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Abandoning Agile, Leaving Lean

Austin Govella

The problem isn't waterfall. It's not deliverables. And, big upfront design is a big, straw bogey man trotted out to scare young UXers.

Agile and lean promise fundamental changes to your process, so you can improve your outcomes. Like other approaches, agile and lean bring their own sets of problems and barriers. Oddly, for bringing such fundamental change, they often bring the same problems and barriers your teams faced before they were agile and lean.

This is because agile and lean don't really change your process. They change your focus. I'll say that again because I think it's important: agile and lean don't change your process; they change your focus.

And the problems inherent with your process don't have to do with focus. You won't fix your problems by becoming agile or lean. You fix your problems by understanding when to be agile, when to be lean, and when to focus on the experience.

In this presentation, we'll tear agile and lean and UX apart to see what makes them work, and what makes them fail. We'll explore the universal activities teams use to get products out the door. And we'll understand the constraints that drive the effectiveness of those activities.

Once we're done, you'll go back to work knowing how to adjust what your team does. But more important, you'll know when to make what adjustment when. You'll be able to create better teams, better products, and better experiences.

About Austin Govella

Austin Govella is an Experience Design Manager with Avanade where he helps reinvent enterprise collaboration. Previously, he helped redesign the Spanish language website for Verizon FiOS that improved conversions by 40%. Before that he worked at Comcast and the World Bank as a Sr. Information Architect.

In 2009, Austin co-wrote 'Information Architecture: Blueprints for the web', 2nd ed., with Christina Wodtke. Austin is a development editor at Boxes and Arrows, and his work is featured in 'Information Architecture for the World Wide Web', 3rd ed. Austin writes about better teams, products, and experiences at his blog, Thinking and Making.




NOTE: Due to issues with the iPhone this video was recorded on, you might experience some glitches. Also, the video was cut off abruptly during the Q&A portion due to a lack of space on the iPhone.

This Meeting Happened in the Past

It was held on to at Improving Enterprises. This meeting was graciously sponsored by Improving Enterprises.