INNOVATING

IN THE
ENTERPRISE III
Building the
Right Product
COWAN+

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

ABOUT ME

Entrepreneur (5x)
Intrapreneur (1x)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

ABOUT ME

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

ABOUT ME

www.alexandercowan.com
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: THE STRUCTURE OF VENTURE DESIGN

Hypothesize

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions
Small, Agile, StoryDriven Batches

Learn

Experiment

Product &
Promotion

Business Model
Canvas

Foundation in
Design Thinking

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: THE SEQUENCE OF VENTURE DESIGN

Scale?
Who?

What?

What if?

X

!

Tell me…?

How?

/
Pivot?

PERSONAS

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: THE SEQUENCE OF VENTURE DESIGN
Do we
understand this
person? What
makes them
tick?

SEE

THINK

FEEL

DO

PERSONAS

!

X

Is problem
relevant? Is the
proposition
better vs.
alternatives?

!

Was the
How did the
implemented
customer/user
story relevant to react?
the proposition?

Did the implementation
deliver on the story?

/

PROBLEM
VALUE
USER
CUSTOMER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

Technical
Literacy
Foundation
Skills

SOFTWARE
FUNDAMENTALS
Model-ViewController
DESIGN
THINKING

ARCHITECTURE
FUNDAMENTALS
App. & Platform
Integration

LEAN

ROLES &
SYSTEMS
In a Technical
Team

CUSTOMER
DEV.

...

...

...

ANALYTICS

SEO

DESIGN & UX

...

ENTERPRISE SALES

...

PHP

JAVA

PYTON

RUBY

Specialties

UNIX SYSADMIN

REVIEW: SKILLS FOR VENTURE DESIGN

/

AGILE

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: PERSONAS & NEEDFINDING

Scale?
Who?

What?

What if?

X

!

Tell me…?

How?

/
Pivot?

PERSONAS

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

AVOID THE TWIN ANTI-POLES OF DESIGN FAILURE

S

Doing precisely
what the user asks

P
A
N

!

Assuming you know what’s
best and ignoring the user
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: PERSONAS & NEEDFINDING

PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?

YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS

!

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: PERSONAS & NEEDFINDING
A certain PERSONA exists…
… and they have a certain
PROBLEMS(S) …

X

… where they’re currently using
certain ALTERNATIVE(S) …

?

… and I have a VALUE
PROPOSITION that’s better enough
than the alternatives to cause the
persona to act (purchase, use, etc.).

!
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & LEAN STARTUP

Scale?
Who?

What?

What if?

X

!

Tell me…?

How?

/
Pivot?

PERSONAS

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & LEAN STARTUP
Do I have real evidence from my buyer
that this is compelling?

01 IDEA!

What are the key assumptions required
to make this business work?

02 HYPOTHESIS

How do I definitely prove or disprove the
assumptions with a minimum of time
and effort?
Am I reacting or am I focused on
validating my pivotal assumptions?
‘Pivot or persevere?’

6.a YES
results
disprove
hypothesis

03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

04 EXPERIMENTATION

05 REVISE?

6.b NO
we appear to
have a valid
hypothesis

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: CUSTOMER DISCOVERY & LEAN STARTUP
DOES IT WORK?
Deep testing on real
data with a very
small set of users.

0 Day

30 Day

DOES IT STICK?
Post deploy, are
users engaged at
expected levels? If
not, why not?

DID IT MATTER?
Is it delivering on the
target propositions?
If not, why not?

90 Day

ID
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: FRAMING THE BUSINESS CASE

Order Taking
vs.
Consulting

Building
vs.
Designing

Papering Problems with
Software ('Solutions')
vs.
Solving Them

Big Batches
vs.
Iteration

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: FRAMING THE BUSINESS CASE

Note: process inventory mostly applicable just on IT projects

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: FRAMING THE BUSINESS CASE
Who are the buyers/users
and why do they buy/use?
What is the end-to-end
customer experience?
What activities are
strategically important?

