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Agile Planning: Learning to Iterate

This was the presentation @stueccles gave at the #firestarters event at Google UK. The event was about Agile Planning and Stuart talked about the origin of post-war production line processes, innovation for agencies, the lean agency and how to iterate successfully.

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Agile Planning: Learning to Iterate

  1. 1. #firestarters @stueccles
  2. 2. Holler Gram
  3. 3. We make new stuffout of the internet
  4. 4. Selling Stuff Making Stuff Useful
  5. 5. The Internet ate my business
  6. 6. Fragmented media:more difficult/expensivesimply to buy attention
  7. 7. On-demand Real time Opt-inA-la-carte world
  8. 8. Everything’s changed... (Everything keeps on changing)(It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down)
  9. 9. Digital possibilities seen through the lens of traditional advertising... All too often miss the real opportunitiesthanks @garethk
  10. 10. Opportunities like...
  11. 11. Fiat eco:Drive
  12. 12. Garmin Connect
  13. 13. “Ideas that do” Stop communicating products & start making communication productsGareth Kay, Goodby Silverstein & Partners
  14. 14. Are we able to innovate for our clients?
  15. 15. The Agency Innovation Scorecard D - Invention Creation of a new idea or processNoah Brier C - Innovation Arranging the economics requirements for implementing an invention A + DiffusionAdoption and imitation
  16. 16. [images: twitter, youtube, flickr, These guys arenapster, facebook, google, myspace, really good at it ebay, amazon, paypal, skype, slide, spotify, apple, drop box]
  17. 17. In the latest turn of its wheel,strategy becomes about howto make existing institutions as innovative as start-ups Walter Kiechel III, The Lords of Strategy
  18. 18. Act like a start-up MxM
  19. 19. • Rapid prototyping to test hypotheses• Minimum Viable Product (MVP)• Nail it then scale it• Customer obsession (development)• Iterative, metrics-driven & Agile• Learn fast, don’t fail fast
  20. 20. Steve BlankStartups are not a smallerversion of a large company
  21. 21. LargeStartup CompanyThe startup exists to search for a scalable business model
  22. 22. LargeStartup Company The large company exists toexecute a business model at scale
  23. 23. Thats great but we have *clients*
  24. 24. There is no one-to-one mapping (But there is lots to learn)
  25. 25. ‘The Lean Agency’Lean Agencies exist to search for new solutions to their clients problems
  26. 26. Thecharacteristics of a Lean Agency
  27. 27. Iterative
  28. 28. Integrated
  29. 29. Evidence/ Metrics Driven
  30. 30. Minimal Waste
  31. 31. so about iteration..
  32. 32. Lets mass produce this SOB!!
  33. 33. Client Brief ResearchStrategic Development Creative BriefCreative Development Production Media!
  34. 34. Traditional forms of planning and creative arelike betting on a hole-in-one
  35. 35. The holes in one are awesome
  36. 36. Kingsmill Bread ConfessionsBut most are not
  37. 37. RequirementsFunctional Specification Wireframes Visual Design Code Test Launch
  38. 38. Agile worked for us indevelopment but could it work in creative, design and strategy?
  39. 39. Skype Education ProjectA new service to help more teachers useSkype in the classroom
  40. 40. | Skype Education ProjectSkype came to uswith a comms briefTheyʼd noticed that teachers all over the world wereusing Skype in extraordinary ways.They wanted us to collect these stories and use themto promote the service & inspire other teachers.
  41. 41. | Skype Education ProjectWe responded with someideasAnd we proposed using an iterative, customer-development focused approach.This was an Agile software development projectdriven by a continuous feedback loop of qualitativeand quantitative data.
