Human-centered design and Agile: toward a hybrid approach

Baltimore B

Lennon and McCartney
Jobs and Wozniak
Peanut Butter and Jelly
… Human-Centered Design and Agile?

Trying to blend HCD and Agile seems like an uphill battle. After all, Agile development focuses on elements such as minimal documentation, frequent release of working code, and the expectation of “failing fast.” By contrast, HCD relies on research, analysis, and risk mitigation through frequent observation and measurement – all of which can take longer and occur at less regular intervals than an Agile development sprint.

At the same time, HCD and Agile have many compatibilities. Both are iterative, adaptable, and responsive. HCD can be lightweight; Agile can be heavily user-driven.

Efforts to bring HCD and Agile together have been fraught. AgileUX has had brief periods of limited popularity in the industry; however, It has yet to take hold in any widespread, meaningful way.

Is it even possible to combine HCD and Agile in a reliable, repeatable process?

This presentation is a case study of the evolution of a process — HCDAgile — that is being created by a human-centered designer and an Agilist who have worked together over the past three years to create this hybrid approach. Topics include:

An overview of the process
How we addressed the shortcomings of HCD and Agile, respectively
Getting everyone in an organization on board with the approach
Challenges of implementing the approach
Stories from projects using HCDAgile

The goal will be to share the “how to” of this approach for practitioners who wish to introduce this in their companies.

Senior level Tools and Techniques