(Key
Partners)

(Key
Activities)

(Key
Resources)

(Cost Structure)

(Value
(Customer
Propositions) Relationships)

(Customer
Segments)

(Channels)

(Revenue Streams)

The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: FRAMING THE BUSINESS CASE
Unit of structure: the atomic process
transformative
It has… an input
steps

an output

…and 3 metrics
1. process
2. output
3. outcome
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

REVIEW: FRAMING THE BUSINESS CASE
01 IDEA!

Formulate from problem scenarioalternatives-value proposition trios

02 HYPOTHESIS
6.a PIVOT
experiments
03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
disprove
hypothesis

Organize against value
propositions
Progressive testing
with users

04 EXPERIMENTATION

05 PIVOT OR PERSEVERE?

6.b PERSEVERE
experiments
prove hypothesis

Change approach or scale
up? (The quicker you get to
this point the easier it is to
make changes.)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

NOW: SESSION III 'BUILDING THE RIGHT PRODUCT' !
Lean StartupStyle Assumptions

Hypothesize

Small, Agile, StoryDriven Batches

SOFTWARE
FUNDAMENTALS
Model-ViewController

ARCHITECTURE
FUNDAMENTALS
App. & Platform
Integration

Learn

Experiment

Product &
Promotion

ROLES & SYSTEMS
In a Technical Team

Business Model
Canvas

DESIGN
THINKING

LEAN

CUSTOMER
DEV.

AGILE
Foundation in
Design Thinking

X

!

/
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

DESIGN & AGILE: A ROMEO & JULIET STORY : (

Design

Agile

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DESIGN

Empathy

Creativity

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

AGILE

Individuals
Interactions

>

Processes
Tools

Working
software

>

Comprehensive
Documentation

Customer
collaboration

>

Contract
negotiation

Responding
to change

>

Following
a plan
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DESIGN & AGILE: A ROMEO & JULIET STORY : (

Design

Agile

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DESIGN & AGILE: A ROMEO & JULIET STORY : (

Design

Agile

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

TRAGEDY OCCURS TOO OFTEN
The Commerce Family

aka marketing, sales,
product management

The Implementation Family

aka engineering, operations,
project management
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

TRAGEDY OCCURS TOO OFTEN- WHY?
The Commerce Family

The Implementation Family

?
we measure our efficiency locally
we want to feel we're completing our output
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

WHAT'S ESPECIALLY HARD FOR THE FAMILIES
The Commerce Family

The Implementation Family

1. Connecting with customer needs

1. Implementation strategy

2. Managing uncertainty

2. Managing changes in need

3. Describing for implementation

3. Distributing actionable inputs
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

WHAT'S ESPECIALLY HARD FOR THE FAMILIES
The Commerce Family

The Implementation Family
bigger families,
bigger disconnects

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

4 WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER, MAKE IT WORK
1: IMPROVED
INPUTS

2: STORY-DRIVEN
COLLABORATION

3: TEST
ORIENTATION

4: BACKLOG
DISCIPLINE

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

1

Creating High Quality Inputs
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

AGILE USER STORIES- WHATIS
Epic Stories

Who is this user?
What makes them tick?
Who's an example of
such a person?

Stories
Test Cases

“As a [persona],
I want to [do something]
so that I can [derive a benefit]”
Why do they want to do this?
What's the benefit/reward?
How will we know of it's
working?

STORIES

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DESIGN THINKING- PERSONAS

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

V ivid
A
R
I
E
D

The persona should
make anyone who reads
it feel like they’ve
actually met this person.

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

V ivid
A ctionable
R
I
E
D

If the persona doesn’t
inform how you sell stuff
and build stuff, why
bother?

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

V ivid
A ctionable
R eal
I
E
D

Good personas aren’t
created in cubicles. Go
where the persona is and
observe.

