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Create Alignment through Proto-Personas

A proto-persona is a fictional character based on what you currently know about the people that would buy and or use your product. Creating proto-personas collaboratively is a lightweight and quick way to build conversation and shared understanding within the Scrum Team about who they believe their customers and users are. 

The key to using proto-personas to better understand your customers and users is to continuously validate the assumptions you have about the people using your product as more is learned about them. For example, if a Scrum Team discovers when interviewing real customers and users that their assumptions were invalid, they should adapt the proto-persona they developed with the new insights. 

PersonasTips When Creating Proto-Personas

  • Start with what you know now about your users. This information could come from current research, data or nothing more than your assumptions.
  • Give your proto-persona a face and name
  • Add user behaviors, their needs and what is getting in the way of fulfilling those needs
  • Focus on the outcome your proto-persona wants to achieve 
  • Keep in mind when developing proto-personas the demographics of a persona are only important when they affect behaviors 
  • Regularly validate your hypotheses and iteratively evolve the proto-personas as you gather qualitative and quantitative evidence about your customers and users
  • Create them collaboratively. The goal is not to create a perfect persona, but to ensure that the Scrum Team is aligned around basic customer parameters 
  • Keep descriptions simple, concise and easy-to-understand




Blog Post
People in organizations are often afraid of running experiments. I have observed that approximately 70% of people responsible and accountable for products are reluctant to validate their assumptions by experimenting. There are several reasons for this hesitancy. The most common is misunderstanding w...
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