ACE! is the largest regional conference of its kind in Central Europe, attracting people from all over the region. We're really excited about ACE! 2015 which combines two one-track conferences into one. The Building Software Better track includes the traditional ACE! content such as agile, lean, Scrum, Kanban, and other tools and methods for improving the software development process. This year we're adding a Building Better Products track that features Lean Startup, LeanUX, Design Thinking, and Customer Development topics. Learn how to use user testing, ethnography, and co-creation to make the products that people want. This track is for everyone involved in creating products, including product managers, UI and Interaction Designers, and UX Researchers. We're also adding a workshop track so that attendees can apply new skills and experiment with new ideas. It's going to be the best ACE! yet!
We'll be adding speakers until the middle of February, when the program will be finalized.
UX researcher in Studio Edisonda
Sociologist and Business Analyst at ThoughtWorks
Because how can you be expected to learn anything today if you're not even awake yet?
Smart people are logical and objective. They (we) look at the evidence to help make the best possible decisions. We are not influenced by hype or emotion and as a result our behavior reflects the best the world has to offer. Cognitive science now tells us that these beliefs about ourselves and others (especially scientists) are wrong. All of us tend to make decisions based on intuition or emotion and then justify those decisions later with logic, a process called rationalization. The most influential element in our environment is not scientific evidence but stories. We love stories. Research shows that we are more likely to buy a product or embrace a process because of a friend, colleague, or relative and ignore evidence that might go against that decision. Are these bad things? Is there anything we can do about it? We have a long history of being influenced by stories and it has helped us survive. Linda suggests that the real answer is we need both approaches -- stories and emotion + evidence and logic. Both approaches have flaws and benefits. Linda will share examples and tell her own stories to try to convince you and try to help us do a better job of making decisions.
Coffee, in case you didn't show up early enough to have one at registration
Ethnography claims its roots from the field of anthropology. How can a method used for such a seemingly exotic purpose be useful in the modern world of software design? Revealing and most importantly understanding user needs requires sensitivity, empathy, and a disciplined approach – all of which can be found within ethnography. This talk outlines the basic components of an ethnographic perspective, explores a case study from a recent engagement between projekt202 and an accounting software development firm, and highlights how the impact of this research ripples through the software development process.
The new wave of Agile is here, and guess what? It’s not coming from us! Lean Startups are effectively combining Agile methods with Customer Development practices in order to better meet the changing and uncertain needs of the market. But what about well stablished companies that already have a proven business model and identified customers? How can we achieve a similar Agility Level if our teams are already Agile but the company as a whole is not? In other words: how to reach Business Agility?
This talk will give insights on the Customer Development cycle and how it interacts with the Agile Product Development Cycle, creating a double loop of learning. The Target Audience includes Managers, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Agile Trainers, Agile Consultants, Product Managers, Startups.
As main Learning Outcomes, the talk covers the problem behind forging business plans, the need to steer companies in an Agile way responding to the market and the validated learning we obtain from it, the problem on defining Product Backlogs that really reflect customer needs, how the user stories most of the time are assumptions, the need to prove assumptions right in order to obtain product-market fits, how to define MVP’s, how to prove assumptions right, the customer development cycle and a short introduction to funnels and analytics."
Small UX teams have unique challenges, however knowing what those are only part of the battle — how you then deal with having fewer resources and possibly feeling creative isolation, or worse organizational ignorance and/or hostility is the fun part. This workshop will explore some real life team situations that small teams and solo UX practitioners work in, walk you through a UX Strategy blueprint thats small and agile enough to not feel like you're bringing 'process in for process sake', but powerful enough to actually track, measure and learn how to continuing building great products. The goal of this talk is to arm every attendee with better tools and knowledge by creating a personalized plan for their UX practice. This workshop is less about generating design artifacts, and instead focused on ensuring the problems, assumptions and success criteria have been outlined that would then lead feed into how the designs would be created & iterated on.
We can all pretend that we're helping others by making web sites and software accessible, but we are really making them better for our future selves. Learn some fundamentals of accessibility and how it can benefit you (whether future you from aging or you after something else limits your abilities). We'll review simple testing techniques, basic features and enhancements, coming trends, and where to get help. This isn't intended to be a deep dive into ARIA, but more of an overall primer for those who aren't sure where to start nor how it helps them.
In my talk, I would like to give an introduction to feedback in general, as a refresher about why we love it, and how to give good feedback. Afterwards, I want to introduce you to the FeedBook, elaborating on our intention and implementation, as well as our experiences so far!
We'll all gather and decide what we want to talk about in the Open Spaces. Come with ideas!
Fresh tomato soup
Grilled pork neck with roasted potatoes
Spaghetti with spinach
Two hours of planned conversations and whatnot on the topics most interesting to you.
Traditionally; there is usually little validation before work begins on a new product; and teams end up wasting time building something that no one wants. User Experience suffers and companies are left with products and features that remain unused. MVPs; or Minimum Viable Products; can boost a product's user experience exponentially. Teams who implement MVPs will learn more about customers; waste less time; and deliver usable solutions faster. But; MVPs are wildly misunderstood today; and setting up one wrong can deliver false results. In this talk; we'll go over what an MVP is; what makes a good MVP experiment; and how to set one up.