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

V ivid
A ctionable
R eal
I dentifiable
E
D

Make sure you can identify
and target these personas,
or you won’t be able to find
a use for them.
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

V ivid
A ctionable
R eal
I dentifiable
Exact
D

‘Everyone’ is not your
customer. Make sure the
personas are distinct so you
can apply relevant focus.
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

V ivid
A ctionable
R eal
I dentifiable
Exact
D etailed

People are complicated
and so good personas
are usually pretty
substantial.
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

NEEDFINDING

PROBLEM SCENARIO

X

ALTERNATIVE(S)

?

YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS

!

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

NEEDFINDING: THE PRODUCT HYPOTHESIS
A certain PERSONA exists…
… and they have a certain
PROBLEMS(S) …

X

… where they’re currently using
certain ALTERNATIVE(S) …

?

… and I have a VALUE
PROPOSITION that’s better enough
than the alternatives to cause the
persona to act (purchase, use, etc.).

!
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

AGILE USER STORIES- WHATIS
PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIOS
VALUE PROPOSITIONS
Epic Stories
Stories
Test Cases

“As a [persona],
I want to [do something]
so that I can [derive a benefit]”

STORIES

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

Could this be
implemented on a
stand-alone basis or
does it presuppose
other content?

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

Stories are not spec’s.
This is an input for you to
arrive at an optimal
implementation with the
developer, not a
functional ‘requirement’.

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

What problem scenario
does this address?
How have you
validated your value
proposition for it?

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

How hard is this vs.
the team’s
experience? Is it
discrete enough?

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

A big part of what makes
agile (and lean) work is the
use of small batches with
measurable results. Make
sure your stories are broken
down to workable sizes.

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

INVEST IN AGILE STORIES

Independent
Negotiable
Valuable
Estimable
Small
Testable

How will you know if
it’s working in a way
where you can
validate its value?
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXAMPLE: AGILE USER STORIES
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’
CHILD STORIES
A) “As an HR manager, I want to get a list of topics relevant to an open position from the functional
manager so I can set up a relevant and complete quiz for screening.”
B) “As an HR manager, I want to browse the quiz banks [of available questions] so I can make sure
I’m subscribed to all the necessary topics for my quiz.”
C) “As an HR manager, I want to purchase additional quiz banks so I can add additional technical
topics to my quizzes.”
D) “As an HR manager, I want to create a custom quiz banks so I can add custom questions the
functional manager wants to add to the quiz.”
E) “As a manager, I want to set the quiz up for a possible recruit to use.”
F) “As an HR manager, I want to make the candidates’ scores available to the functional manager,
along with the rest of my notes.
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXAMPLE: AGILE USER STORIES
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STORYBOARDING AN EPIC
‘As the HR manager, I
want to create a
screening quiz so that I
can understand
whether I want to send
possible recruits to the
functional manager.’

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

PERSONA MEETS HALLWAY CONVERSATION
“So, I think feature [xyz]
should really be at the
top of our list”

“Yeah?
Tell me about the user.
Who are they? What are
they doing right now?”

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

NEEDFINDING MEETS HALLWAY CONVERSATION
“Here are a list of SEO
keywords related to the
exciting new solution
we built”

“What problems does this
solve for the customer?
What words do they use
to describe it?”

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

2

Enabling Story-Driven Collaboration
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

AGILE FOUNDATIONS
DEVELOPMENT

VALIDATION

DISCUSSION

USER STORIES

PERSONAS
PROBLEM SCENARIOS,
ALTERNATIVES
PROPOSITIONS

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

KEEPING IT TOGETHER
In-doc links to
personas and
problem
scenarios/
needfinding
Ditto for
wireframes

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DESIGNING A VENTURE (VENTURE DESIGN)

Scale?
Who?

What?

What if?

X

!

Tell me…?

How?

/
Pivot?

PERSONAS

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

VENTURE DESIGN (IN REVERSE)
Do we
understand this
person? What
makes them
tick?

THINK

SEE

FEEL

DO

PERSONAS

!

X

Is problem
relevant? Is the
proposition
better vs.
alternatives?

!

Was the
How did the
implemented
customer/user
story relevant to react?
the proposition?

Did the implementation
deliver on the story?

