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Safety Not Guaranteed: How Successful Teams Ignore the Rules to Create Successful Products

  • Jeff Patton
  • 00:44:45

If you’re looking for simple solutions for building successful products, you won’t find them in this talk. This is the talk about how hard it really is to succeed, and how the best way to succeed is to ignore the best practice and avoid playing it safe.

In this talk, you’ll hear about companies that started with the best of intentions. But in the end, deliberately broke their process and learned a few counter-intuitive things along the way: The most user-centric companies learned to lie to their customers, skip research, trust their guesses, and stop worrying about usability. The most agile companies learned to deliberately ship bad code, and to stop planning more than a few hours in advance. Design Thinking advocates adopted Lean Startup thinking. And, Lean Startup advocates adopted Design Thinking. In the end the most successful companies end up with a process soup that’s not true to any single process style, and definitely not simple to explain to anyone. They learned that to really win the product development game, they’ve got to worry a lot less about safely delivering on time.

If you attend, you might end up with a few clever ideas to try in your organization. But what I hope you take away is a willingness to abandon the false security of any process approach, keep the best ideas and abandon the rest to focus on succeeding in spite of your process.

  • Jeff Patton has designed and built software for the past two decades on a wide variety of products from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records. Jeff has focused on Agile approaches since working on an early Extreme Programming team in 2000. In particular Jeff has specialized in the application of user experience design practice to improve Agile requirements, planning, and ultimately the products delivered. Jeff currently works as an independent consultant, agile process coach, product design process coach, and instructor. Current articles, essays, and presentations on variety of topics in Agile product development can be found at www.AgileProductDesign.com and in Alistair Cockburn’s Crystal Clear. Jeff is founder and list moderator of the agile-usability Yahoo discussion group, a columnist with StickyMinds.com and IEEE Software, a Certified Scrum Trainer, and winner of the Agile Alliance’s 2007 Gordon Pask Award for contributions to Agile Development. Website including writing, past presentations, and blog: www.agileproductdesign.com

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