|Author: Başak Çevik|
|Relevant Service: Organizational Transformation & Change Management|
Thinking Personas in Agile Approach
May 10th, 2018
Being able to look with the multi-layered approach in order to understand human beings solidifies our assumptions about people. If we want to do business in the world which shaped by instantaneous changes, whatever we sell, it is inevitable to get to know their buyers. For this reason, we have prepared the content of our article on the concept of persona, which is at the very heart of modern business methods.
Part 1: Who is This Persona!
Many years ago, when Walkman was like ipod today, Sony was testing its yellow walkman beside the black one in a focus group. Almost every participant have expressed their positive feelings and opinions about the yellow walkman. At the end of the session, the moderator told the participants that they could take whichever they like as a gift. There were two options; black and yellow. Guess what happened? Everyone took the classic black one!
Human beings are complex by nature. Multi-layered looking is necessary to have a deep understanding about them. We suppose, we are all on the same page about understanding the user of our product/service so as to cope with velocity of business environment. That’s why we chose to talk about persona, which is at the heart of new business models and the tools.
The difference of persona and segment:
Maybe some of you have heard the word ‘persona’ before or some of you are hearing it for the first time. It doesn’t matter unless you are dealing with the end user, customer or employees (to put it in another way: simply human beings).
Let’s narrow the scope; in terms of business, a persona is a composite sketch of a user/ consumer of your service or product.
We get used to word segment from marketing. Most of the time they are mixed. So the main difference of persona is looking to characteristic aspect of the user in a refined way, where as segment refers to the bulk of masses. Persona is like the archetypes that effects a particular segment. Hence, we use the personas to comprehend the motivations and drivers of the segment in a deeper level.
So, what does ‘persona’ mean for the agile approach?
A crucial distinction of modern approaches like Agile from traditional ones is the use of narrative collaboration always being at the backdrop. (see the article) Narrative collaboration simply includes the opinion of all users throughout the business development process, rather than some focus groups as in the traditional approach.
A part from the traditional approach, in Agile, if the outcome doesn’t serve the need of the user it is definitely revised or dropped no matter in what period of its development process is.
Here personas are important and useful as well-defined personas are key in providing the smart, discussable, actionable and testable inputs that make agile function well.
So a persona is the first step in Agile development. Because if you don’t know or simply don’t understand the user of your product/ service, it is a fact that you will never be able to sell it.
Four key acts for every persona:
Every persona has four verbal response to a topic. She/he thinks, sees, feels, and takes action against it. Let’s take a deeper look at these acts:
Thinking: The difference between what the user thinks and what he really wants it to be is the key thought in our particular area of interest.
Seeing: What are the notable observations of the persona? How the persona came to his/her thought? What sources of information and observations brought him/her to this idea?
Feeling: Emotional relevance is examined here. Regarding our particular area of interest, how do personas really feel? What underlying emotions might be driving their point of view and behaviour? Motivation, de-motivation, rewards and whys!.
Doing: How does a persona act in regards to the issue? As humans are complicated beings, they may behave opposite to what they think, see or feel!. What triggers an action in an area of interest? How often? For how long? How much money? And so on…
As human beings, we are truly complicated. As long as we are not in a decision state, we may not show our real intentions. Personas facilitate our research and make it more clear, testable and scalable. As this approach makes the status crystal clear, we can proceed without doubt and fast which is crucial for Agile.
The second part of the article is on drafting persona. Keep following!