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Finding team and service boundaries with User Needs Mapping

Finding team and service boundaries with User Needs Mapping

As your team grows, there are times when the interactions between team members start to feel "awkward." These "awkward interactions" can be potential triggers for team evolution - we need to evolve our teams because something doesn't feel right. However, knowing the team needs to evolve and deciding how the team should evolve are two different things.

This follows a real-world case study of a company growing its team and needing to find alternative ways of organizing itself. The talk explores how, in an ideal world, we might turn to techniques such as Wardley Mapping for strategic decision-making, Domain Driven Design for domain-related decisions, and Team Topologies for determining how to organize the teams. However, learning these techniques can seem overwhelming and cause us to procrastinate when attempting to adopt them. This talk explores how using techniques introduced with Team Topologies, such as Independent Service Heuristics and User Needs Mapping, can help us to identify and validate potential team and service boundaries while moving us closer to the adoption of techniques such as Wardley Mapping and DDD without the upfront cognitive overload.

Richard Allen

May 26, 2023
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  1. Finding team and service boundaries with User Needs Mapping Photo

    by Monstera: https://www.pexels.com/photo/curious-schoolboy-looking-through-magnifier-at-camera-in-room-6186146/ Rich Allen Fast Flow Conf, London, 25 May 2023 1
  2. Rich Allen Head of Consulting at Conjurer Solutions Ltd LinkedIn:

    linkedin.com/in/richardallen Mastodon: mastodon.social/@richallen Twitter: @rich_allen 2
  3. 4 Outcomes of User Needs Mapping Better alignment with marketing,

    product and customer services Reduced cognitive load and context switching Clearer ownership of systems and capabilities Clearer understanding of purpose for staff
  4. Trigger for team evolution WHAT’S THE STORY? The origins of

    User Needs Mapping? User Needs Mapping in action Key takeaways
  5. One daily sync Customer services Production Sales Marketing Operations Engineering

    Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-and-blue-football-jerseys-260606/ 9
  6. Team evolution patterns… One by One Merging Isolation Switching Grow

    and split https://www.heidihelfand.com/dynamic-reteaming-book/ 13
  7. How should we split the team? Photo by SHVETS production:

    https://www.pexels.com/photo/brain-inscription-on-container-on-head-of-faceless-woman-7203724/ 14
  8. Susanne Kaiser “Assess our strategic direction with Wardley Maps, then

    use DDD to understand our domain and apply Team Topologies to structure our teams.”...simple, right? “ 17
  9. We can learn…. Wardley Mapping Users User needs Capabilities Dependencies

    Leadership stratagems Evolution Doctrinal principles Boundaries Granularity Clarity of intent Inertia / Resistance Aptitude / Attitude Climate patterns Maturity Genesis Custom Built Product/rental Strategy cycle Value chain axis Settlers Gameplay Inertia Custom built Landscape 19
  10. Ben Mosior “It takes 8 years to learn Wardley Mapping…

    …7 years thinking about starting and 1 year doing” “ learnwardleymapping.com 21
  11. And… Domain Driven Design Anti-corruption layer Domain Layered architecture Domain

    event Value object Infrastructure layer Domain layer Context map Event storming Aggregate Subdomain Ubiquitous language Shared Kernel Entity Factory Aggregate root Customer supplier Strategy cycle Application layer Repository Bounded Context Strategic design Service Core domain charts 24
  12. And… Team Topologies Fundamental team types Platform as a product

    User needs mapping Fracture planes Cognitive load Team API Interaction modes Fast flow Independent service heuristics Thinnest viable platform 27
  13. Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/halloween-candy-inside-a-skull-5435179/ How might we reduce the

    cognitive load of learning Wardley Mapping, DDD and Team Topologies whilst still getting value? 30
  14. Independent Service Heuristics “Could this thing be a cloud service?”

    aka: DDD-Lite Photo by Donald Tong: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-cloudy-blue-sky-133953/ teamtopologies.com/ish 31
  15. Matthew Skelton “There is value to be found in the

    first stage of Wardley Mapping. It provides a lens through which we can find candidate team and service boundaries.” “ 32
  16. If Wardley Mapping is… Users User Needs Capabilities Dependencies Evolution

    Doctrinal principles Boundaries Granularity Clarity of intent Inertia / Resistance Aptitude / Attitude Climate patterns Leadership stratagems 33
  17. Then User Needs Mapping is… Users User Needs Capabilities Dependencies

    Evolution Doctrinal principles Boundaries Granularity Clarity of intent Inertia / Resistance Aptitude / Attitude Climate patterns Leadership stratagems The first stage of the Wardley Mapping. Without the evolutionary axis, simply Users, User Needs, Capabilities and Dependencies. 34
  18. Rich Allen “The first rule of Wardley Map club: …don’t

    mention Wardley Maps and lead with User Needs Mapping” “ 36
  19. Some heuristics for identifying users “Choose a scope to explore”

    “Consider all users - not just the one who pays ” “Don’t just focus on external users” “Identify users with differing needs” “Who interacts with your systems or products (internal and external)?” “How might you classify or group types of user?” 41
  20. Some heuristics for user needs “If you showed it to

    a user, would they recognise it as their need?” “Try to use verbs instead of nouns to describe the user need” “Try to empathize with users” “Does it describe the problem rather than the solution?” “Is it written with words real users use?” https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-research/start-by-learning-user-needs 43
  21. Annotate & discuss Does this make sense as an independent

    service? Does it make sense for these to be owned by a platform? Is there too much cognitive load for one team? What systems would need to change to enable this? 49
  22. Rinse & repeat 1. Identify users 2. Identify user needs

    3. Map capabilities to those needs 4. Identify potential team boundaries 5. Go to step 1 53
  23. User Needs Mapping can be a bridge towards Wardley Maps

    Photo by Klas Tauberman: https://www.pexels.com/photo/grey-concrete-bridge-on-body-of-water-under-blue-and-white-sky-during-daytime-128362/ 57
  24. Independent Service Heuristics can be a stepping stone towards DDD

    Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/view-of-building-exterior-327483/ 58
  25. User Needs Mapping provides a lens through which we can

    find candidate team and service boundaries to better serve your users Photo by Ethan Sees: https://www.pexels.com/photo/round-mirror-2853432/ 59
  26. Tom Quay, CEO, Passenger “User Needs Mapping has helped us

    to identify previously unseen ways of organizing our teams and was a valuable part of applying Team Topologies at Passenger” “ 60
  27. How might you re-organize your teams to better meet user

    needs? Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-brown-coat-standing-in-front-of-books-4861300/ 61 https://teamtopologies.com/unm