/

PROBLEM
VALUE
USER
CUSTOMER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

COLLABORATION MEETS HALLWAY CONVERSATION
“We have an amazing
new thing now where
users can [x] their [y]”

“Cool. Who does this?
What’s the trigger?
What’s the first thing that
happens?

Then what?

How do we know if they
have a good outcome?”

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

3

Staying Focused on Validation
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

EVIDENCE-BASED INNOVATION VIA ‘LEAN STARTUP’
Do I have real evidence from my buyer
that this is compelling?

01 IDEA!

What are the key assumptions required
to make this business work?

02 HYPOTHESIS

How do I definitely prove or disprove the
assumptions with a minimum of time
and effort?
Am I reacting or am I focused on
validating my pivotal assumptions?
‘Pivot or persevere?’

6.a YES
results
disprove
hypothesis

03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

04 EXPERIMENTATION

05 REVISE?

6.b NO
we appear to
have a valid
hypothesis

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DOCUMENT UX ASSUMPTIONS AS YOU GO

Let’s not
argue

Let’s assume.
Then test.

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

EXAMPLE ASSUMPTIONS & EXPERIMENTS

brand lattice UI:
Drag and drop isn’t yet in common use.
Would users get it?
Noted as key assumption and became early
focal item in user test

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

ITERATING BASED ON TEST RESULTS
70% of users
didn’t get the
drag and drop
in this version

This change in
the annotation
was enough so
they got it

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

THE “MTP”

Minimum
Testable
Product

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

PARING AWAY ASSUMPTIONS VIA MTP

Hypothesize

Learn

Tactical
assumptions
about
usability

Lean StartupStyle Assumptions

Experiment

Pivotal
assumptions
about
relevance

Can they use it? Do they care?
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

PARING AWAY ASSUMPTIONS VIA MTP
‘It has rough edges. We should fix it before we
show people.’
Just show it to volunteers on
user testing. Do it soon.
What if smoothing out those
rough edges is 100% waste
because there are deeper
usability issues?
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

PARING AWAY ASSUMPTIONS VIA MTP
‘We only have a few people right now in our target
market (persona).’

If you can get close in terms of
profile, just give the user testing
a try.

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

VALIDATION MEETS HALLWAY CONVERSATION
“I’m super excited about
[this idea]. I’m working
on the business case to
sell management so we
can start building”

“Sound neat.
What’s the central
proposition? Maybe
there’s a way we can
bootstrap some proof
points.
That would super charge
your business case.”

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

4

Planning The Work, Working the Plan
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

THE BACKLOG
Story
“Backlog”
Story A
size = x
Story B
size = y

ITERATION 01

PRIORITY

Story C
size = z
RELEASE X
Story D
size = a
Story E
size = b

...

Story N..
size = c

ITERATION 02

...

ITERATION N

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

THE STANDUP

1. What did I accomplish
last [period]?
2. What do I plan to
accomplish [this period]?
3. What's impeding my progress?
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

AGILE MANAGEMENT IN 4 FUN & EASY STEPS
0: Strong Stories

CREATE STRONG
STORIES
Inputs matter a lot. They're
usually preceded by quality
design research.

2. Explicit
Iteration

PRIORITIZE A LIST
1. Prioritized List

Make it a little longer than you
think you can achieve- that
way if someone gets stuck
they can move to something
else.

3. Regular
Standup's

SET AN ITERATION
Usually 1-4 weeks, shorter is
probably better in the
beginning. Stick to the list in
this period.

TRACK WITH
STANDUP'S
Even if it's on email, do the
standup daily or at least weekly.

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

VALIDATION MEETS HALLWAY CONVERSATION
“Oh! I just [talked to a
customer, read a blog,
saw a demo] and I have a
great new idea. Can we
just put it in right this
second?”

“We can definitely put it
in if you think it's
important.
Let's write a story for it
that's anchored in a
problem scenario and if
you want you can put it
at the top of the
backlog for the next
iteration.”

Copyright 2014 COWAN+

HERE'S TO A HAPPY ENDING!

