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University of Virginia

Agile Development in Practice (Project-centered Course)

University of Virginia via Coursera


This project-centered course provides a guided opportunity for you to practice your agile development skills. Using the venture design process that frames the four courses in this Specialization, you will apply agile processes to a project of your choice or to a provided venture concept. From persona, problem scenario, and user story development to designing user testing and product launch, you’ll practice leading an agile project. You’ll finish the course with a portfolio-building design brief that demonstrates your learning and specialized skills in agile product development.

To get the most out of this course, we suggest you first complete the other four courses in the Agile Development Specialization: Agile Meets Design Thinking; Running Product Design Sprints, Managing an Agile Team, Testing with Agile.

As a Project Management Institute (PMI®) Registered Education Provider, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business has been approved by PMI to issue 40 professional development units (PDUs) for this course, which focuses on core competencies recognized by PMI. (Provider #2122)

This course is supported by the Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business. The Batten Institute’s mission is to improve the world through entrepreneurship and innovation:


Introduction to Your Project
-Welcome to this project-centered course. By completing the four prerequisite courses, you are now ready to bring together all that you have learned and apply it to develop a product from charter to user testing. To get started, read the course overview and introduce yourself to your classmates. Next, watch the "Welcome and Getting Started" video lecture and then get to work developing your positioning statement. We've included some optional review videos to guide you through the process. Post in the discussion forums your Positioning Statement--then take some time to read through your peers' posts and give feedback.

Develop Personas and Problem Scenarios
-Welcome to Week 2. This week you'll work on getting a baseline on your personas and discovery plan. Submit this by the end of the week to get (and give) feedback to help improve your final product. If you want to accelerate your learning, go ahead and get started on user interviews and set up a few Google AdWords.

Complete Persona Discovery
-Welcome to Week 3. This week, you'll continue working on persona development by interviewing at least three people. As you process the transcripts, look for key learnings and share these in the discussion forum, noting how these interviews impact your direction and point of view. If you want to accelerate your learning, interview at least three more learners and complete a "Day in the Life".

Design and Test Your Value Proposition
-Welcome to Week 4! This week, you're ready work on Milestone 4: Design experiments to test your value proposition. This is an intensive--and exciting--week as you'll get to actually run your tests. Spending around 5 hours probably means just testing your experiment design once. That's fine--that's a great accomplishment! After that, you'll have a solid idea of how to proceed and generally how to test motivation. You'll post your experiment design for peer review and then let the group know how it went in the discussions.

Create Strong User Narrative
-Welcome to Week 5! This week, you'll focus on creating strong user narrative, going in depth to detail out the user experience and plan atomic rewards. You'll develop epic user stories, child stories, test cases--and then put them up on the wall using sticky notes. Then take a picture and submit it along with the relevant portions of the Venture Design Template for peer review. Be sure to save time to give a thorough review to at least one of your peer's submissions.

Design Prototypes and Usability Test for Them
-Welcome to Week 6. This week, you'll focus on developing your user test plan, exploring patterns & comparables for one user story, and then drafting at least two different concepts for that story based on alternative patterns and comparables. You'll also develop interactive wireframes that directly relate to the narrative. At the end of this week, you will submit your test plan and wireframes for peer review and give feedback to at least one of your peer's on their test plan.

Conduct User Testing and Submit Your Full Project for Review
-Welcome to week 7. This week you will conduct user testing and reflect on the results. With this accomplished, you can finalize your Venture Design Template and upload it (or a link to it) for your peers to review next week. We're excited to see these projects!

Review Your Peers' Projects
-Welcome to week 8, our final week together. Your main assignment this week is to carefully review at least three different projects. This is no small task--but please complete it promptly so that everyone can receive their Specialization Certificate on time. We've also provided resources for you to create a portfolio to showcase your final project for your team, your employer, or for an interview. Finally, please share your reflections about the course experience. It's been great working with--and learning from--you!

Taught by

Alex Cowan

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