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Personas to the rescue

We’ve now gone into our third iteration using Specification By Example and after a really good iteration we had a more struggled iteration the last two weeks. But this is a good thing: we’re learning so much from the previous iteration and I’m happy about the learning’s we’ve done. Better now than later; we will have ample time to handle new challenges later.

But as we’re moving along, we can also see a need for solid personas. I’ve worked some with personas previously but have never really fallen for it. Guided by our coach, Jocke Holm, we hoped to find the real practical usage. Yes, I’ve seen that it’s probably useful but when it’s come to the real thing, I’ve not used it to any greater extent. But now we need to form good examples with clear business value for our different users.

We looked at the personas we have on TUI Nordic. They are based on our segmentation model and I’ve previously found them somewhat useful but Jocke thought something was missing.

What we did was started writing and thinking about our personas and the result was a longer story and this made the personas come to life for me. Suddenly, with all these details and small moments I actually saw the grace of personas. I could see how these very detailed personas helped me in prioritization and forming examples.

But I also realized that I couldn’t present a number of novels to the team. Hence, I searched for a good model to present personas and totally fell for Per Axbom’s template for personas. With our novel form personas, I could present the key differences in one easy format. The templates are in Swedish but I think you can probably get the picture anyway.

From Per Axbom

And I must say that some of the other templates will probably find their way into my other processes too.

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Categories: Agile
  1. 2011/09/30 at 12:55 pm

    Interesting post, as usual.
    I normally get requirements as a long listing of “The application shall…” statements. This tends to have the effect of a mild horse tranquilizer on me and my team. I try to turn those into somewhat belivable user stories, and once the stories start to emerge you realize there are different types of users. From there personas tend to emerge rather organically.

    How do you determine your segments?

    Cheers!
    -Val

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