Dual-track agile is a product development methodology that consists of two parallel tracks of work: the discovery track and the delivery track. The purpose of the discovery track is to explore new ideas and gather feedback, while the purpose of the delivery track is to implement those ideas in a production environment.
The discovery track is typically where the ideation and research happens. The team focuses on activities such as:
User Research: Conducting user interviews, surveys, and other methods of user feedback to understand what users need, want and what are their pain points.
Idea Generation: Brainstorming and creating different product concepts that could address the identified user problems.
Validation: Testing the concepts with users to validate which ones have the most potential.
Prototyping: Creating low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes to test and gather feedback from users.
Experimentation: Conducting experiments to gather data and insights to support the product concept and make informed decisions.
Once the discovery team has validated the product concept, the delivery team takes over to implement the ideas into a production environment. The team focuses on activities such as:
Development: Writing code, designing user interfaces, and creating the technical infrastructure needed for the product.
Testing: Ensuring that the product meets the necessary quality standards and the user needs.
Deployment: Releasing the product to users in a production environment.
Feedback Analysis: Collecting feedback from users and monitoring the product to identify areas of improvement and new ideas.
Dual-track agile emphasizes the need for both tracks to be iterative, flexible, and responsive to changes. The delivery track must be prepared to make changes based on feedback from the discovery track, while the discovery track must continue to adapt and validate new ideas as they are implemented.
Here’s an example of how dual-track agile might be used in practice:
Suppose a team is developing a new mobile app. In the discovery track, the team conducts user research to understand what features are most important to users. They then generate several product concepts, test them with users, and settle on a final design.
In the delivery track, the team begins to develop the app, testing and validating it with users as they go. They deploy the app to a limited number of users for beta testing, gathering feedback and making necessary changes before the app is released to the public.
Throughout the process, the team continues to collect feedback from users, making iterative improvements to the app. They might also identify new features or product ideas that they can explore in the discovery track, which could lead to a new cycle of ideation, validation, and implementation.