  42. 42. Our initialassumptions werethat it was allabout a lessonplanning toolwith examples,ideas and tips onintegrating Skypeinto learning
  43. 43. Use case #1: Invite an expert into the classroom Stage 1 2 3 4 Touchpoint How would you like to find an How would you like to How would you like to involve How would you like to share expert to take part in a User Needs contact them and what would an expert in planning or the experience with the ‘Skype visit’? Some type of you need to discuss? structuring the lesson? community? marketplace? Notes
  44. 44. “Getting out of the building” George Mayo Daniela Callegari Middle school language arts teacher in Maryland, USA Pioneer in technology and education Enthusiastic about helping the project Lisa Reid Primary school teacher in Italy No experience with Skype in the classroom yet Desperate to connect and find other classes 6th, 7th & 8th grade science teacher in Ohio, USA No experience with Skype in the classroom yet Keen to start using Skype (has used EduSkypers)Dan Sutch Tracy Peterson Technology teacher in Iowa, USAFutureLab :: innovation in education Has introduced her classes to initial Skype sessionsIn-depth knowledge of education & technology Keen to collaborate and extend usage of SkypeOpen to ongoing involvement in project
  45. 45. We discovered immediately that their biggest obstaclewas actually finding other teachers who also used Skype
  46. 46. They also told us that teachers don’t have time to read lots of lesson plans - video clips would be much more helpful
  47. 47. | Skype Education ProjectWe identified 3 key componentsfor an Alpha release candidateOngoing market research provided further evidencethat ʻFinding and sharingʼ was core. We piecedtogether the simplest thing (MVP) that would allow usto carry out lighter testing of our hypotheses at agreater scale on the Internet.We developed the first release in 2 iterations (4weeks).
  48. 48. Insights gleaned from teachers’ websites
  49. 49. Skype educatorecology SignMapping service Looking up Invite pioneerspropositions Willing to mentor for Tags / topics Locatio n Age Expert Status group wanting to Profile Questions & help Name answers Case D. Video/Comment Conversatio studies n Suggestion Video s Filter Belong Help Skype Search educator directory Parents IT Finding experts Schedulin g ‘How to’ Ask a guides School API driven Link with Connect question policy Time Tools other issues B. Micro-Profile zones teachers Sharing Profile search from anywhere Planning Curriculu m ‘How to’ guides The Skype Teach lesson Tools Resources Experiences of existing Feedbac community k A. Question & Answer C. Search/Filter
  50. 50. We sketched up 4 pages of a directory service which we tested with 7 teachers over Skype
  51. 51. Online surveys - 55 teachers - 7 countries - 20+ subjects Level of Skype teaching proficiency Expert 30% Intermediate 40% Novice 29%
  52. 52. “What teachers want”Find other teachers & share ideas 28% Find a partner class 25% Help other teachers 23% How to use Skype 11.5% Overcome obstacles to Skyping 9% Practice Skype 3%
  53. 53. “Teachers who think concept would be ‘very valuable’”60% -55% -50% -45% - Search/Filter Video Q&A
  54. 54. | Skype Education ProjectWe were working within atime and cost-boxed planWe used various Agile techniques as a way ofmanaging delivery whilst retaining the flexibility torespond to continuous feedback from testing.We created a charter that defined key metrics forsuccess and a shared vision with Skypeʼs projectstakeholders.
  55. 55. Creating an MVP - high level beta stories Overview People Resources Admin I would like an admin I want a directory overview I want to add a resource I want to login to the site section for the Skype manually educator site. 3 3 8 5 As an admin, I want to be I want to create a profile I want to like a resource able to ban people who misbehave 3 2 1 Tools As an admin, I want to be I want to add a Skype I want to view another I want to view a resource able to invite a teacher Educator badge to my blog educators profile on it’s own page. with a unique url 2 3 5 5 As a member of the site, I I want to view the I want to be able to I want to see all the moderate content, so that want to invite other resources that another educators in a directory bad stuff can be removed teachers to join. educator has added / liked. 2 3 2 5 I want to filter the educator I want to share a resource I directory found easily 8 1
  56. 56. A user journey through the service My profile A N Other profile New ideas People like me I want to like a resource The more people who mark an People like me idea as good the higher the 2 ranking of the idea Ideas I like Ideas I might like Good idea I want to view the resources that another Ideas I think are good are saved educator has added / liked. into my profile so I can find them again easily and other teachers 2 like me can find them Mr Mayo I can mark an idea as good on the Skype teacher directory
  57. 57. Moving into production: refined wireframes
  58. 58. | Skype Education ProjectWith the first release, we startgetting analyticsThe evidence we now start getting from both Skypeʼsanalytics package Omniture and Google analyticsprovide a new stream of feedback and evidence.The data points to 3 important site enhancementscurrently being implemented, having also beenqualitatively validated with teachers in f2f interviews.
