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Designers, Developers & Dogs

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Designers, Developers and Dogs: Finding the magic balance between product and tech - Charlotte Vorbeck, ShareNow and Sahil Bajaj

How can an agile delivery team become a successful product team? When does collaboration between product and tech succeed and when not? Why do people in some teams inspire each other while others in the same environment don't speak the same language? In this talk we want to share our learnings and experiences from rebuilding an internal tool for customer support at ShareNow. What could have been just another boring rewrite surprisingly became one of our best experiences in collaboration. We will look at how a joint discovery phase helped us to come up with a shared vision, how a better team setup enabled us to do the necessary work, how focusing on the customer kept us aligned during our journey, and also how we built upon existing collaborative techniques to achieve this new level of cooperation and trust.

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Designers, Developers & Dogs

  1. 1. Finding the magic balance between product and tech Designers, Developers and Dogs #YConf2020
  2. 2. A Case Study Sahil Bajaj Developer at ThoughtWorks Charlotte Vorbeck UX Designer at ShareNow
  3. 3. Carsharing - for fewer cars in the city get the app and start driving 3 Mio customers in Europe 16 cities in 8 countries 12,000 vehicles
  4. 4. MOpS! Mobility Operations Suite
  5. 5. MOpS! Mobility Operations Suite ● Tool for customer support agents ● Search, overview, rentals, payments, driver licenses ● Replace legacy BackOffice system: - Difficult to release changes - Built with no UX support - More than 7 interdependent teams
  6. 6. Shorten lead times Reduce call time Simplify development Provide better support MOpS will…
  7. 7. It was successful! In time Beta phase after 4,5 months, Rollout to all users after 6 months Good adoption 50% of the user journey has moved into new tool 5 teams already started integrating Feedback Happy users Integrating teams like us Stakeholders happy to collaborate yeah, you were one of the best teams that I worked with and kept me motivated
  8. 8. And a lot of fun!
  9. 9. Why was it such a good experience? Hey Charlotte! MOpS was one of my best projects in ThoughtWorks so far - thanks for the great experience! Hey Sahil, for me too! It felt like we were really in the flow 🙌 Yes and there was this good energy around. I wonder what made it so different? 🤔 Yes, I felt there was so much trust and respect for each other. The project was quite unusual – maybe we should do a talk about it!
  10. 10. 10 Unique Things That Made Our Product Awesome You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!
  11. 11. Get out of the building (and take the developers with you) Reframe the problem around customer support processes Synthesize learnings visually (maps) Doing product discovery together 1
  12. 12. Get out of the building (and take the developers with you) Reframe the problem around customer support processes Synthesize learnings visually (maps) Doing product discovery together 1
  13. 13. Get out of the building (and take the developers with you) Reframe the problem around customer support processes Synthesize learnings visually (maps) Doing product discovery together 1
  14. 14. Alignment workshop (team + management) Informed by discovery work, experience, previous research Collaborative decision making Management very supportive and leading by example Getting buy-in from everyone 2
  15. 15. Setting up a balanced team 3 Other Teams High focus on solving technical problems, less effort in understanding and solving the user problems DEV DEV DEV PO UX Enough resources to do the required research and development work BA DEV DEV DEV DEV DEV UXUX PO DEV Taking "full stack" to the product team MOpS Team DEV DEV
  16. 16. Know where to focus effort Don’t be too fixed – make it a discussion Reevaluate! Discussing ways of working Meetings Practices Travel Roles and Responsibilities 4
  17. 17. Building user feedback loops Direct communication: interviews, round tables, surveys, regular field visits Set up feedback channels: Slack, ServiceDesk, hotjar feedback Beta rollout phase, including first look sessions, and 1:1 feedback Started gathering metrics for old and new systems 5
  18. 18. De-risking user journeys Transition strategy to keep amount of construction sites low “What do we need to understand in order to be more confident?” Prototype or production? Prototype can validate ideas, but only production code will replace a working system Technical de-risking: user journey in thin vertical slices, no mocking 6
  19. 19. Needed more process to coordinate who does what Transparency around activities, progress and effort Enables communication inside and outside the team Involving devs earlier to find better ideas Making shaping work visible 7
  20. 20. Pairing with everyone Align multiple perspectives right from the start Co-construct problem understanding and solutions Validate thinking, share knowledge 8
  21. 21. Overcoming mental borders Pick up work out of the comfort zone Don’t get stuck on the roles Avoids bottlenecks 9
  22. 22. Making some noise Talk to each other! Safe, trusting environment Low egos 10 It is not only work! Learn to dance salsa Support each other in a pandemic crisis
  23. 23. 6 1 8 3 2 7 4 9 10 5 Setting up a balanced team Getting buy-in from everyone De-risking user journeys Making shaping work visible Pairing with everyone Discussing ways of working Overcoming mental borders Making some noise Building user feedback loops Doing product discovery together 10 Unique Things That Made Our Product Awesome
  24. 24. 8 2 4 10 Be a good team Have an aligned strategy Have a collaborative team doing the work together Shape your idea before you bet on it Focus on collective results rather than individual goals Test only your biggest risks Understand what is valuable, usable and feasible Get the right kind of user data in every stage of your product
  25. 25. How can we make these practices more common? Building a collaborative culture – maybe starts with hiring? Constantly understanding the customer feels time-consuming Shift from output to outcome? What skills to invest in when moving from projects to products? Flow and value vs. utilization The thought that an engineering team might be sitting around with nothing to do but play Foosball just drives management nuts. Ironically, it is precisely this reasoning that leads directly to wasted engineering resources —Marty Cagan
  26. 26. And if I had to bet on which teams were most likely to build great products, I’d bet on the collaborative team every time. Teresa Torres - ProductTalk Collaboration is better! #YConf2020