Thursday, April 13, 2017
Upon embarking on my first stint as a product manager, I happened to run into an experienced product executive one day in passing. I asked him for advice and he obliged. He replied rather succinctly: “Ask questions, and then go add value.” He was never one to ramble on. Since then, I’ve taken his advice to heart, asking questions early and often. Now, a few years into my career in the product field, I find myself going a level deeper and asking a new question: Am I asking the right questions to all the right people? Continue reading
Friday, February 24, 2017
Are you on one of the many agile teams struggling with backlogs and user stories? Don’t give up. I teamed up with Jeff Sutherland, CEO of Scrum Inc., to deliver a webinar called “Slicing User Stories”. We focused on helping teams manage their backlogs, improve sprints and release planning, and increase delivered value using practices Mary Gorman and I wrote about in Discover to Deliver.
Here’s a summary of what we discussed. And stay tuned; I’ll go deeper into this in an upcoming webinar with the Scrum Alliance on March 15th. Continue reading
Thursday, January 26, 2017
For project teams to work together effectively, team members and stakeholders need trust. Each team member (product managers and owners, leaders, subject matter experts, and technical staff) have different roles and different interests.
As a product owner responsible for defining (and refining) the product backlog, you are expected to juggle a variety of issues including: choosing the most valuable work, meeting deadlines, controlling costs, incorporating bug fixes, addressing technical debt, ensuring quality, and communicating the changes to your users. If that trust breaks down, your product and process will, too. The result may be hidden agendas, rumors, gossip, no shows to standups, whining, or even subversive behavior. Continue reading
Sunday, October 30, 2016
“Business Analysis Rising” was a fitting theme for this year’s Business Analysis Summit of Southern Africa. The title was a play on “Africa Rising” – a term used a few years ago to describe the expected growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the IIBA South Africa Chapter, it is time to tackle the future of the business analysis profession head on—the age of business analysis is dawning!
This year, the event was transformed from a “conference” to a “summit”. What is the difference? Well according to Conference Chair, Ryan Folster, “…a conference would view a presentation as a one directional transfer of knowledge, a summit looks at a presentation as the start of a conversation that continues beyond its delivery…” Continue reading
Friday, October 7, 2016
We were recently planning a discovery workshop for a large initiative with the Chief Product Owner (CPO). She is part of a growing, global community utilizing the techniques in our book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis. This community is doing the vital work of product visioning and backlog definition and refinement. Discover to Deliver™ techniques are woven into collaborative product discovery and planning workshops. Such facilitated workshops quickly produce agile product roadmaps and release plans.
The CPO needed a succinct way to prepare the customers and subject matter experts who would be participating in the discovery session. She asked us, “What can I use to share the essence of our discovery work?” We showed her a visual spread we call “DtoD in a Nutshell” spread from our book. Continue reading
Friday, September 9, 2016
by Ellen Gottesdiener and Jeff Sutherland
~ update: join Ellen Gottesdiener and Scrum Alliance for a webinar highlighting backlog refinement and slicing for value on March 15th 2017: Making Your User Stories “Ready” to Get to “Done” (register here) ~
Deliver Value Sooner
Backlog refinement prepares your backlog for development. Investing in doing this well helps you deliver value sooner, can double your productivity, and builds strong collaboration—the backbone of high performance teams. We find that Product Owners and development teams need advanced skills and training in backlog refinement. With a keen focus on value and conducting Structured Conversations using the 7 Product Dimensions, you greatly improve your ability to go from vision to value.
Refinement Is about Readying
Friday, June 17, 2016
You’d think the topic of value would be uncontroversial when it comes to agile product management and ownership. After all, early and continuous delivery of value is the first principle in the Agile Manifesto.
And yet, the idea is not always clear and consistent. Value is often not easily qualified or quantified, which makes the important task of conversing transparently about value difficult.
At the Agile Product Open last month, I proposed the topic “Value: The Whats, Whys, and Hows” in the morning marketplace of ideas. Continue reading | 5 Comments
Saturday, May 14, 2016
I spend a lot of time in my work sharing the value of visualization in agile discovery. What better way to share the value of the upcoming Agile Product Open event (May 21, 2016) than visually!
Here is an illustrated interview created by Iris Amelia Febres after interviewing Vanessa Ferranto and myself (we are co-producing the event). We shared the reasons why we started this new event and our passion for the conference theme: “Bringing Agile Principles to Product Management”. Continue reading
Monday, April 4, 2016
Product owners often find themselves alone in the organizational wilderness, straddling tactical with strategic product work. To succeed, they need to be inventive yet intensely focused; collaborative but decisive; and far-sighted but detail oriented.
The best product owners are strategic—envisioning the product, communicating upstream with business executives, researching the market, and continually planning for delivery of high-value product options. At the same time, they are also tactical—communicating downstream with the delivery team, running product demos, and discussing technical considerations. Continue reading