By Elisa Miller-Out
This week in Singlebrook Lab, we continued to explore whether there's a need for a new product that would improve the requirements gathering process for Agile web and mobile development projects. After several conversations with other project managers and developers, along with some inspiration from Dan Roam, we've discovered that more visuals early in the process really help developers and clients or entrepreneurs get on the same page earlier in the process. Visuals can mean anything from sketches to wireframes using a range of tools from paper to wireframing software such as Balsamiq. We also learned that there was often a disconnect between business goals and feature development. As a result, time sometimes gets spent on lower priority or unnecessary features.
Some of the problem areas we identified from our own experience as well as from our customer development calls include finding ways to gracefully and directly connect the visual tools to user stories and Agile project management software as well as connecting the larger business goals or big picture activities to the individual user stories. We used Ash Maurya's Lean Canvas to map out our first few problem assumptions.
We all had some different solution ideas, but were having trouble visualizing them, so we decided to take our own advice and start sketching. We came up with a couple of solution concepts on the white board, but decided we need to spend some more time with them, so we have plans to flesh them out some more next week.
We also did a bit of competitive research for this new area we're exploring. In the process, we discovered a great blog article on story mapping by Jeff Patton as well as some story mapping software solutions. The fact that others identified some of the same problems and were working on some different solutions provided a good first step analog validation of our problem assumptions.
We look forward to exploring some of these ideas further in next week's Lab.