Name Top Agile UX Consulting Firms

31 Dec 2013 - 12:28pm
24 weeks ago
5 replies
2224 reads
rwdunn
2011

Hello all,

I'm looking for a "short list" of top consulting firm recommendations (Boston, NY area preferred, but US-wide is ok too) to consider from anyone who has had direct experience working with such firms that have really proven their worth to introduce and foster transormative work practice around Agile UX for web design/development teams. To help frame the scope of the consulting, I'm envisioning a 5-8 day cross-discipline/stakeholder workshop and educational service focused on agile UX and collabortive web product design/innovation.

A little background to put this in context:

My company is considering bringing in consultant firm to help enhance an agile process that is already in place, but not as effective as it could be at least in terms of UX integration. Current scrum teams are roughly divided between 80% strictly "back-end" web product development/engineering (mostly w/out or limited direct client interaction) while 20% represent combination of design/development and "front-end" website template design with direct client interaction. This 20% designs/develops CMS-supported, web templates that are either sold as-is and customized by clients later or designed/developed in custom manner with client interaction (agency style). Adopting the agile process to the workflow for this 20% is still new. Very little, if any, of the agile process regularly includes UX (although we do have a small internal UX team). 

There is growing interest both at the executive and scrum team ends of the spectrum for better UX integration, but not a clear understanding of how best to morph our process and demonstrate to potentially 100+ individuals how roles and work routines could change for the better. It's the classic case of knowing there must be a more effective way, but uncertainty of how best to execute the necessary change.

Would love to hear from those who worked with outside consultants and have seen positive effects. If you're willing to disclose approximate costs anonymously for reference as well, that would be fantastic!

Thanks!

 

Comments

2 Jan 2014 - 1:08pm
Ray DeLaPena
2009

I’ve worked with Thoughtworks on a design and implementation project where part of their mandate was education and process definition. They do offer it as a stand-alone service as well. They have a very thoroughly considered process and adhere to it fairly strictly.

The other option I thought of was Rosenfeld Media’s consulting services and Anders Ramsay in particular. He’s been an agile and UX thought leader for some time and may have a more adaptive approach, if that's better for your team.

Best of luck!

- Ray

3 Jan 2014 - 7:16am
rwdunn
2011

Thanks Ray!

I appreciate the leads and will look into those further for sure.

-Ryan

4 Jan 2014 - 8:07pm
Josh Seiden
2003

My firm, Neo, (www.neo.com) has a great deal of expertise in this area. We offer a variety of services that directly relate to what you're looking to do. Feel free to get in touch off-list (josh at neo dot com) if you'd like to learn more.

Thanks,
Josh

5 Jan 2014 - 5:09pm
Adrian Howard
2005

Hi Ryan,

I'm looking for a "short list" of top consulting firm recommendations (Boston, NY area preferred, but US-wide is ok too) to consider from anyone who has had direct experience working with such firms that have really proven their worth to introduce and foster transormative work practice around Agile UX for web design/development teams.

Bias warning for all that follows: Folk pay me money to do this sort of thing (amongst other stuff). Feel free to ignore me. That said - I'm UK based so don't actually have a dog in this fight ;-)

To help frame the scope of the consulting, I'm envisioning a 5-8 day cross-discipline/stakeholder workshop and educational service focused on agile UX and collabortive web product design/innovation.

From my experience, and depending on the current status of your organisation, you're may need to set aside more time if you're going to get long term value. You can info dump a bunch of stuff - but it takes time and practice before people figure out where the pain points are. Obviously you should talk it over with whoever you decide to work with - but I've seen more success by having a short-ish engagement at the start followed up by some visits spread over a month or two rather than having everything in one burst. Especially when (as it sounds like in your case) there may be a bunch of organisational change that needs to happen.

As for a short list:

  • If Josh hadn't already mentioned it I'd have recommended Neo. They're also have offices close to you.
  • If Ray hadn't already mentioned it I'd have recommended Thoughtworks and Ander's Rosenfeld workshop.
  • TLC Labs are also close to you and do good work in this area.
  • comakewith.us are new-ish as a company, but one of the founders, Jeff Patton, been working in the area of Agile & UX since before almost everybody else on the planet. He has a wealth of experience that he communicates extremely effectivly. I've been in a few of his workshops & talks and would thoroughly recommend his work.
  • While it's not an onsite visit - you might want to take a look at LUXr's workshop products. I've heard good things about 'em. http://luxr.co/workshops. They're targeted at startups, but would still be relevant to many aspects of normal agile ux work. Especially if you're developing new products or services.


You also might want to consider posting this onto the agile usability (http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/agile-usability) and balanced team (http://groups.google.com/group/balancedteam) mailing lists. They're more likely to have folk on 'em who have been or have gone through the situation you're in.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ping me off-list if you want a general chat. 

Cheers,

Adrian

24 Jan 2014 - 2:21pm
John Ridgeway
2014

Hey Ryan,

I do hope that things are going well for you today. Happy New Year.  

Naviscent is a research, usability, design, and engineering consulting agency that uses Agile UX for web design/development and I would be very interested in exploring how we might be able to help your company enhance your current Agile process. We are a consulting company that can work independently of your team or in concert with them on all aspects of user interface design, usability or market research, participant recruiting, or other business functions. Naviscent’s clients include the largest global companies and brands across many industries including Financial, Media/Entertainment, Technology, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Retail. We apply the science of research to the art of design. To learn more please visit us on the web - http://www.naviscent.com.

Please give me a call anytime.  Do you have a moment to connect?

 

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