Bringing Projects to Life Through Rapid Prototyping

Last week I presented a breakout session at Camp Digital 2013 on the topic of Rapid Prototyping.

Synopsis

Design and build projects are often difficult to kick-off, especially when you’re struggling to convey your ideas and understand the solutions being suggested. This can lead to delays, confusion and potential rework.

Sound familiar?

Rapid prototyping provides a quick and visual solution to identifying, documenting and validating project requirements in an interactive way.

In this session Jamie will take you through examples of rapid prototypes and show you how this approach can bring your projects to life and reduce development time, costs and help to maintain your relationship with your clients.

The presentation

Sigma Camp Digital 3D Shadows
Camp Digital – Manchester, UK

Camp Digital is a free, one-day event in Manchester exploring some of the most important and emerging themes in the digital industry.

Why not check out some more presentations and videos here?

Applying ‘Persuasion, Emotion and Trust’ PET Design Theory in the Real World

This month I was fortunate enough to have been asked to speak at a conference, alongside my colleague Chris Bush, on the topic of PET ™ Design Theory, “Persuasion, Emotion and Trust”. The conference was being hosted in Gothernburg, Sweden by Maverick, a Swedish based digital agency by Sigma.

So what is PET Deisgn?

Well Human Factors International (HFI), the authors of PET design say:

PET design uses research-based techniques to leverage the science of Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust to make websites more engaging, compelling, and effective. This innovative methodology complements classic usability, empowering companies to achieve their business goals.

Presentations and Resources

We presented two sessions on the topic, an introduction to PET and then a session looking at some examples of the PET design applied.

Introducing (PET ™) Design Theory, “Persuasion, Emotion and Trust”

Applying Persuasion Design and PET ™ Theory in the Real World

Camp Digital 2013 Presentation

At our recent Camp Digital 2013 event, my colleague Chris Bush presented on the same subject, his slides are available here:

Blending Business Analysis with User Experience: the BA/UX continuum

6 Months ago I joined Sigma, a User Experienced design agency. I joined as a BA, to support the team and the their clients, designers and developers to evaluate, specify and deliver successful solutions.Movie Passengers (2016)

I had initially thought that I would be part of the development team, having over 5 years experience of delivering software projects, but I’ve found myself working with the UX designers. While design is not what I would have traditionally called my domain, I’ve been surprised at the amount of cross-over my BA skill-set has with that of a UX practitioner.

Both BAs and UX practitioners use analysis, design and research to identify and document business goals and user needs. While their titles might suggest that their roles are focused on opposing areas there is a great amount of overlap.

Academics at Berkeley have suggested that the overlap can be viewed on a continuum:

The Berkeley Continuum
The Berkeley Continuum

So what competencies and skills do a BA and UX practitioner share?

I’ve attempted to map a number of core competencies and skills against the Berkeley Continuum as a way of illustrating what divides and unites the BA/UX roles. It could also be used to identify who is better placed in your team to undertake certain activities. It could also be used to help individuals who wish to transition between the roles, identify which skills they need to develop.

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I should note that these are very general classifications of competencies and are not always strictly followed in practice. Just as an example of my own work experience, as a BA I’ve spent a lot of time working in the area of Interaction design (traditionally a UX competency) and yet I have never done a Business case.

But as it’s often said, “It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you do that counts”.

Annual UK BA Survey – Results from 2011

The UK IIBA is a chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis representing the Business Analysis (BA) profession in the UK. The UK Chapter was formed in 2006 and runs regular events across the UK as well as hosting an annual European Conference.

The UK IIBA is a not for profit organisation and reinvests all funding received with the aim of
supporting the onward development of the BA Profession.

Back in December 2011 the UK IIBA launched it’s first ever survey designed to:

  • Paint a picture of the Business Analysis profession in the UK to understand its maturity, and in future years, track changes to the profession.
  • To provide insight to related industries who work closely with Business Analysts informing services and product offerings.
  • To create an industry benchmark across a range of areas for BAs and Practice Heads to show strengths and weaknesses against BA practice nationally or in their Market Sector

The survey went out to:

  • The IIBA UK mailing list which contains email details of around 3,000 BAs (both IIBA members and non-members)
  • The IIBA UK Website
  • The IIBA UK Twitter account which had 468 followers at the time of issue
  • Through promotion to known organisations with a stake in Business Analysis including
    AssistKD, BA Mentor, Barclays, British Gas, Certeco, EA Consulting Group, Hays, Hydrogen
    Group, IRM UK, The JM Group, Nicoll Curtin, Pragnalysis, Randstad, Reed Professional
    Services, Sanderson PLC and Skandia

Check out the results below:

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Sigma Consulting: Technical Consultant

We Are Sigma
We Are Sigma
This month I joined a fantastic team based in Macclesfield called Sigma. The aim of my role is to support Sigma’s clients, designers and developers to better evaluate, specify and deliver successful solutions. Most of this is done through requirement elicitation, rapid prototyping and user testing.

Sigma are a user-focused digital communications company, who design and build smart solutions for web, mobile, and corporate applications.

