Try This Exercise in Creating Personas for Software Design

A persona provide context and understanding when making decisions about what to build and why. They can represent a type of user such as guest, host, admin, or an archetype like Early Adopter or Life-Long Learner. Ultimately, personas capture the patterns that emerge when talking to multiple people. They drive empathy among teams we’re working […]

Leading Through Change During Software Projects

Delivery Leads are arbiters of the agile process. They create predictability and mitigate risks in spaces that are anything but predictable. DLs do this by ensuring that the team has a few sprints of ready work that has requirements and estimates. They schedule demos every couple of weeks and facilitate testing as soon as the […]

Software is Never Done: The Optimist’s Perspective

You may have heard the phrase “software is never done.” This means you should think of your software as an asset, something you must maintain year over year. Budgeting for maintenance (security, library, and codebase updates) is a necessity. A proactive approach wards off software rot, a costly result of software abandonment. Software is Never […]

3 Key Differentiators of Delivery Leads on Software Teams

The role of a Delivery Lead on a project can sound ambiguous if your experience has been to leverage Project Managers and SCRUM Masters in the planning or management of the development backlog. Where do Delivery Leads fit into the picture and what value does that role provide vs what our team already has? While […]

Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Ramping into an Existing Team

Joining an existing team can be daunting. There is much to learn about the team, the software, the industry, and the unspoken norms. What is the team working on right now? What are the biggest hurdles to overcome right now? How does the team like to use their calendars, Slack, and Zoom? While my goal […]

Consulting During a Software Client’s Reorganization

My product team is a mix of Atomic and client individuals. We’ve worked in this blended manner for years. Now, our client’s business is consolidating, laying off individuals, and it could (probably will) impact our team. I’ve been through this before as a consultant, and it’s some of the hardest consulting work I’ve experienced. Ambitious […]

Pairing with a Developer to Design an App – Part Two

I’m pairing with a Developer, Jordan Nelson, in a side by side think-aloud-style pairing session to redesign an app. You can read more about the why behind this experimental design process and come back here to read how we got started with an audit of the existing app. Gaining a better understanding is the start […]

Pairing with a Developer to Design an App – Part One

Product designers and developers commonly have a push and pull relationship. Collaboration and communication are key to align on a plan, but once the plan is made, each typically goes their separate way to get to work. This leaves developers with a surface-level understanding of what it really means when designers, well, design. Visibility into […]

Unblocking Complex Questions on Your Product Team

Making software is challenging. It can be incredibly complex with a lot of moving parts. Questions will come up that are difficult to answer, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the right language to ask. It’s important to have the right tools to get unblocked when we run up against these complex questions. When there […]