Human-Centered Agile - Building Next Generation Agile Programs with Human-Centered Design
Brad Lehman Joe Montalbano

Supercharge your Agile with Human-Centered Design We combined Human-Centered Design (HCD) with Agile for a “best of both worlds” approach that achieved striking results.

Challenges were :

1. These professions have different mindsets and often struggle to speak to one another. HCD Practitioners are used to spending most of their time in the problem space while Agilists tend to think and work more in the solution space.

2. Planning HCD work, especially at scale, can be tricky because HCD teams plan their work slightly ahead of development teams.

3. Team topology can also be problematic.

Examples of our trial-and-error team topology experiments will be given and discussed with a focus on creating shared services HCD teams. In this Experience Report the authors will discuss our experiences inadvertently creating “Human-Centered Agile” at a large government agency. We will discuss lessons learned, specifically:

1. We developed an effective, lightweight “Research Roadmap” to visualize and plan HCD work just a little in advance of development work.

2. Team Topology: We found that having HCD skills at the team-of-teams level and having that work planned effectively works the best.

3. Using quantitative and qualitative HCD methods to drive “Continuous Evaluation” of released work results in better user outcomes and increases solution satisfaction. We will show attendees exactly how to do the same.

4. How to use HCD methods to help teams and Product Owners make good decisions earlier in the Cone of Uncertainty.

Learning Objectives
• Learn how to use the Research Roadmap to plan their HCD work in a way that works, even at scale, without building queues.

• Avoid making the critical mistakes the authors made in team formation, launch, and topology and learn from their experience in this area.

• Learn what HCD is, how it can make your programs stronger, and how it is different from development work, especially when planning.

• Learn how to use HCD methods to empower Product Owners with information they never had previously.

• Learn how HCD thinking can enhance post-release evaluation by leveraging qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques and how to update and re-evaluate this insight on cadence.

• Learn how to enhance overall overall solution quality by talking to lots (and lots!) of users.
Learning Level
Session Type
Experience Report
innovation, scrum, Planning, Design thinking, Process, BDD, quality, SAFe, HCD, human-centered-design, Roadmap, human centered design, Customer Centric, insights, user_persona, methods, Experience_Report, user-research, discovery, discovery_process