What project do you work on?
Currently a tool for people to analyse customer data extracted from ticketing and survey data, very squarely aimed at people with little time or limited training with data analysis.
What is your role?
Customer Experience/Design lead
How big is the product team?
Tiny, there's 3 of us at the moment and we're without a dev at the moment.
What’s the makeup of your team?
Product owner, Project manager, Designer, Two or three devs (coming soon)
What’s your process like for going from the idea for a small improvement (not a large task) to it going live in production?
Not currently relevant as we are aiming at a ground-up redesign and rebuild.
Tell me about your process for planning work in, do you use sprints?
We're working towards a world where sprints are used to plan but at the moment we're in a phase where we are gathering an initial backlog, prototype and design system to give to the dev team.
Does it work well for your team?
Gathering of user stories is certainly a lot easier than trying to create some mega spec doc so the idea of working Agile and in sprints makes a lot of sense. Does it work? TBC!
Do you plan testing upfront or chat to testers about it once the dev work is done?
Sounds more like a QA question. We're in regular touch with our users from a validation point of view. Biggest concern for us right now is ensuring what we're going to build is the right thing.
And do you take the testing work into consideration when planning what to bring in?
As above, we're scheduling with users regularly for feedback.
What’s the biggest annoyances you’ve had around getting stuff done, planning, working together as a team, or that kind of thing?
People's time, 100%, such a small team with other things to do and an existing product to maintain makes finding enough time together very challenging indeed.
Which (if any) tools do you help to keep track of work?
Aha! but also at this stage we're using Teams (for daily stand-up) and MS Planner (for to-do lists).
Given you’ve not started development yet, how will you know when to start it? Will it just be when you find a developer, or at a specific time, or is there a goal in mind first?
There are a couple of triggers. We have deadlines we are committed to due to funding obligations and stakeholder expectations. Before development begins though, we are creating an initial backlog of user stories with definitions of done (we will involve a developer during this process) and a comprehensive 'clickable' prototype and accompanying design system.
Also you mentioned how everyone is so busy and that you need to ensure you're going to build the right thing, how do you go about figuring out what to focus on?
This project is based of some research already done which has helped enormously but we are in regular contact with users to ensure we're building something that they believe will be valuable. Additionally we have certain obligations due to being a funded project. On a more practical level we will have a user story mapping session at some point very soon to ensure we've got everything covered. We've also got some Top Tasks research underway.
The short answer to this is almost constant validation with the organisation and its user-base.