“Semper Gumby” is the unofficial motto of the Marines. It is a play on the phrase “Semper Fi”, which means always faithful. Semper Gumby is a reminder to embrace change and to embrace the best (and sometimes hardest) parts of the agile product management methodology.
Telling a great user story means building a heart connection between your customer and the team building your products. Heart connection means building empathy. Something that connects you with the emotion that the user is experiencing. Helping the team understand the pain. The team should feel the customer’s frustration or joy just a little bit.
You know you have a good user story when the developers keep talking about it. When they come back the next day with different (usually better) ideas on how to solve the pain.
This presentation will tell you all there is to know about human user stories:
- Tools you will need – customer feedback, customer interviews, personas.
- Grouping customers into segments
- What humans care about – performance, usability, and accessibility.
- How to write user stories for virtual reality, augmented reality, and machine learning.
I would be excited to give part or all of this presentation to your team or organization. Check out the PowerPoint Presentation and feel free to send any questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was fortunate to get to present at the Project Management Institute (PMI) South Dakota’s 2017 Professional Development symposium in the Leadership Track. I got to talk about my favorite topic – how to understand customers.
Topic: How to Write Human User Stories
Jay Fisher, PMP is a Product Manager at MetaBank focused on creating software that builds relationships with cardholders. Jay believes that the key to a successful project is creating user stories that connect the team to the customer. After spending almost a decade working on new product development projects, Jay knows that building the heart connection requires focus and an agile responsiveness to surprises. Jay has launched cardholder websites, mobile apps, and enterprise software in the consumer products and financial services industries. He is a certified Project Management, New Product Development, and Pragmatic Marketing Professional. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics and Economics from the University of North Dakota.
“How to Write Human User Stories” is a practical conversation on how to connect teams to the needs of the end user. We will discuss using customer visits and personas to discover user problems and to make user stories more relatable.
Understanding user’s expertise level and usage frequency vs the types of complaining customers to show how to target user stories for maximum impact. We will show how focusing on a well-defined customer can increase team effectiveness and bring novel solutions to light.
People coming in from the outside, as well as employees, look at the process and say, “you know, if you would just get the story right—just write the script and get it right the first time, before you make the film—it will be much easier and cheaper to make.” And they’re absolutely right. It is, however, irrelevant because even if you’re really good, your first pass or guess at what the film should be will only get you to the B level. You can inexpensively make a B-level film. In fact, because the barriers to entry into this field now are quite low, you can get to B easily.
If you want to get to A, then you have to make changes in response to the problems revealed in your first attempt and then the second attempt, et cetera. Think of building a house. The cheapest way to build it is to draw up the plan for the house and then build to those plans. But if you’ve ever been through this process, then you know that as the building takes shape, you say, “what was I thinking? This doesn’t work at all.” Looking at plans is not the same thing as seeing them realized. Most people who have gone through this say you have to have some extra money because it’s going to cost more than you think. And the biggest reason it costs more than you think is that along the way, you realize something you didn’t know when you started.
-Ed Catmull, the President of Pixar
As an ATM customer, I want to get cash without a card using biometric and out of channel verification, so that getting cash is the ultimate convenience.
As a paranoid debit card holder, I want cash withdraws to be blocked if I’m not within 5 feet of the ATM, so that I don’t have to worry about theft.
As fraud prevention specialist, I want potential fraudsters to be shocked before they can cause trouble, so that I have a perfect save record.
As the federal reserve, I want individual ATMs to print money, so I don’t have to reign in quantitative easing.