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 COWAN+

DEVELOPMENT
Then

Now

Waterfall

Agile

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

AGILE FOUNDATIONS

Individuals
Interactions

>

Processes
Tools

Working
software

>

Comprehensive
Documentation

Customer
collaboration

>

Contract
negotiation

Responding
to change

>

Following
a plan
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

AGILE & LEAN

Past

Present

Future

validate feature
relevance with
customers

collaborate with
development
team

observe and
envision what’s
next
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXAMPLE: AGILE USER STORIES
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’
CHILD STORIES
A) “As an HR manager, I want to get a list of topics relevant to an open position from the functional
manager so I can set up a relevant and complete quiz for screening.”
B) “As an HR manager, I want to browse the quiz banks [of available questions] so I can make sure
I’m subscribed to all the necessary topics for my quiz.”
C) “As an HR manager, I want to purchase additional quiz banks so I can add additional technical
topics to my quizzes.”
D) “As an HR manager, I want to create a custom quiz banks so I can add custom questions the
functional manager wants to add to the quiz.”
E) “As a manager, I want to set the quiz up for a possible recruit to use.”
F) “As an HR manager, I want to make the candidates’ scores available to the functional manager,
along with the rest of my notes.
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXAMPLE: AGILE USER STORIES
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STORYBOARDING AN EPIC
‘As the HR manager, I
want to create a
screening quiz so that I
can understand
whether I want to send
possible recruits to the
functional manager.’

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE- DRAFT AN AGILE EPIC

“As a [persona],
I want to [do something]
so that I can [derive a benefit]”
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a
screening quiz so that I can understand
whether I want to send possible recruits to
the functional manager.’

Draft an epic story (4 min)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE- DRAFT AN AGILE EPIC

“As a [persona],
I want to [do something]
so that I can [derive a benefit]”
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a
screening quiz so that I can understand
whether I want to send possible recruits to
the functional manager.’

Can you make it more specific?
Draft/revise an epic story (4 min)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STORYBOARDING AN EPIC
‘As the HR manager, I
want to create a
screening quiz so that I
can understand
whether I want to send
possible recruits to the
functional manager.’

Guideline:
3-6 squares
(10 min)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXAMPLE: AGILE USER STORIES
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’
CHILD STORIES
A) “As an HR manager, I want to get a list of topics relevant to an open position from the functional
manager so I can set up a relevant and complete quiz for screening.”
B) “As an HR manager, I want to browse the quiz banks [of available questions] so I can make sure
I’m subscribed to all the necessary topics for my quiz.”
C) “As an HR manager, I want to purchase additional quiz banks so I can add additional technical
topics to my quizzes.”
D) “As an HR manager, I want to create a custom quiz banks so I can add custom questions the
functional manager wants to add to the quiz.”
E) “As a manager, I want to set the quiz up for a possible recruit to use.”
F) “As an HR manager, I want to make the candidates’ scores available to the functional manager,
along with the rest of my notes.
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STORYBOARDING AN EPIC
‘As the HR manager, I
want to create a
screening quiz so that I
can understand
whether I want to send
possible recruits to the
functional manager.’
STORIES: A, B

STORIES: E

STORIES: C

STORIES: D

STORIES: F

STORIES: G, H
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: DRAFT AGILE USER STORIES (10 MIN.)
EPIC STORY
‘As the HR manager, I want to create a screening quiz so that I can understand whether I want to
send possible recruits to the functional manager.’
CHILD STORIES
A) “As an HR manager, I want to get a list of topics relevant to an open position from the functional
manager so I can set up a relevant and complete quiz for screening.”
B) “As an HR manager, I want to browse the quiz banks [of available questions] so I can make sure
I’m subscribed to all the necessary topics for my quiz.”
C) “As an HR manager, I want to purchase additional quiz banks so I can add additional technical
topics to my quizzes.”
D) “As an HR manager, I want to create a custom quiz banks so I can add custom questions the
functional manager wants to add to the quiz.”
E) “As a manager, I want to set the quiz up for a possible recruit to use.”
F) “As an HR manager, I want to make the candidates’ scores available to the functional manager,
along with the rest of my notes.
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: PEER PRESENTATION

As
Presenter
1) What is this? (Use positioning
statement)
2) What is the epic story? (Describe using
storyboard)
3) How does it decompose into user
stories?