  59. 59. Analytics summary:qualitative and quantitative working together Beta hard metrics Beta soft metrics ‣ 1860 teachers signed up to the site ‣ Teachers like Skype in the classroom but it could meet their needs better ‣ 60% of users from the USA ‣ Teachers want to use the site to connect with other teachers ‣ 2/3 of visits are new visitors to the site but find it difficult to find suitable matches with the current ‣ 17% return 2-3 times system ‣ 18% frequent return visits ‣ Teachers want more search tools and a wider range of topics ‣ High level of contact activity - 1,000 contact requests to describe themselves by ‣ 200 resources shared ‣ Teachers want greater granularity on location - probably in part because of the high number of teachers in the USA ‣ 105 favourites ‣ Teachers find the resources section a useful source of ‣ 45 comments inspiration and information. This is often what they look at first.
  60. 60. | Skype Education ProjectWhat the analytics told us • More than 1 in 2 users are connecting with another • We saw only c200 resources shared. We researched this further with teachers • Teachers have started to ʻhack itʼ to create projects • 60% of the traffic is from the US • Return visits seemed low, but we realised that we were losing the tracking when they connected via the Skype app
  61. 61. New objectives and revisedsuccess metrics for phase 2 Phase 2 objectives ➡ Make connecting with another teacher easier and richer ‣ Teachers have more tools to find each other by ‣ Teachers can describe themselves in more detail ‣ Teachers can use alternative connection methods ‣ Teachers can find good contacts again ➡ Show teachers the best and most relevant resources ‣ Teachers see more relevant resources in their profile ‣ Popular resources are more visible ➡ Centre the site around projects rather than profiles ‣ Allow teachers to create and publish projects ‣ Surface relevant projects to teachers ➡ Increase teacher sign ups and number of visits Phase 2 success metrics ‣ # new sign ups ‣ 1/2 teachers return to the site more than once ‣ Increase the number of teachers from outside the USA ‣ 500 connections per month - either email or Skype ‣ # of favourited resources increases ‣ # of bookmarked teachers ‣ # number of teachers who update their profile with additional information ‣ # number of teachers who embed the badge on their website
  62. 62. Data and evidence-based designdecisions for the new phase
  63. 63. lessons learned about iterating..
  64. 64. Rinseand....
  65. 65. It’s not iterative if you only do it once....
  66. 66. Incremental
  67. 67. Iterative
  68. 68. Speed
  69. 69. If it takes too longany iterative processis indistinguishable from waterfall
  70. 70. Software is so fast tochange it lends well to iteration (more some things are even faster)
  71. 71. Externalised + Rough
  72. 72. Sketch Prototypes
  73. 73. If you freeze an idea If you freeze an idea too quickly, you fall too quickly, you fall in love with it... in love with it ...refine it too quickly & you become attached to it The crudeness of early models in particular is very deliberate#bdwny Jim Glymph, Gehry Technologies
  74. 74. Feedback
  75. 75. Get out of the building!
  76. 76. Learning• The whole team learns• What we learn is communicated to clients• What we learn is documented• Metrics are important
  77. 77. Actionable metrics not vanity metrics Pirate metrics... AARRR RETENTIONACQUISITION ACTIVATION REFERRAL REVENUE Dave McClure
  78. 78. Please no! not more fucking *testing*
  79. 79. A better idea/design may exist but requires an intuitive leap Iterative optimisationmay only reach the peak of a smaller ideaLocal Maxima props to @bokardo
  80. 80. Intuition Iteration
  81. 81. We always have a visionthat is clearly articulated, big enough to matter, &shared by the whole team Our goal is always to discover which aspects of this vision are grounded in reality, & to adapt those aspects that are not Eric Ries, Start-up Lessons Learned
  82. 82. This is all one grandongoing experiment(But we can iterate our way to success)
  83. 83. Thank you Stuart Eccles @stueccles stuart@madebymany.comhttp://madebymany.comCopyright Made By Many 2011