Daxko Atlanta Agile Tour

On November 13, 2012, the Daxko Atlanta team hosted product managers, developers, testers, and designers from companies across Atlanta to see how we work.


  1. Gathering

    As people gathered, we let them wander through our space, explore the various big visibile charts and other artifacts we use, and ask us questions. We also served this really kicking spinach artichoke dip from Costco (nom!).
    Jason Benton (@jasonfbenton) talked about Daxko and what we do, then we went around the room and all introduced ourselves.
  2. Discovery

    Astrid Paris (@tchdoll) kicked us off by sharing about how we do discovery. Discovery is a process that draws heavily on design thinking and methods to help us find and understand significant problems that are worth solving.
    Astrid also talked about the two heads of design—defining a problem and specifying a solution—and stressed that we do both as a team at Daxko. Her expertise guides us, but we're all collectively responsible for identifying problems that matter to our market and delivering solutions that make our customers' lives easier and better.
    Our team recently presented about how we ensure a positive user experience at the PMI Atlanta Chapter's Agile Local Interest Group.
  3. (So, yeah, sans context, that sounds like typical diva designer talk, doesn't it? This is a running joke on our team. It's not uncommon for our team members to take turns driving during pairing, even if that means the designer is driving while the developer is the navigator.)
  4. Planning and road mapping

    Next, Will Sansbury (@willsansbury) shared how we use story mapping to help us generate story backlogs that solve the significant problems we defined in Discovery, how we maintain a rolling road map to help us stay focused and communicate what's going on with the rest of our company, and how we groom and execute stories.
    We also talked about how we organize as a three-member product owner team (lead product owner representing business concerns, technical lead representing viability and sustainability, and interaction designer representing user experience).
  5. Story of a Story

    Patrick Boudreaux (@pjboudrx) and Claire Moss (@aclairefication) walked everyone through how we interact with stories and tasks on our task board as we push to deliver value to customers.
    Claire presented at the CAST conference about how we test. Check out the video of her talk and her slides.
  6. What we learned

    In addition to sharing what we think we're pretty decent at, we asked our guests to suggest to us some ways they've coped with some problems/situations we're facing. Here's what they said.

    Designing in Agile (how far ahead to design, fidelity, communication, etc.)
    "Why do you think you don't have it figured out?"
    "Measure it! Quantify it. You can't improve what you can't measure. (Not really, but you get the point.)"

    Incorporating remote team members
    "Always on video chat like Sococo, Skype, or Polycom"

    Collaborating with other teams that are part of value delivery (SCM, Production Support, Docs, Training, etc.)
    "Idea String - online communication tool"
    "Backend value-delivery kanban?"
    "They come to your demos, right?"

    Goldilocks testing (Not too much, not too little)
    "Start measuring it. Which stories had too much? Which had too little? Maybe it's ok. In which ways are you out of balance? And 5 whys."
  7. Social hour

    And, of course, we ended with beverages and mingling.