They are the centre of excellence for user experience and digital services in the Sigma group, a Swedish based IT Services Company with over 1500 staff globally.

I have already had some great exposure to clients and projects. The team use some fantastic workshop techniques which I’m keen to post about soon.

BCS Manchester: Kanban Presentation

Finally I made it along to one of the BCS Manchester events. After re-joining the BCS last year this is the first of the local events that I’ve made it to, and it was excellent.

David Toon (@davidtoon83) presented his take on Kanban and took the group through the 4 principles of Kanban.

The group clearly had different levels of exposure in using Kanban and some used it for DevOps while others used it in a support role.

One of the things that struck me about Dave’s presentation was that he strongly advocated using it in conjunction with other methodologies such as SCRUM and even Waterfall…!

Anyway, the event was a success and the post-event beers went down well.

It looks like I may have been collared to d a write-up of the event so watch this space!
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BABOK Agile Extension for Business Analysts

Today the IIBA launched its new Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide. Get it at iiba.info/AgileExtension.

The BABOK® is the IIBA’s Business Analyst Book of Knowledge that is the first formal approach of defining and documenting what the role of a business analyst does.

The purpose of this extension is to:Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

  • Highlight the importance of business analysis practices in an agile context
  • Show how business analysis is performed in agile lifecycles
  • Offer key principles that should guide business analysis practice in agile environments
  • Develop existing business analysis tasks, and existing techniques and show how they are useful in an agile context
  • Give information on new techniques and additional information on existing techniques

As someone that has been working in this space for some time, attempting to adapt my existing skillset and knowledge to an agile environment,

I am really excited. I’m about half way through and I suspect that I’ll read it and re-read it.

It’s exciting to see agile adoption on the increase and this extension book will help BA’s feel equipped to work with developers and clients who are actively using SCRUM, XP or KANBAN.

My hope is to prepare some posts and feedback from what I’ve read in the extension, I’m also keen to see how my own approaches compare to those that have been outlined in the guide.

IIBA Business Analyst Europe Conference 2011: Keynotes

Two of my highlights of the event came in the form of keynote speakers.

Ivar Jacobsopn – Use-case 2.0

Firstly, was the impressive Ivar Jacobson discussing the topic of Use-case 2.0. Unlike other methodologies and brands that have jumped on the 2.0 bandwagon, the latest version of the use-cases include a rework to allow for quick adoption by smaller software teams (without having to invest a career in trying to understand how to properly document them).

Perhaps most impressive for me was Ivar passion for using use-cases as a way for agile teams to generate user stories by slicing through the use-case workflows. He was able to show some great examples of how this approach can be used in support SCRUM and Kanban.

We have learnt one thing, we don’t need to document as much… People won’t read it anyway!

Ivar Jacobson 2011

Euan Semple – The Impact on Social Networks on Business

Secondly came Euan Semple (@euan). Now as a former digital marketer and user of social networks I have to confess to not being very excited about this keynote. Yet, what I had anticipated was going to be Social Media 101 was actually something much, much better.

Euan’s background as former Head of Knowledge Management at the BBC made me sit up and pay attention. What was to follow was an insightful and well constructed presentation of Social Networking Tools and how, using examples and anecdotes, they can be used to bring us closer together. Euan made the point that it didn’t matter if we were employees co-located in the same open-plan office or if we were a customers of a multinational, the tools could allow us to engage.

Now I know that there is nothing new in this thinking but what I loved was Euan’s views on using social networking tools as a way to capture knowledge, aid collaboration, break down one-way communication channels in organisations and empower employees. So many times I have seen poorly managed B2C social media failures, and Euan showed us a few, but the real value came in considering what an organisation could do with these tools that Euan suggests “are already being used” to radically change an organisations culture. Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Knowledge Retention sounds like something you’d take a laxative for!

Semple 2011

Conclusion

  • Never underestimate the power of passion and humor when presenting – even if it is on a nerdy subject
  • We live and work in a rapidly evolving environment. Both Ivar and Euan showed examples of what had been and gone in the past 10 years. Our ability to learn, adapt and overcome new problems with everchanging tools will be what diffenciates us from those that don’t succeed.

IIBA Business Analyst Europe Conference: Roundup

This week I attended two days of the IIBA BA Europe Conference 2011 (#BA2011).

It was an excellent event and one that attracted practitioners and suppliers for right across the BA spectrum. These included: Business Analysts, Process Managers, Change Managers, Business Engineers, Systems Analysts, Business Architects, Enterprise Engineers and even a few PMs/PMOs!

What will follow in the next few days are my thoughts and notes from sessions I attended and things that I learnt while I was there. These are likely to be broken down into the following key areas:

  • Keynotes
  • Models, Tools & Techniques
  • Networking & Mentoring
  • Case Studies

I read and heard a lot while I was away and am likely to be digesting it for a few more days to come. Hopefully the write-up will be of interest to some of those that also attended.

IIBA Membership

This week I signed up to become a memeber of the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis).

Some of the attractive things about joining the IIBA were:

I’m looking forward to attending some of the events and getting access to some of the great resources that the IIBA have to offer.
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