LUCID with Scrum in the Software Business

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1 LUCID with Scrum in the Software Business Mikael Blomberg Abstract. LUCID (Logical User Centered Interaction Design) (Shneiderman 1998, p. 104) is a methodology, more specifically a user-centered design methodology. Scrum is an agile process framework (Conchango 2006). LUCID appears to be sequential and in the software business, a sequential model usually fails due to the high change rate. The first step in improving the usability of any product is by conducting a usability test. The results would be used to improve the product. However, this is a reactive approach and a proactive approach would be to design the product with usability in mind. In order to incorporate good usability practices, the development process must support it. This paper will present and combine LUCID and Scrum. Scrum was chosen because it is a wrapper for existing engineering practices (About Scrum Overview 2007). Another contributing factor is that Scrum is used in the biggest software business companies in the world, e.g. Google, IBM and Microsoft (scrumalliance / Firms Using Scrum 2007). The goal is to develop an agile user-centered design methodology. The practical implementation will be part of future work. LUCID and Scrum are relatively new in the field of computer science, therefore there are not a lot of scientific papers written on the subject. Keywords: User-centered design, LUCID, usability, Scrum, agile process. 1 Introduction The way software is developed today has changed a lot in a decade. Most software projects in 1994 where developed using a sequential model. 16.2% of these projects were successful, 31.1% were cancelled and the remaining 52.7% were challenged (Sample Research CHAOS Chronicles 1994). A challenged project was completed, but did not contain all the specified functionality, took more time and funding than planned. The main reasons for failure where lack of user input, incomplete and changing requirements & specifications. In 2001, representatives of lightweight methodologies wrote the Agile Manifesto (Highsmith 2001). The Manifesto has four statements (Beck et al. 2001). The first statement is that individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools. The second statement is that it is more important to have working software than comprehensive documentation. The third statement is that it is more important to collaborate with the customer than to negotiate a watertight contract. The final statement is that it is more important to react to changes instead of following a plan. However, processes, tools, documentation, contracts and plans are still important and needed in every software development methodology.

2 In 2004, the ISO 9126 standard identifies six key quality attributes (Pressman 2005, p. 464). The attributes are functionality, reliability, usability, efficiency, maintainability and portability. Pressman (2005, p. 467) claimed that the attributes are not necessarily directly measurable. Every methodology should address all or as many as possible of the key quality attributes, because it is cheaper to develop software with good quality than to improve the quality later (Cusumano 2004, p. 177). The software development methods today need to deliver software on schedule, on budget, with the planned functionality and of high quality. The agile usercentered design methodology presented in this paper also addresses these issues. 2 LUCID The logical user-centered interactive design methodology consists of six stages (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Summary 2003). The six stages are envision, discovery, design foundation, design detail, build and release as depicted in figure 1. Fig. 1. The figure shows the stages of the LUCID methodology (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Summary 2003). 2.1 Envision The first stage is envision (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 1: Envision 2003). During this stage the business, user and IT goals are aligned and stated in the envision statement. The project team is assembled and the envision statement is communicated to the team. The major user groups are identified and the preliminary usability goals are established. The project plan is written and includes the usability activities in each upcoming stage. The roles and responsibilities are assigned and communicated as well as the approval process. High-level design ideas are sketched. At the end of the stage, the stakeholders and team members know their roles, responsibilities and the project vision. The information has also been documented. 2.2 Discovery The second stage is discovery (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 2: Discovery 2003). During this stage the user analysis is conducted. Based on the data, personas, scenarios and requirements are created. At the end of the stage, the personas-scenarios document and high-level user requirements document is approved.