As
Audience
- Think about it like an implementor

(5 min./ each)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK

Model
View
Controller

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK
CONTROLLER

VIEW

MODEL
“where the data
lives”
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK

Class of Thing:
Animal

an “is-a” relationship: a
dog is a(n) animal

Dog
Tail

a “has-a” relationship:
a dog has a tail

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK

MODEL
“where the data
lives”

Make it like real life.
(Or it will probably end up all messy.)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK
CONTROLLER

VIEW
“what you see”

MODEL

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK

VIEW
“whattoyou
see”
Stick
established
patterns
(unless you have reason to do otherwise)

M

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK
CONTROLLER

“the smarts to figure
out what to do”

VIEW

MODEL

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK
CONTROLLER

“the
smarts
to figure
Anchor
them
with strong user stories
out right
what to
do” is probably less obvious than
(the
answer

you'd guess)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

THE MODEL-VIEW-CONTROLLER FRAMEWORK
CONTROLLER

“the smarts to figure
out what to do”

VIEW

EXERCISE
Take one of your stories and
describe what you think might
need to happen between the
MVC for its implementation.
5 min.

MODEL

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

ABOUT PROTOTYPING

Stay focused to the persona and the problem.
All solutions are temporary, especially at this stage.

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

PLAY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE AT THE EARLY PHASES
DRAFT &
EXPERIMENT
idea
wireframe
A
LOT
working design
prototype

FLEXIBILITY

working product
… with a few users
… with lots of users

EXPENSE

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

PLAY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE AT THE EARLY PHASES
idea
wireframe
working design
prototype

FLEXIBILITY
play to your
strengths as as
startup/new product
in this zone

working product
… with a few users
… with lots of users

EXPENSE

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

#1 MOST COMMON PROBLEM WITH PROTOTYPING
==NOT BEING READY
Who?

THINK

FEEL

What?

What if?

X

!

SEE

DO

PERSONAS

Tell me…?

How?

Having focal
propositions
supported
by customer
discovery is
the first
prereq. to
good
prototyping

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STEP 1: ID WHATY YOU NEED & FIND COMP’S
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
(startup’s have enough risk)
Identify the interface elements
you need, then find
comparables and existing
patterns.
(ref: bit.ly/protonow)

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

CASE STUDY: BRAND LATTICE
Brand identity application for
designers and their clients

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STEP 1: NEEDS AND COMP’S
NEEDED: sequential process with ability to skip
ahead and go back; strong anchor in where you
are in the process
COMP’S: wizard-type interfaces for
shopping and item configuration

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: IDENTIFY COMP’S
NEEDED: What are the key functional
elements you need?
COMP’S: What existing applications have
these? Which ones are best practice? What
do you like/not like about them for your
purpose?

(5 min)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: PRESENTATIONS

As
Presenter
1) What are the key functional blocks?
2) What are some best practice examples?
3) What do they tell you? What parts do
you, don’t you consider applicable?

As
Audience
- Focus on the process; avoid editorial
- Ask a lot of questions
- Think about it like an investor

(2 min./ each
x 3 students)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

STEP 2: WIREFRAMING
Wireframes are for discussion.
Good wireframing tools:
- help you color in the lines using existing UI
metaphors (scroll bars, drop-down’s, etc.)
- are

easy to use and uncomplicated

- facilitate

annotation and discussion

ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

WIREFRAMING AT BRAND LATTICE

Concept items I did in Balsamiq (wireframing tool)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

WIREFRAMING AT BRAND LATTICE

More detail from design lead (created in Adobe Illustrator)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

