Archive for the ‘Facilitation’ Category

Value: The Lynchpin in Agile Product Management

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Defining Value

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

Agile Product Open: An Illustrated Interview

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Agile Product Open Illustraion

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

The Eyes Have It: How Visuals Can Energize Your Product Discovery

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Visual Language

We facilitate lots of discovery sessions, leading teams to explore, evaluate, and confirm product requirements. A frequent question we hear from agile product managers, product owners, Scrum Masters, and coaches is, “My team is all over the place with backlog items. They can’t agree! How do these discovery sessions get them on the same page?”

The key is recognizing that discovery is a lot like learning: Everyone needs to find the best way to address a problem or opportunity—and do it together. To accelerate mutual learning, people need a blend of visual thinking and visual language. Mix in the right space, and you have a winning combination. Continue reading | 2 Comments

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

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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. Continue reading | 1 Comment

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

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

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. Continue reading

Software That Matters: A Review of Gojko Adzic’s Impact Mapping

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects, by Gojko Adzic, explains how to use an efficient visual modeling technique to ensure that project partners build the right products—or, as the author says, products that have impact. Impact mapping, the subject of this lithe, approachable book, is an adaptation of visual mapping techniques (effect mapping). Continue reading

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

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

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. Continue reading | 11 Comments

Essential Agile Business Analysis

Monday, July 16th, 2012

For years and years we’ve coached and trained teams how to elicit, analyze, and manage requirements for software development projects. We also work on projects—so our coaching and training is based on real project work. We’ve just written a book on agile product planning and analysis. Now that so many organizations adopting Agile as the method of choice, what about requirements? Is there a need for analyzing requirements in Agile?

That was the theme of our June Webinar titled (spoiler alert!) “Business Analysis Is Essential to Agile Success” (use training@ebgconsulting.com to login). For our blog eNewsletter readers, here’s the nugget: requirements drive agile teams!

Power Up Your Agile Planning & Analysis

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I’m pleased to share my podcast with Jochen (Joe) Krebs*, Founder of Agile NYC. The podcast was recorded on October 11, 2011, just before my presentation to the Agile NYC group.

The presentation, entitled, Power Up Your Agile Planning and Analysis:

Deliver Value via Structured Conversations describes how product stakeholders partner to develop a shared understanding of the product needs. I discuss how the partners gain a focused yet holistic understanding of the highest-value requirements and plan the project so that the delivery team builds the right product, at the right time. Continue reading

Collaboration Works: Ingredients for Successful Workshops

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I’m honored to share my podcast with Yaaqub (Yamo) Mohamed of The BACoach. We discuss ingredients for effective requirements workshops described in my first book, Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs.