Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

UXPA - Being Agile When Building Agile UX Teams

This week I also attended the UXPA event titled ‘Being Agile When Building Agile UX Teams’. With a title like that I was not sure what to expect.

We had two speakers. First up was Kim Porter from Monzo. She spoke on creating the beginnings of a Research Operations (Research Ops) function within Monzo, which was very interesting to me.

One thing our speakers agreed on was the fact that agile can have many different meanings. Kim suggested it means adaptability, a focus on output and collaboration.

She spoke about how Research Ops should create an ideal research environment within your organisation, consisting of systems, tools and processes.

She then shared her learnings from building a research ops within Monzo.

Some of her key learnings included:

  • Be flexible/adaptable
  • Don’t take on everything
  • Enable others to help themselves
  • And show early and often

Our second speaker was Mary MacPherson who is Design Lead at Lloyds Banking Group.

She felt that agile is about a mindset, a modern methodology for change, collaboration and service teamship.

She spoke about how designers are much more than just designers. Designers are problem solvers, strategic partners, influencers, team players and human champions.

She had advice for designers, reminding us that while they are human champions the business must also be taken into consideration.

She also spoke on how important the agile ceremonies are and that designers get involved in them.

She finished by asking some interesting questions, the one I found most interesting being, how long should you work on a product for? Being an SME (subject matter expert) is good but how long before you get snowblindness and stop being able to think of new ideas etc?

These were two very interesting talks looking at different parts of agile with some good takeaways. It certainly gave me a different idea about agile from what I have read about it.

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