The Settings (Or, making software is like making sausage - you don't really want to know how it is made, but you should)
Immediately one faces the fact that there are way more flavors of Agile than Baskin Robbins ice cream...So perhaps we should begin with the key drivers that lead to typical UX projects. Typically it is the business side of the organization that drives the change, with IT group either resisting change, locked into a technology flavor mindset (.Net, Java, etc.) and in many cases the communications between the two part of the organizations are poor.There are many exceptions, but I want to address realities of large scale projects. In established organizations, despite the desire to use Agile, there are still hard wired protocols and bureaucracy around traceability, change management and sign-offs.
Axure, like the typical UX team, sits in the intersection of messy cultures and is being used as a communication tool to articulate, 'sell' and specify both vision and reality - this is where some of the key risks and opportunities are for us as UX practitioners. By that I mean that the initial Axure prototype is probably very aggressive about rich interactions, features and functionality. The business end gets excited because customers who are exposed to the new vision are pressuring for improvements. The sales department is always hungry for a better product to sell.
Thus, strategic plans and budgets are set around unrealistic delivery targets and often, with very little awareness of the full UX development process. In fact, the UX team is often engaged after the project plan, budget and delivery dates were set (What?! we need to pay for usability tests?!). Moreover, large projects are often broken into phases, which means you can not expect a clean process of creating a prototype, finalizing it and go to the beach, because work on following phases often begins before coding of the previous phases ended - which means that everything is in flux, and the Axure file should be well formed to handle change.
So who are the players, and consumers of Axure output now the the project is in flight?
This post was originally posted on the Axure Discussion board.