PROTOTYPING AT BRAND LATTICE
1) Photoshop
designs from
design lead
2) Created
concept
prototype in
Keynote*
3) Finished
early user
testing
* PowerPoint has similar
functionality
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

PROTOTYPING AT LARGE
Let your key assumptions
drive experiments to
determine the type of
prototype you need
Keynote and PowerPoint let you link shapes to slides
for basic (fake) interaction
There are many prototyping tools that provide for
interactive prototypes
If you know what you want, just doing static
interactions in HTML/CSS/JS isn’t bad (if you have
access to that skill set)
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

DOCUMENT UX ASSUMPTIONS AS YOU GO

Let’s not
argue

Let’s assume.
Then test.

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: CREATE MOCKUP’S

Create a set of wireframes for your epic story, drawing on the
comp’s your created as you see fit.

(15 min.)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

EXERCISE: PEER PRESENTATION

As
Presenter
1) Review the epic.
2) How might the user navigate the system
through these steps?
3) What do you think will be the most
challenging parts of creating a good UI?

As
Audience
- Focus on the process; avoid editorial
- Ask a lot of questions
- Think about it like an investor

(5 min./ each)
ALEX COWAN
AlexanderCowan.com
@cowanSF
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

BEING RELEVANT, LOOKING GOOD

Four phases to branding:
Strategy

Creation

Expression

Stewardship

What is the company (or product) about?
- Starting point: your positioning statement from
session 1
- Bear in mind your customer storytelling: personas,
problem scenarios, propositions
- You can create a brand strategy moodboard on
brandlattice.com in about 10 minutes
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

BEING RELEVANT, LOOKING GOOD

Four phases to branding:
Strategy

Creation

Expression

Stewardship

What is does this company (or product) look like?
- CONSISTENCY IS THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT PART OF
YOUR VISUAL COMMUNICATION
- Take 20 minutes and create a style guide: bit.ly/3tostyleguide
(optional)

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

BEING RELEVANT, LOOKING GOOD

Four phases to branding:
Strategy

Creation

Expression

Stewardship

How do we apply our brand strategy to (front
end, business cards, website, etc.)?
- Now this is (relatively) easy! Just use your style
guide and any prior applications you have

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

BEING RELEVANT, LOOKING GOOD

Four phases to branding:
Strategy

Creation

Expression

Stewardship

How do we keep this program strong?
- Maintenance, etc. (not important for us here)

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
MVP

Product-Market
Fit(?)

Scale

PIVOTAL
ASSUMPTIONS

Nascent

Test, revise,
test...

Validated- now
tactical

PRODUCT

N/A

MVP

Focus: efficiency, What would a
extension
startup do??

ORG.

Founders

Customer dev.
team

Full functional
organization

Scalable
organization

PARTNERS,
CHANNELS

Probably too
soon

Probably too
soon

Yeah, maybe?

Yeah, definitely!

Validated- now
tactical

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

FULL CIRCLE

Scale?
Who?

THINK

FEEL

What?

What if?

X

!

SEE

DO

Tell me…?

How?

/
Pivot?

PERSONAS

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER
USER
PRODUCT &
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY & STORIES &
PROMOTION
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS EXPERIMENTS PROTOTYPES
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

FULL CIRCLE (IN REVERSE)
Do we
understand this
person? What
makes them
tick?

THINK

SEE

FEEL

DO

PERSONAS

!

X

Is problem
relevant? Is the
proposition
better vs.
alternatives?

Was the
How did the
implemented
customer/user
story relevant to react?
the proposition?

Did the implementation
deliver on the story?

!

PROBLEM
VALUE
CUSTOMER USER
SCENARIOS &
PROPOSITIONS DISCOVERY STORIES &
ALTERNATIVES & ASSUMPTIONS &
PROTOTYPES
EXPERIMENT

/
PRODUCT &
PROMOTION

Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing

FINI
bit.ly/innovate3

www.alexandercowan.com/venture-design

www.alexandercowan.com/learn

@cowanSF

acowan@alexandercowan.com
Copyright 2014 Cowan Publishing