We want to engage with users to improve our product design, but with a global user base, how do you do that from Poland? This talk looks at tools and practices for gathering data from users even when you can't travel to them.
In this session we'll talk about the meaning of "discovery" and about the conceptual tools we have available to practice it. But more than anything else, we'll talk about growing a kind of mindset that will help us use those tools effectively, so that we can get the best business advantage.
A two-hour workshop using Lego to demonstrate and practice Scrum concepts
Last year EDISONDA designed a huge intranet system for TAURON - the leading Polish electricity holding. Our project was chosen as one of 10 best intranets of 2015 in NN/g contest. This project comprised of numerous phases encompassing analysis, design and research - however the most interesting were the results of ethnographic research conducted. It had provided us with a lot of invaluable insights which fuelled the design process. The presentation will be the case study of that project.
You can find plenty books about architecture. Most of them describe *what* architecture is and *why* you should architect it (yes, it sounds a little bit strange but you actually *architect architecture*). However there is just few books that say *how* to do it. That is exactly what this talk is about. This “HOW to architect agile architecture”, based on my experience and examples from my current project where I work as a lead architect in one of the biggest insurance companies in Germany.
Startups are striving to build teams of "A-players" but stars can be challenging to manage.
In this talk, I’m going to make the controversial claim that ROI can no longer be used as a planning tool. Organizations using it are risk-averse, and deciding based on costs, rather than opportunity.
Product Management is an art of balancing customer needs with creating business value. Unfortunately; many of the tools and values we have as Product Managers do not focus on building products our customers need; but building what we "think" they will want. In this talk; we'll look at traditional Product Management; and see how we can adapt Lean processes into the role to create better products for our customers. We'll rethink our most common tools to better suit a customer focused approach; with plenty of example and real life stories.
Coffee, in case you didn't show up early enough to have one already
Markus' talk explains what happens before Requirements hit the Scrum or the Kanban. How are strategies developed, how are vision envisioned, how are they transferred into products and finally requirements? What do we have to know and understand about this type of work that leads to developing the right products for the right people? How can understanding this different nature of work help us accept and and embrace the differences and build onto each other? What does this mean for the organization in companies? What does this mean for innovation?
Let's challenge some of the commonly accepted patterns. High degree of autonomy doesn't turn into anarchy but rather help to keep intrinsic motivation high. Participatory leadership means that every team member is a leader yet it doesn't mean competition. Decisions making process has nothing to do with power structures. Culture is paramount and it goes ahead of technical skills. Collaboration is ultimately the factor the whole team optimizes their work for.
During this 60-minute workshop, the facilitator will invite participants to present some real-life situation that they would like to investigate. The facilitator will choose one or two of the proposals and will guide the group in investigating the issue with an Management Constellation approach. Some time will also be reserved for Q&A about the method itself.
Making the right choices is not easy for designers in a world of rapid social and technological change. Therefore they need to team up with others that can support with their diverse knowledge and experience: Developers, business specialists, customer representatives, and users. The design process needs to be opened up to non-designers.
At the heart of every software product is the code, and code can have smells as well. Ignoring the smells in your code can lead to disastrous results for your product as well. What are some of those code smells, how can they bring down your software product and do you fix them? Learn more in this session.
Chicken broth with noodles
Chicken shish-kebab served on basmati rice
Vegetable tagliatelle (vegan)
The "create your own conference" part of the program
In times where time to market is crucial, one cannot invest huge chunks of time in requirements gathering while blocking the progress on the project for several months. Using a simple, but effective process based on Agile and Lean principles, at EPAM we have successfully shortened the initial requirements gathering phase for some of our projects while achieving high alignment with all stakeholders and validating the most important aspects of the solution architecture.
Building better products and building them better is not a sufficient recipe for success. Each day of our lives is filled with jobs we have to do. For most of those jobs we are not payed, so we pay gladly when we can save time – that is the only fixed currency. Products that try to take more of our time and give nothing in exchange will not be appreciated – no matter how good they are. So what job does your product do for others?
Every organization has tribes. And every tribe has it's rules and believes. Lets walk through them during this talk and understand how it is to be part of every tribe. Through that journey you can better understand how you can help others to move one tribe up.
In this workshop, we'll do some mob programming. We'll write together as a group tests and code for solving a real Star Wars problem. And we'll discuss what we're doing, refine our specs, as well as see what changes in the design tell us. No need to know how to code. Star Wars knowledge is preferable. The key thing is to understand better what the other side lives. Neither of us is on the Dark Side.
The listener will get from this session easy-to-apply tools to equip their Agile implementation an extra focus on their real customer to maximize customer satisfaction and create an important foundation for the buy-in of Agile by the business.
Making decisions in groups is our daily bread. Together we ponder over the right architecture, we select tools and set rules that we should follow as a team. In case of errors we discuss and decide how to get rid of them once and for all. We discuss, exchange point of views, bring arguments... or even yell at each other. During this talk I would like to present various ways of making decisions. It doesn't take much to turn your oh-no-yet-again-a-boring-discussion into something much more exciting, and with better chances of finding good solutions to the problem at hand.
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The ACE! 2015 program is being designed by: