Thursday, September 29, 2011

Agile project management: Overcome product design & dev obstacles

Morning snack - Agile: Flexibility in product design & development 
Courtesy of
I ran a cross an article called Agile project management helps overcome IT obstacles published by While the focus is on product development from an IT perspective, I thought I'd take a product designer's perspective. 

Ironically, the three lessons the author noted below, are the same for product design. Concept & design just typically kickoff the project lifecycle.

1. No one knows what they want until they see it. (Amen!)
2. Once they see it, they will want to change it. (Guaranteed)
3. At best, large projects will be challenged; at worst, they will fail. (Can you say chunking and SCRUM?)

Okay, these are basically universal truths because, well, people are involved, and people have opinions and a lot of them. Because of thatI'm adding a few more things to this list:

4. Implement processes like Agile ASAP
5. Pictures & sketches are worth a 1000 words
6. Use wireframes and UI diagrams
7. Don't be afraid to chuck the design if it's not working
8. Test, retest. Assess, reassess. Get it in front of people who will use it.

Care to share your opinion on this? What is the key lesson for you?


  1. What software do you use to manage your process?

  2. Thanks for asking. We use MS Project to manage projects. Deliverables are in three to four week increments in accordance with the agile principles of software development. We're using Sharepoint to manage project artifacts like wireframes, specs, etc, but I'm also a HUGE fan of using Google Docs. The content management system, document naming conventions and numbering, and version control have been incredibly helpful even though we have less documentation that what's generated from using a more traditional SDLC. I hope this answers your question sufficiently. Please let me know if you want to dig deeper. Thanks!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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