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Why You Need Empathy Maps

Dave Prior
Reading: Why You Need Empathy Maps

When we develop products, we’re responsible for maximizing the value we deliver to the customer. In order to do this, we have to understand who we’re actually building the products for. We need to know who the customer is, what problem(s) we’re trying to solve for them,  and any additional information we can gather that will give us more insight into their needs and how we can address them. We also need to have an awareness of where our assumptions about the customer may be introducing risk. Unfortunately, we often get so focused on creating and delivering that this area of focus doesn’t receive the level of attention that’s needed to ensure that we’re solving the right problem(s) in the best way possible.

In this episode of SoundNotes, LeadingAgile SVP and Executive Consultant, Scott Sehlhorst makes the case for why this work is so important and why empathy maps are such a critical (and often ignored) aspect of this work. Scott and Dave talk through a step-by-step approach you can use to deepen your understanding of the customer and their needs, as well as how to make sure the solution you are working on is the right one and how to manage your risk by tracking and testing your assumptions and biases along the way.

If you’re skeptical about the value that empathy maps provide, or how important it is to take the time to collect, analyze, and test information about your customer, this podcast is for you. And if you’re looking for a detailed explanation of how to go about figuring all this out, this conversation may provide you with the blueprint you need to get started making sure you actually know who it is you’re trying to “delight” with the products you create.

The graphic below is referenced throughout the podcast, you’ll want to have that handy as you listen.

Links From The Podcast

The podcast Scott and Dave previously recorded which includes a detailed walk through of how to create an empathy map can be found here:
Creating Empathy Maps with Scott Sehlhorst

You can find Dave Gray’s Empathy Map template here: http://gamestorming.com/empathy-mapping/

Contacting Scott Sehlhorst

If you’d like to contact Scott you can reach him at:

Contacting Dave Prior

If you’d like to contact Dave you can reach him at:

If you have a question you’d like to submit for an upcoming podcast, please send them to dave.prior@leadingagile.com

And if you’re interested in taking one of our upcoming Certified ScrumMaster or Certified Scrum Product Owner classes, you can find all the details at https://www.leadingagile.com/our-gear/training/

Next Agile Teams Defined

Dave Prior has been leading technology projects and teaching individuals and teams how to manage their work for over 20 years.

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