I recently had the honor of sharing my experience as a UX designer with Agile for Patriots and their 5th cohort to become scrum masters. This group of veterans get to learn this vital career skill in a 2-week class. It is an honor for me to speak to this enthusiastic, and information hungry group of adults who want to better themselves by picking up this fantastic skill. Plus, it is a great way for me to give back to the community and learn something from them as well. I am always blown away not by just their amazing history in military service, but the diverse professional backgrounds that this group of folks have already been in.
Thanks goes out to Greg Gomel and all of those supporting Agile for Patriots for letting me come in to class and share my insights and stories. So proud to participate and meet some of our proud veterans.
One professional goal I am working on for 2018 is to speak publicly more about my craft. I do feel comfortable talking in front of a group. It just takes a bit of discipline on my part to have a presentation ready to go. ha ha
My good friend and professional networking guru, Greg Gomel, reached out to me to ask me to speak to the current Agile for Patriots Scrum master certification class. I was honored that he thought I was capable and a good candidate to speak to his class. I was nervous because I didn’t have a lot of time to throw a presentation together. Yikes! But I knew with a kick in the butt like this, I could get a good presentation together in no time.
I was up for the challenge. I had a presentation I created a while ago for a previous employer explain the basics of UX. So I could use that former presentation as a base. But I wanted to cater this talk to show the scrum masters-to-be how UX ties in to agile.
I know there is a lot of confusion about how and where UX falls in the the agile lifecycle, and in to the developers’ sprints. I wanted to demystify that a bit and prepare them for the future of when they will be leading teams that will (hopefully) include a UX designer. I wanted them to not only learn about UX, but know how User Experience Research and Design works in to the development team.
After I gave my presentation, the asked me to stay and review and critique the website they were building for the class. So I gave them practical advice on some of the design decisions they had made as well as how to improve some things. The students were very receptive to my professional feedback and suggestions. It was a healthy dialog. I helped them to learn about better User Experience and Design. And they helped me to learn about the constraints they were dealing with and the business goals they needed to accomplish for their client.
One point I wanted to emphasize to the scrum masters in training is to always to include the UX Designer in all scrum ceremonies. As a UX Designer, I have been excluded in scrum ceremonies because it was considered too “developer” focused. The value of UX designers being included is so vast:
UX Designers should be in the scrum meetings so that we are “in the know.”
We need hear what is coming down the pike so we can plan our projects and research accordingly.
We can hear when design decisions are being made without consideration from users or the UX designer. (This should NEVER be happening, but it does. Uhg.)
We can provide insight in to how we can do testing on the projects as they are in flight.
Finally, we are part of the team. Make sure we are not excluded, and therefore left out of important discussions and decisions.