Building the best product isn’t about filling our backlogs and roadmaps, it’s about taking the time to determine those few items that will deliver the most value. We’ve seen many techniques for product owners to generate many ideas through brainstorming sessions, have end users contribute to the idea log, or let everyone add ideas. What if the opposite approach yielded better results?
Jim Semick, Founder & Chief Strategist at ProductPlan, advocates for just that in his article “The Essentialist’s Way to Building Better Products.” The focus of his “Less but better” is that we derive more value from focusing on a few high-value tasks or features than trying to add as much as we can. Determine what is essential and allocate most of your team’s effort on it.
The challenge here is our fear of missing out. Many of our product management tools, and even innovation platforms, are set up to collect as many features as possible for the highest number of sources. By filling the funnel with ideas, we hope that we won’t miss anything. The problem here is that this is a fear-based approach rather than an empowered one. If product owners take full ownership, they can spend their time and their team’s effort on the highest ROI items.
The good news is that this is a shift in focus and effort, not a change to our product management tools or process. By using the tools to filter out the great ideas from the good ones, product owners can streamline their value chain. For more guidance on how to determine what behaviors support essentialism, check out Jim’s article.
Create a roadmap that suits your objectives, the characteristics of your product, and the environment it lives in.
The quality of your product backlog is key to realizing the benefits of Agile.
Traditional accounting practices are tailor made for waterfall project management. Organizations that have transitioned to the use of standing product teams using Agile and DevOps need to transform their accounting practices as well or they will leave valuable capital expenditure dollars on the table.
So you’ve gone Agile. You do daily scrums, retrospectives, and all the “right” Agile ceremonies. But still your organization isn’t quite convinced. It is now critical to balance the drivers and goals of both Agile and traditional thinking in order to achieve organizational success.
When trying to implement Agile as a defined process, Scrum turned BAs or other roles into order takers with the title “product owner.” This undermines the entire value proposition of product management.
No matter how good your product roadmap and backlog are, they are only as good as your audience’s ability to understand your vision and priority.
The scrum master is like the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring that every piece fits together at the right time to create something greater than the sum of the parts. You don’t have to know how to play each instrument, but you do have to understand what each part contributes to the overall masterpiece.
Tools are important to product teams, but only when they support solid people and processes.
Aha! introduces scenario planning to give product owners the ability to create and compare multiple release approaches based on team capacity and backlog priority.
If an image is worth a thousand words, a visual roadmap will save you a thousand hours.
Kovair continues to enhance its product suite with the introduction of version 10.0. The updates cover its Omnibus, ALM Studio, and QuickSync products.