Does anybody use SCRUM for design?

4 years ago from , UI/UX Designer

We're transitioning to a SCRUM methodology for our Engineering org and I was wondering if any designers out there have experience with SCRUM or if y'all kept it at waterfall/iterative design process (mockup -> test -> mockup -> test)? It's very hard to find articles that explain how design fits in the SCRUM method or maybe it doesn't at all and should be it's own thing?


  • Peter B, 4 years ago

    Design in scrum/agile/kanban/etc only works when the process is done in parallel to the engineering sprints, with points of intersection.

    Outside of scrum: Discovery, exploration, research, iterative prototyping, journey mapping, prioritization, planning, etc.

    Part of scrum: Deliverables. Ideally, 2 sprints ahead of engineering stories.

    Designers who participate in the work outside of scrum, should be embedded members in the project team that will be working on that feature/product. Consistent context and deep subject knowledge are always overlooked in handoffs.

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    • , 4 years ago

      Can you expand on the types of deliverables that are expected as part of scrum? I'm having a hard time imagining how it's done in parallel because I'm used to designing/redesigning entire features. Usually with big features/workflows, it's handed to the devs once hi-fidelity prototypes are done. And then the devs start their sprints and tackle the design in chunks (build this portion in sprint 1, build this other portion in sprint 2, etc). But throughout all of the dev sprints, there are no more deliverables expected from design since the hi-fi prototypes are already done.

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      • Peter B, 4 years ago

        Of course.

        So it sounds like you're currently doing it correctly.

        Generally, deliverables would be the hi-fidelity mockups that the engineers would be using as the specifications to build off of. But it could also be a wireframe or even a product requirement document if there's no need for visual design work.

        Deliverables are the assets the engineers will need for their future stories/tasks.

        How you handle the breakdown of product stages will be based on the team and how well thought out the designs are.

        Running in parallel, is when the designer or design team is doing the research, testing, prototyping, and planning for future product/feature work (backlog). So they wouldn't be part of the scrum team during that time, or whatever design resources that aren't needed for production work during that sprint cycle, would in essence be doing project work in parallel to the engineering team. The designer/design team would rejoin the scrum team when the work is at the deliverables stage.

        Jeff Gothelf has a good graphic breaking down Design and Scrum: https://medium.com/swlh/here-is-how-ux-design-integrates-with-agile-and-scrum-4f3cf8c10e24

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  • Joseph BarrientosJoseph Barrientos, 4 years ago

    we use it but not correctly, design sprints should at the least be 1 sprint ahead, but with so much crazyness going on in my office i'm lucky to finish the sprint design the day before planning

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    • , 4 years ago

      yeah, planning and getting things to sync up will always be a challenge. Can you further describe what your design sprints look like? When I hear design sprint, I imagine the 1 week sprint written by the guys at Google Ventures (Jake Knapp, etc)

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      • Joseph BarrientosJoseph Barrientos, almost 4 years ago

        sorry i barely seen this

        basically a design sprint consists of getting your project requirements and jira stories and fleshing that work out. We try to be 1 cycle a head of devs and product is 2 cycles ahead of testing. This gives us time to implement any hotfixes we need before going GA.

        Some sprints are more research and testing focuses while others are just making sure features have designs ready

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