Posts on collaboration

Product Management Festival Interview

As I prepare to deliver my tutorial (“The Essential Product Owner”) and presentation (“Product Roadmaps: Collaborating to Deliver Value”) at Product Management Festival in Zurich later this month, I wanted to share with you an excerpt of an interview with Mary Gorman and me that was recently published on their blog.

During the interview we talk about what inspired Mary and I to write our book, Discover to Deliver, what problems this book intends to solve, target audience, the background on the 7 Product Dimensions, how structured conversations are different from normal elicitation conversations, and more.

Check it out here: http://www.productmanagementfestival.com/interview-with-ellen-gottesdiener-ebg-consulting/

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Rope Your Scope: Reining in Scope Creep (Part II)

Slide1Last time, I told the story of a team that experienced a breakthrough after clarifying the scope of a stalled project. Noting that scope creep—the unrestrained expansion of requirements as the project proceeds—is cited as one of the top project risks, I promised to describe some of the good practices that help product partners manage product scope in a disciplined way. With clients, I always stress the importance of developing a product vision, identifying goals and objectives for the product, and clarifying the product partners’ value considerations very early in the project before development proceeds. Let’s look at ways to do that.

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Rope Your Scope: Reining in Scope Creep (Part I)

scope creep image 2- contextRecently I worked with a project team developing a software product under grant from four entities, with a government agency as their ultimate customer. They called me in because, three months into a four-month project, they were desperately behind. Why? They’d been spinning in circles, trying to satisfy diverse stakeholders who had overlapping as well as conflicting requirements. The funding was split among several competitors, each with its own competencies, and there was a sense that the government agency was playing favorites based on its own preferences in the domain.

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“Agile Movies”: Tweets for Fun

Curated by Ellen Gottesdiener

The twitter-verse was recently ablaze with an informal playful contest: rename well-known movies using common agile terms and expressions (see my short list of those terms, below*).

It’s the month of and for April Fools, so join me for some fun.

I’ve assembled the best of the best of “agile movie” – with credit to its originator (and his or her twitter handle).

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Cure Your Agile Planning and Analysis Blues: The Top 9 Pain Points

frazzledproductchampionIf you’re on a team that’s transitioning to lean/agile, have you experienced troubling truths, baffling barriers, and veritable vexations around planning and analysis? We work with many lean/agile teams, and we’ve noted certain recurring planning and analysis pain points.

Mary Gorman and I shared our top observations in a recent webinar. Our hostess, Maureen McVey, IIBA’s Head of Learning and Development, prompted us to begin by sharing why we wrote the book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis and then explaining the essential practices you can learn by reading the book.

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Using “Given-When-Then” to Discover and Validate Requirements

By Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener

In our book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis we discuss the usefulness of the “Given-When-Then” technique to explore (discover) and confirm (validate) product options. Here we summarize the technique*, brainchild of Dan North.

What it Is 

Given-When-Then (GWT) is a structured format for expressing scenarios with example data, including pre- and post-conditions.

Usefulness

GWT helps project stakeholders (business, customer and technology partners) communicate using business domain language. You can use GWT to explore product options and confirm selected options and confirm selected options, in a concrete, tangible way. Often called “specification by example,” GWT provides living documentation for your delivered product. It simultaneously specifies requirements while identifying acceptance tests, thereby streamlining discovery and delivery.

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Agile Product Partners: Friends or Frenemies?

It continues to baffle me.

Clients share their struggles managing three, four, or five different product owners (or, as we refer to them, product champions). Delivery teams end up abandoning deployable software right before the end of an iteration or release.

Why?

It’s because the product champions can’t agree among themselves, or with the delivery team, on what to ship. As a result, the team members spend too much time in ineffective meetings and not enough time building high-quality software that delivers value.

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Announcing the release of Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning & Analysis

by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener

We are pleased to announce our book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis is now available.

Discover to Deliver provides the essential planning and analysis practices you need to collaboratively deliver high-valued products. It gives you a visual language to streamline and simplify your planning and analysis. You and your team get practical guidance in how to collaborate continually to discover and deliver an evolving product.

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Structured Conversations at Agile 2012

What really is value? How do you get diverse stakeholders with sometimes conflicting views of value to obtain—and sustain—a shared understanding of product needs?

We discussed these questions and more with Tech Target’s Melissa Webb. Melissa interviewed us to learn more about our Agile 2012 tutorial The Product Partnership: Using Structured Conversations to Deliver Value.

Melissa’s interview synthesizes a number of the key concepts in our new book, Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis, which will be released at Agile 2012!

You can read the complete interview here.

Going to Agile 2012?

We’re also pleased to be delivering workshops, each chock-full of learning activities:

That Settles It! Techniques for Transparent and Trusted Decision-Making on Your Agile Team Wednesday morning, August 15, 2012 with Ellen Gottesdiener.

The Contracting Two-Step: Patterns for Successful Collaborations, Wednesday afternoon, August 15, 2012 with Mary Gorman.

Hope to see you there!

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