I went to Springboard and was taught a fairly classic structure for how UX is done:
Research > Personas > Affinity Mapping > User flow > Wireframe > Low fidelity mockup > High fidelity mockup > Prototype > test.
The hurdle with this structure is it falls fairly well in line with a waterfall mindset. All these things have a motivation of getting it right on the first try. They all take lots of effort and time. As the world moves into a more agile mindset, the narrative of these processes has evolved into, “ok, do all that but faster and iteratively.” Naturally, it doesn’t work like that.
Instead, a truly agile team is going to know they’re getting it wrong with every release. Each sprint has a touch of ‘fixing the last sprint’ with a dash of ‘adding something new this sprint’.
Instead of the flow Springboard teaches, an agile flow looks like this:
Research > Design > Test.
While the process is less structured, the approach of constant iteration makes more sense and bypasses the need for many of the previous tools. Personas no longer matter because we constantly test with users to validate our designs. User flows no longer matter because there’s no need to map out the entire application at once now that we’re starting small, adding on to it every sprint, and rearranging when needed. Wireframes don’t matter because the layout likely changes with every iteration, anyway.
By constantly iterating, we achieve the same objective as the larger flow more quickly and with less effort.