User Research in Agile
I've been a User Researcher at Liberty Mutual for more than 2 years. I've moderated and observed hundreds of research sessions for fast paced agile squads. As a result, I've learned a great deal about the research process and team collaboration.
I work with 12 different agile teams in my current role, that are designing, developing, and implementing projects in quick 2-3 week sprint cycles. That means that prioritizing projects is essential.
Earlier in my career, I fell into a scheduling trap. I accepted research projects in the order that they were requested. It didn't work. High priority projects were postponed or requested to be squeezed in the middle of two studies, creating back-to-back all day work. Teams who I didn't have time to work with were also running their own research and experiencing issues with setup and analysis.
Prioritization is now based on level of importance and urgency. At the beginning of each quarter, I meet with teams to develop a research schedule for the next 2.5 months. I work with designers and product owners to determine the importance of a study and the time frame in which the study needs to be done.