Demo driven agile products - what hooks our brains

10–12th May 2017 at thestudio

A 90 minute Workshop by:

Oana Juncu


About this Workshop

The practice of customer centric agile product development highlights the importance of one agile ceremony: the demo. A product tells a story where users are the heroes. Developing a product is like crafting a story. A demo is like telling the story of a sprint.

The demo is the hands-on validation of achieved value. It enables focused, effective and concrete feedback from customers. It projects us into the story of users' experiences using the product.

Why does story matter? Because the human brain is story wired. It infers the information it receives and builds patterns for fast decision. We love thinking concepts, and at the same time, the brain needs concrete data to focus our attention on relevant information. Demos, as stories and experiments, meet this need for concreteness.

If the product is a user experience story, what about building it as a TV show? And what if in this TV show each sprint demo is built like an episode? This workshop shows how we can build an agile incremental product as a serial experiment, which tells a story where users are heroes. Neuroscience perspectives of each test-driven activity¬Ě will be highlighted to explain what story ingredients hook customers' and stakeholders' minds.

The workshop will be organised in groups of 6 to 8 participants and has 4 phases:

Phase 1: I'll introduce neuroscience, and some of our day-to-day cognitive pitfalls, through a couple of examples on how language and our own cognitive filters distort reality. I'll explain why and how storytelling feeds the need of our story wired brain to project itself in a concrete rather than conceptual environment.

Phase 2: choose a product to be built, the user's profile and learn some storytelling techniques. With these tools, groups create the storyboard of the product.

Phase 3: define and tell a 1st iteration (sprint) of the product and prepare the demo like a 1st episode of a TV show. Learn the techniques of good episode scenarios and use them. Each group takes a video and presents the "1st sprint" demo of the product. We'll define "the what-to-demo scenarios" for the next iteration and the test needed in a screenplaying way.

Phase 4: wrap-up and debrief : what did you learn? What will you take away?

About the Speaker

Oana likes to call herself a business DJ who mixes from a system thinking perspective whatever practices teams and organisations need - from agile UX, design thinking, scrum, kanban, lean startup, storytelling and neuroscience - to make people proud of their outcome and keep their customers delighted.

She likes to help teams develop a product ownership user-centric mindset, very much oriented on business agility to deliver value, using UX, design thinking, scrum, kanban, lean startup and all different types of facilitation to trigger creative thinking.

Her favorite outcome: a learning culture organisation, committed to experiments rather than to binary success/failure mode.


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