3 2.3 Design Foundation The third stage is design foundation (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 3: Design Foundation 2003). During this stage the basic concepts of the user interface is established. The conceptual design is created, which includes key screen layouts, navigation and documentation of the targeted mental model. Based on the design, a key screen prototype is developed. The prototype is tested and approved by the management. At the end of the stage, there is a user interface architecture document, documented screen templates and a guide for usability evaluation design & planning. The design direction has been approved. 2.4 Design Detail The fourth stage is design detail (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 4: Design Detail 2003). During this stage the user interface and specifications for the developers are completed. The specifications include a style guide, screen layouts and detailed element descriptions. The main functionality is tested. At the end of the stage, there is a specification document, documented screen layouts, an UI style guide and a guide for usability evaluation design & planning. The specifications are review, approved and handed over to the developers. 2.5 Build The fifth stage is build (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 5: Build 2003). During this stage the product is developed. The development is supported through answering questions and making necessary changes. Additional usability evaluation is performed when necessary. At the end of the stage, the product is tested and ready for release. 2.6 Release The last stage is release (Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 6: Release 2003). During this stage the product is released. The initial user experience is tested and the user satisfaction is measured through a questionnaire. The identified usability issues are addressed in future projects and the project is wrapped up. At the end of the stage, the project goals have been measured and the project is over. 3 Scrum Scrum is an agile process framework (Conchango 2006). Scrum has three phases. The first phase is preparation. During the preparation the project vision is stated. The stakeholders are identified and the initial product backlog and release plan is created. The team is assembled and the common workspace is taken into use. The second phase is the sprint. A sprint is a time-boxed period of time, usually 2 to 4 weeks. In the beginning of the sprint, a planning meeting is held. During

4 that meeting the Sprint Backlog is selected and estimated. During the Sprint, Daily Scrum meetings are held. At the Daily Scrum meetings, three questions are answered, which are: What have you done since the last Daily Scrum regarding this project?, What will you do between now and the next Daily Scrum meeting regarding this project? and What impedes you from performing your work as effectively as possible? (Conchango 2006) At the end of the sprint a Sprint Review is held. The review covers the progress of the sprint. The product backlog is updated to reflect the current state of the project. After the review, a Sprint Retrospective is held. The retrospective examines what went well, what needs improvement and how that can be improved. The results are made visible to the team in the workplace. The third phase is termination, where the project is over. Scrum has three roles, Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Team Members. The Product Owner is responsible for the Return on Investment of the project and manages the Product Backlog, which is a prioritized wish list. The ScrumMaster is responsible for ensuring that the process is used as intended. It is the ScrumMaster s task to remove obstacles and to coach the team members. The Team Members are responsible for getting things done. Their task is to selforganize and accomplishes as many tasks as possible, following the rules. Fig. 2. The figure shows the elements of the Scrum framework (Mountain Goat Software 2005). 4 LUCID with Scrum LUCID and Scrum both have an initial phase or stage, where the project vision is stated. The project plan and schedule is also done in both. In LUCID, the major user groups are identified. The roles and responsibilities are assigned and communicated. Preliminary usability goals are established. The roles and responsibilities in Scrum makes it possible to maintain an agile process and therefore the assigning and communicating of roles is dropped out. The other activities in LUCID are listed in the backlog as high priority items.

5 The agile envision begins with identifying the stakeholders, which make the envision statement. A Product Owner is chosen and a project plan, schedule and initial product backlog is done. The team is assembled and a ScrumMaster is appointed. The first Sprint will cover the discovery stage in LUCID. The Product Owner includes personas, scenarios and requirements to the product backlog. The product backlog currently contains, identifying the major user groups, establishing usability goals, personas, scenarios and requirements. The team chooses the items to the Sprint backlog and also chooses the appropriate user analysis methods. At the end of the sprint, all items will be done. Scrum requires each Sprint to release something of business value. The first Sprint will fail to meet that requirement. The second Sprint will cover the design stages in LUCID. The Product Owner includes specifications, screen layouts and UI style guide to the product backlog. The team will select the items to the Sprint backlog and decide, which screens the paper prototype will include. The design stages were combined in order to release something of business value. However, the efforts are not enough since specifications, screen layouts or UI style guide are not releasable items. The following Sprints will cover the build stage in LUCID. The Product Owner will split up the specifications to product backlog items. The team will select an appropriate amount of items to each Sprint backlog and begin the work. Each Sprint will produce a releasable item, which meets the Scrum requirements. The first Sprint after the initial release will cover the release stage in LUCID. The necessary changes based on user satisfaction can be done in the next iteration. The data gathered after the release can be used to modify the items in the product backlog without causing any additional costs. How to develop the software is not addressed by LUCID or Scrum and therefore any good software development practice could be used. In order to produce a high quality piece of software, the six quality attributes should be addressed in the choice. The functionality, usability and efficiency are already addressed in LUCID. Scrum does not require, but makes it apparent quite quickly when the maintainability is low, since the development speed deteriorates. Therefore the practices should provide a reliable test harness for the software, which would ensure the reliability and maintainability of the software. In order to fully follow the rules of Scrum, the first Sprint should produce a releasable item. It would mean that the first Sprint should cover some aspect of the product in the discovery, design foundation and design detail stages in LUCID. The functionality to be implemented in the first Sprint is either the most demanding task, the most common task or the easiest task. However, these are not necessarily known in the beginning of the first Sprint. Therefore the Product Owner must make the decision, because he or she is responsible for the return on investment and prioritizes the product backlog. The team members do also affect the choice, since they choose the items to the Sprint backlog. An intuitive guess would be to implement the most common tasks first, which could be found out by using interviews or questionnaires (Faulkner 2000 p. 34). The task, which affects the most of the systems different components, could be the wisest from a software architecture point of view. Depending on the development speed of the team, more functionality could be implemented.

