Event Recap: WIN LDN x ustwo, Make, Test, Learn
On May 14th, ustwo hosted an Agile masterclass that brought together our WIN LDN community on a complete learning journey from discovery to launch. Using ustwo's Make, Test, Learn methodology, the team embarked our community into a journey of rhythm and speed in each stage of the delivery process consisting of discovery, alpha, beta, and live.
Michelle Capocefalo, Client Partner at ustwo and our WIN ambassador, hosted this masterclass on how to drive agile innovation and creative thinking into a repeatable iterative approach to bring concepts and ideas to life. Ustwo is widely recognized as a leading design, technology, games, and venture company; they are the creators of Monument Valley, the award-winning premium mobile game that enthralled millions and redefined the category.
Helen Fuchs, Design Director, gave us an overview of the collaborative approach ustwo has with clients by making, learning, and changing together. She sparked our thinking by first asking us which ones of us have had business ideas in the past that we’ve stopped developing, at a certain point of the process; whether in the midst of doing research about the opportunity, creating a business plan, or starting to build it and making it grow. We heard stories from the audience of various challenges they’ve faced and then moved to a closer approach on ustwo's delivery process led by Collin Lyons, Delivery Director reviewing the specifics of discovery, alpha, beta, live:
Discovery Phase: A broad view of the business and consumer needs and pain points. Apply prioritization criteria (viability for the business, technology, and user) to decide what to take forward.
Alpha Phase: Prototypes are released to a small, closed group.The goal is to learn about users understand desirability, viability, feasibility, and build confidence about a go-no go decision to the next phase.
Beta Phase: Building for scale and going into a live environment. Testing with early adopters who are real users.
Live Phase: Take the product/service to market and scaling it, focusing on continuous, iterative improvements.
As our curiosity and excitement about the delivery process grew, our community was divided into four groups based on each of the four phases, focusing on a specific objective with the facilitation of the ustwo team. We spent the rest of the evening making, testing and learning around a business idea within each particular phase and exploring together the meaning of the methodology at each stage.
At the end of the evening, we reflected together on the learnings from our hands on sessions.
One key takeaway is that the make, test, learn methodology enables strategy to be a key component of each stage, not just in the initial discovery work. As one of our participants pointed out, "It was really interesting to get insight into how other agencies run the process and in this case, work strategy into every phase. As a strategist, I’m used to only being involved in the discovery phase.”
Another key question was how long each phase takes: 4 weeks? 12 weeks? 5 years? The make, test, learn methodology enables an agile dynamic where making cycles are clearly identified, but more importantly, these cycles are activated every time as the development of any project. The answer: it depends. It all comes about to what level of confidence you and the client needs to make it to the next step.
At ustwo, they work in 2-week sprints: at the beginning of each sprint they start off using stand-up meetings that bring the team together while by the end, they come together for a retrospective of what’s working and where they are getting stuck and not that well. This dynamic allows for them to embed fast feedback into processes and behaviors that then become into action items. When you are aware that you are never 100% finished, sprints become central into embedding best practices and improving constantly. Every project represents an opportunity for change, an opportunity for incrementing and optimizing value.
Agile is good when the market is moving fast. It can be messy. Agile process is about delivering value early, is about the way of working, the process itself. It is not about going quicker, it is about working more effectively, as when you keep making, you are testing and learning. It is about getting better at every cycle and thus getting better at every stage.
Big thanks for ustwo for a fantastic event filled with great ideas sharing and brainstorming! It was a great way to introduce agile to the London WIN community and perfect way to kickoff our summer programming.
Ustwo facilitation team: Louise Wando, Iva Johan, Nicki Sprinz, Helen Fuchs, Michelle Capocefalo and Lucy Barrett.
Written by Carolina Gomez. Edited by Justine Lai.
Photos by Carolina Gomez
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