9-11 May 2018

thestudio, Manchester

Assumption mapping for humans

Session type:

Session duration:
60 minutes

Presented by:

Cara Bermingham

Co-op Digital

About this Workshop

My workshop will introduce the concept of assumption mapping as an exercise for products, with a brief run-through of my experience working with it in product teams.

I'll then move on to the other assumptions we make when we start building products - the ones about our teams and our people. This includes:

  • the types of assumptions we make about teams (how they like to work, what makes them happy)
  • the more serious assumptions we make about people that can hold them back (assuming what they'd be interested to work on, that they aren’t ‘creative’)
  • why we do this (unconscious bias and how our brains try to help us by filling in the gaps)
  • ways that we can start to change this behaviour - good habits we can start to form around how we deal with people (testing and validating our human assumptions)

I’ll weave in a practical element to the session - a simulated team kick off (charter) exercise that looks at generating all the types of assumptions we make about teams and people at the start of a project. We will then map those out as high risk and low risk and talk about what the really dangerous assumptions are, ie the things that can ruin people’s progression and happiness in a team.

Participants will come away with:

  • more knowledge about unconscious bias and how they can start to be aware of and counteract it
  • a practical session they could run with a team when they start working together

About the Speaker

Cara Bermingham is Head of Agile Delivery at Co-op Digital. Previously an agile delivery coach at ustwo and other digital agencies over the years, she's worked with teams of all shapes, sizes and locations. She's incredibly nosy, and spends most of her time trying to figure out what makes people tick.


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