’s keep testing and adapting what we learnt when we were understanding and observing. Let’s not move straight into BAU, or benefits realisation, lets learn even more about the customer, challenge, evaluate and adapt. Are we A/B testing, usability testing, capturing feedback?

Agile on the Beach is a leading annual conference in Falmouth, Cornwall UK. Since 2011 Agile on the Beach has been a two day agile conference, set on the Cornish coast with a beach party in between. The conference explores agile software, products, teams, business and practices. With over 400 attending, the conference hosts 50 seminars and workshops to provide the ultimate agile learning experience, along with ample opportunities for networking at its three evening events.

Got to agileonthebeach.com for more details

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