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I am a small business consultant with 17 years practical experience in leadership within Fortune 100 companies in the fields of marketing, PR, profit and loss, change management, internal consulting, process enhancements and risk. I have a BA in Psychology and MBA. I will  complete a Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership on April 25th 2019. My background has given me a perspective that is uniquely mine. I am fortunate enough to have a small business consulting firm to share my experiences with small businesses who can benefit most. Visit Strategy-Rocket.com to find out more information. 

 

I'm also a dog lover, Italian Greyhound aficionado and bird watcher.

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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Jones Taylor

Agile Sprint One: Getting the UX Right

Updated: Dec 8, 2018


I’m a believer that Agile has many flavors, and that when we’re creating an innovative and holistic user experience, the customer lives in the beginning, middle and end. When I refer to the user experience, I’m not referring to the UI, but the whole UX enchilada. I invite constructive dialogue in the spirit of making sense of the fuzzy front end of innovation, UX, and the controversy around “Sprint Zero”. 

“What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case, what did it matter if we did it on time and on budget?” - Eric Ries

Lean UX

I’ll start with a personal journey. We were looking for ways to help people find the best car solutions for their respective lifestyles. What would their full circle, ideal experience be? We were at the very fuzzy front end of innovation. 

“Watching, participating, asking and being in the same psychic and physical spaces and places as consumers enables us to understand and articulate their stories.” - Idris Mootee

Sprint Zero or Sprint One?

We started with anthropology, empathy and seeking to understand. By sprinting, literally and figuratively, we gleaned the customer insights we needed. We went back out into the streets with prototypes. Some of the ideas were epic fails, but all of them got us closer to the truth. 


Agile Execution 

We took the fruits of our labor, our HCD research, and tested the boundaries of our cross-functional capabilities. We synced the features, using our scrum teams to execute stories that brought the minimally marketable feature to life. In Scrum, Sprint Zero is a hotly debated topic, since the yield is supposed to be a usable working output. But isn’t getting the UX right critical to getting clarity around the fuzzy front end of what your customer value add will be? In the Scaled Agile Framework, Lean UX is a small part of the picture, and in my opinion, maybe too small. 


Back to the fuzzy front end

I think we veer off course when we start building without truly understanding what the customer wants. Yes, we should be delivering value now. We should test our hypotheses and fail fast. But this critical customer insight work needs to happen early and often. It has to begin at the large solution level, down to the program level, and then back up. The customer is central in the fuzzy front end, and throughout all iterations. I think UX is Sprint One because it’s a value adding sprint. It could be a little slower, but with a functioning piece of work (a malleable concept) being the output.

“If you guide an untested product to fruition and it fails, you could be losing far more time and money: more than if you tested it through front end innovation.” - Amelia Schrader
Integrating UX into Agile
Exploring where UX falls in Agile software development

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Welcome to my blog, where I discuss Organizational Change Management and Development. I embrace Prosci’s global ADKAR methodology, as a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner (PCCP), and the best practices for managing change at scale as a Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP designation) from the global Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP.)

 

I’m here to connect and collaborate with others passionate about change and overall business acumen. One of my interests is demonstrating the concrete value of enterprise change management, in the language of dollars and cents. Let’s do something great!

With 20 years in Fortune 100s, my roles include P&L responsibility, fulfillment and shared services functions. I often say have a 360 degree view of the business to augment my approach to Change, including stakeholder engagement resonant visions and cases for change.

 

My strategic planning and tactical execution in Change Management spans HR, Strategy, Digital, Brand, Marketing/MarTech, COO, DE&I, CTO, IT and CFO, where I have had the opportunity to positively impact the employee experience for 39k employees and millions of customers in concert with brilliant project teams.

I have a creative streak, which helps me achieve sustained results with minimal resources, when budgets are tight. For example, I co-patented a new business model for a financial services’ vehicle ownership.

 

Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering on the ACMP Virtual Engagement Committee, animal rescue, and creative writing, where two of my pieces have been recently published.

 

If we share common interests, let’s chat about the art of the possible!

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