Focusing on the user needs in Scrum
We discussed whose responsibility it is to focus on the needs. Ultimately it is the POs responsibility, but there has to be a shared commitment to fulfilling the needs in the team. It's beneficial if the team members can take part in the user analysis activities to get a better understanding. Sometimes there is a conflict between the UX perspective and the business perspective, as a UX person you need to be sensitive to other priorities besides UX.
It is very hard to understand the needs if you never see any real usage of your product. The best thing is to get out there, when that isn't possible you can use proxies or look at usage of similar products. When you understand the needs it's easier to prioritize the backlog and decide which stories can create the largest value.
A Business impact map with measurable effect goals can give a clear view of the vision in a bird's perspective. Sometimes you need to create more detailed user stories which can complement the Business impact map and it's good to sometimes shift perspective from frog's perspective to bird's perspective.
It's common that POs are very solution oriented and forget about the needs. Lean startup events are a great way of getting out there and meeting real potential users. Gemba walks are used in Lean manufacturing to get close to the value creation. This principle can be applied when it comes to needs analysis as well.
Our feelings can sometimes get in the way of our needs. If people are emotional they might need help to put words on their feeling by labelling to enable them to access their actual needs.
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