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7 - 8 May 2015

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK

Everything is an Experiment (Using the Scientific Method in Software Development)

Tami Reiss Cyrus Innovation

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Tutorial

The scientific method (hypothesis driven testing) is something that we often think about as reserved for scientists, but all members of a team can employ scientific techniques. All team members can conduct good experiments to get objective decisions based on conclusive evidence.

Engineers - don't design too much before building. Sometimes they have to spike and test out a small part of their idea to validate it; use test driven development in general as well as exploratory testing; encourage product + design to validate and test their ideas before they build something.

Designers - employ prototyping tools, A/B test, including an option they hate when showing people something (null hypothesis to have a baseline for comparison); establish before user testing what they will be validating this time instead of just observing, don't create bias (dirty data is bad for scientists); etc.

Product Managers - always learning. They must identify assumptions and create ways to test them; try to create the MVP of features not just an MVP of the whole product; be ok with failed tests, learning that you were going down the wrong path is still learning; be transparent about failed experiments because it's still learning; encourage other team members to test and learn as well.

About the Speaker

Tami Reiss is the Chief Product Officer at Cyrus Innovation, a boutique consulting firm that embeds talented Agile developers on clients teams to help them accomplish their goals.

She was formerly a Sr. Product Manager at Pivotal Labs where she consulted with companies on employing agile and lean methodologies to turn good ideas into great products. In her free time she chairs a charity bike ride, co-organises a Product/Design focused meetup, and is trying to visit 50 countries and all 50 states by the time she's 40.


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Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.