Using Personas to Reduce Risk w/ Scott Sehlhorst

WRITTEN BY Dave Prior


Scott Sehlhorst, SVP and Executive Consultant at Leading Agile, goes deep on Personas in this episode of SoundNotes. During the interview Scott and Dave discuss the difference between Proto-Personas and actual Personas, the importance of empathy maps and how to help management understand that making the investment in developing personas is a great way to reduce risk.
This is the first of several podcasts we are going to be posting on Personas, how to create them and why they are so valuable.

Show Notes

  • 00:08 Podcast begins
  • 00:56 Scott’s background
  • 03:00 Why Scott is so focused on understanding the customer
  • 07:10 Scott explains what a proto-persona is
  • 10:51 Why we need to understand the customer’s problem at a deeper level than they do
  • 13:00 The difference between a proto-persona and an actual persona
  • 19:08 Making the case for taking the time to do personas
  • 20:20 Why we start by making assumptions
  • 24:35 Using empathy maps as a tool to help us test our assumptions
  • 26:48 Personas are an investment in understanding the customer and reducing risk
  • 28:52 Helping executives understand why they need to make this investment
  • 30:34 “You put together a plan and you remove risk and uncertainty from that plan”
  • 31:54 Can you stop at the empathy map and how do you move past it into something more data driven
  • 36:00 Getting the data we need to get to actual personas
  • 39:25 Accepting the risk of not moving all the way to actual personas
  • 43:54 What are the most effective ways to collect the data we need
  • 49:39 Once you have all the data, then what?
  • 52:36 What we’ll focus on in future podcasts about personas
  • 53:25 Contacting Scott

Links from the Interview

Scott’s article (which includes some examples)
Progressively Elaborated Users http://tynerblain.com/blog/2017/09/10/progressively-elaborated-users/

Dave Gray’s updated Empathy Map
https://medium.com/the-xplane-collection/updated-empathy-map-canvas-46df22df3c8a

Contacting Scott

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sehlhorst
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sehlhorst/
LeadingAgile site: https://www.leadingagile.com/guides/scott-sehlhorst/

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