I’m excited by the work we’ve been doing with Agile teams and defining the best relationship between Agile Development and user-centered design. Here’s some of what we’re up to:

New Publication: Agile User-Centered Design

UX designers have found Agile methods to be a mixed blessing. On the one hand Agile methods define a role for the customer voice on the team—so they have a natural user focus built in. But the new methods disrupt existing relationships and ways of working, they introduce a new culture (which takes some getting used to), and their idea of user involvement isn’t exactly what user-centered design people expect.

In this newly published monograph (or lecture, as the publisher calls it), I bring together our latest thinking for how Agile development and user-centered design should be combined. I discuss the key elements of Agile for the UX community and describe strategies UX people can use to contribute effectively in an Agile team, overcome key weaknesses in Agile methods as typically implemented, and produce a more robust process and more successful designs. I talk a lot about Agile as it’s really showing up in organizations, as opposed to how it’s defined ideally, and suggest ways UX designers can cope.

The lecture is available for purchase as an online document (PDF) and also in hardcopy at Amazon.

Agile 2010

I’ll be presenting a session at Agile 2010, the big conference on Agile development. The conference covers all aspects of Agile development, including managing the process, how-to, and experience reports. I’ll be presenting a hands-on session on Wednesday, The User Feedback Two-Step. I’ll use a simulation game to give participants the experience of working on an Agile project, both as developers and as UX designers. The game lets participants practice how to plan stories and schedule work into coherent iterations. Come say hello if you’re there!

Agile Boston Open Space

The Boston Agile group is hosting an “Open Space”, a day-long mini-seminar, on September 16.  I’ll be convening a session on how UX designers work within an Agile process. We’ll discuss industry best practices and share stories about what’s worked and what hasn’t. Open space sessions tend to be more free-wheeling and interactive, so it should be a good time.

That’s it. I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of one or more of these opportunities—this is an exciting time in the world of Agile and it’s fun to be part of it.