Team working in an office

Remote Work Tools


  • Diagram the activity steps to be taken by users, from the users’ points of view first.

    • CAUTION: The critical factor is to diagram users’ behavior before diagramming technological implementation details.

    • CAUTION: Diagram user activities, not user screens.

    • TIP: For best results, also diagram activities performed by the users outside your system, before, during, and after the time they interact with your system.

  • Diagram both external users and internal/employee users.

    • CAUTION: Diagram external users’ activities first, even if they don’t use your system. Then diagram the activities of your employees in support of your external users, even if employees don’t use the system.

  • Diagram the architecture of your system.

  • Include decision points and trace multiple logic paths in diagrams, including edge cases.

  • Create these diagrams collaboratively with the entire team; review with all stakeholders. 


T1.1 Customer Experience Mapping




  • Confusion

  • Defects (Bugs)

  • Disgruntled Employees

  • Impediments & Delays

  • Lack of Communication

  • Late-breaking Requirements

  • Low Output

  • Rework

  • Siloed “Not My Job” Thinking

  • Unhappy Stakeholders

Problems Experienced Without These Practices

Remote Work Tools

  • Wireframing

  • Design Thinking

  • 3D Printing


  • Create low-quality, fast outlines of the components to show the organization of content and simulate usability.

    • WARNING: Users will not be able to remember everything that they need, but they can more easily see what’s missing.

  • Test multiple prototype options side-by-side at the same time whenever possible.

    • CAUTION: Change the order of your prototype options between test subjects to help counteract bias; often the first option presented influences opinions about options presented later.

  • Delay graphic design; focus on elements that affect usability first.

    • CAUTION: Late-breaking user needs often result in significant rework, if graphic design decisions are made too early.

  • Create prototypes of components that users will interact with first; tackle infrastructure design in later iterations.

    • CAUTION: Late-breaking user needs often result in significant rework, if infrastructure is decided too early.

  • Whenever possible, show prototypes to actual users for feedback.


T1.2 Iterative Prototyping

Remote Work Tools


  • Identify, research, and make decisions concerning any design decisions, in the problem to be solved or the chosen solution, that could affect the work of others.

  • Unknown information comes in two categories: things that you know are unknown (“known unknowns”), and things that you don’t yet know that you don’t know (“unknown unknowns”).

    • WARNING: The most dangerous unknowns are the unknown unknowns.

    • TIP: The research of the “known unknowns” usually uncovers many of the “unknown unknowns”.


T1.3 Unknowns First

Remote Work Tools

  • Definition of Ready

  • Definition of Done

    • ​CAUTION: Delivery to the customer is often outside team control and is traditionally NOT included in the Definition of Done. 

    • TIP: In the Scrum framework, the Definition of Done defines what is necessary to get sign-off from a Product Owner - the person responsible for deciding what the product will or will not contain.

  • Definition of "Done Done"

  • INVEST Criteria

  • Automated Subtasks


  • Create a checklist of common activities and deliverables required to avoid rework at later stages of implementation.

    • TIP: Periodically revisit this checklist and remove items that no longer affect rework. 

  • Include items that result in task-switching, forcing people to stop working mid-stream, or put that item aside, until you have the missing item.

  • Not everything on the checklist will be applicable to every task, but you should check if each checklist item is necessary for every task.

    • TIP: The AMMI Design category of practices makes a great starter Definition of Ready.


T1.4 - Checklists