Dual Track Delivery

A collaborative practice for developers and designers to build shared understanding in service of outcomes based delivery.
Contributed by

Chloe Celani

Published March 19, 2021
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What Is Dual Track Delivery?

Dual Track agile is a way to incorporate user experience designers into agile delivery teams to support cross team collaboration, align design and development kanbans and optimise the efficiency of both teams. Lynn Miller wrote about the approach in a 2006 paper titled "Case Study of Customer Input For a Successful Product". It was later popularised by Jeff Patton, and Marty Cagan.

Why Do Dual Track Delivery?

Dual Track Agile helps organisations address common challenges product delivery teams experience when scaling, particularly in environments where UX and development teams have been working in silos and are required to adapt to cross functional ways of working.

In the absence of dual track practices, teams may experience the following challenges:

  • Designers becoming aware of developers need for wireframes too late
  • Developers receiving designs that are not possible / unnecessarily time consuming to implement
  • Designers working on features without understanding the priority from a delivery perspective

The key benefits include:

  • Creating a shared understanding through cross collaboration
  • Validating features with customers before development begins
  • Less rework of code
  • Reducing protracted feedback loops between design and development teams

How to do Dual Track Delivery?

  • Combine design and development teams into one team. Co-locate and setup spaces for collaboration (ideally with wall space and whiteboards)
  • Merge design tasks into the same product backlog as delivery tasks.
  • Enable DesignOps. DesignOps sets standards and reļ¬nes processes for the design eg. design tools and systems, communications, recruitment & scheduling of participants for testing.
  • Bake in collaborative story mapping.
  • Delivery team members dedicate 10% of their time per sprint to collaborating with the design team on the stories in the design kanban.
  • Or - just pick one of the above and get started!

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