6 5 Summary LUCID and Scrum works quite well together. The initial stage or phase in both is quite similar. The difficulties arise when the first Sprint needs to be able to release an item to the market. The obvious disadvantage is that the discovery stage in LUCID is meant to gather domain knowledge. A great advantage is that after the initial Sprint, it is quite predictable when the team will have the intended work done. It also makes it possible for the management to end the project at the end of any Sprint. At the same time, the product is potentially delivering value to the company already after the first release. The iterative approach and fast pace makes it possible to improve the items in the product backlog without any additional costs. The usability issues can be fixed during the next Sprint, which would be tested again in the following Sprint. Providing a better product faster, because the user is involved. There have to be additional software development practices in use to fully utilize the potential of LUCID with Scrum. These practices should enforce a robust test harness for the software and ensure the software maintainability. Without a high maintainability, the development speed will deteriorate quickly and become apparent in a few Sprints. At that point, the maintainability must be addressed and it is possible to predict when the project will stagnate. However, the results of improving the maintainability will be visible in the next Sprint as the development speed becomes higher. Developing software by using LUCID with Scrum is a good strategic decision when doing software business. The process delivers frequent product releases that are of high tested quality. The defects are fixed rapidly and each release will earn more value than the previous since it offers more functionality of business value. 6 Future work The next step is to take the presented agile user-centered design methodology into use. The project should be a new project or a project that has a robust test harness, which ensures the high maintainability. In an old project, introducing Scrum first is important. Scrum makes it possible to visualize the progress the team makes. When introducing LUCID, the business value will increase. The benefits of LUCID are more visible with Scrum than without it. In a new project, both LUCID and Scrum should be introduced simultaneously. The reason is that the team should be chosen so that every member has experience from LUCID or Scrum. Then the other aspect is new, but the way of working is familiar. Team members familiar with Scrum will see the value of LUCID and vice versa. Team members familiar with sequential development models, are most likely appealed by the fact that a product release is possible after each Sprint.

7 References About Scrum Overview Beck, K, Beedle, M, van Bennekum, A, Cockburn, A, Cunningham, W, Fowler, M, Grenning, J, Highsmith, J, Hunt, A, Jeffries, R, Kern, J, Marick, B, Martin, R, Mellor, S, Schwaber, K, Sutherland, J & Thomas, D 2001, Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Cognetics The LUCID Framework Overview Cognetics The LUCID Framework Summary Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 1: Envision Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 2: Discovery Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 3: Design Foundation Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 4: Design Detail Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 5: Build Cognetics The LUCID Framework Stage 6: Release Conchango, 2006, Scrum for Team System Process Guidance.

8 ailyscrummeetingrules.htm Cusumano, M 2004, The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad, Free Press, U.S.A. Faulkner, X 2000, Usability Engineering, Palgrave, Great Britain Highsmith, J 2001, History: The Agile Manifesto. Mountain Goat Software [Image] Labelled.png Pressman, R 2005, Software Engineering: A Practitioner s Approach, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, Singapore Sample Research CHAOS Chronicles scrumalliance / Firms Using Scrum Shneiderman, B 1998, Designing the user interface: strategies for effective human-computer interaction, 3rd edn, Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., Reading

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