Chapter 7. Integrating Lean UX and Agile

Agile methods are now mainstream. At the same time, thanks to the huge success of products such as the Kindle and the iPhone, so is user experience design. But making Agile work with UX has long been a challenge. In this chapter, I review how Lean UX methods can fit within the most popular flavor of Agile—the Scrum process—and discuss how blending Lean UX and Agile can create a more productive team and a more collaborative process. I’ll cover:

Definition of terms

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page about certain words like “sprint” and “story.”

Staggered sprints

The one-time savior of Agile/UX integration is now just a stepping stone to true team cohesion.

Listening to Scrum’s rhythms

The meeting cadences of Scrum are clear guideposts for Lean UX integration.


A truly cross-functional process requires that everyone be a part of it.

Design as a team sport

Ensuring that the once-closed design process is now open to all team members is key to your success.

Managing up and out

Clear obstacles to your team’s progress by being proactive with your communication.

Some Definitions

Agile processes, including Scrum, use many proprietary terms. Over time, many of these terms have taken on a life of their own. To ensure that I’m using them clearly, I’ve taken the time to define a few of them here (If you’re familiar with Scrum, you can skip this section.)


An agile methodology promoting time-boxed cycles, team self-organization, and high team ...

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