Product Agility

A blog about agile product discover and delivery,
collaboration, and continual improvement

A Quick Dip into our new book – Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning & Analysis

How do you rapidly discover product needs and create a practical plan for delivering high-value products? How do the people on your product development team collaborate as partners to explore and evaluate which work to deliver next? How do you confirm that you’re building the right product in the first place? How do you incorporate Agile/Lean practices into your daily work?

Our newly released book, Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis (two years in the writing) addresses these tough questions.

Here’s a quick tour of the big concepts.

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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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Essential Agile Business Analysis

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!

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Experiencing Agile: 6 Agile Planning and Analysis Practices to Try

What practices can you adopt to help your team experience Agile?

This question was raised by a listener to the podcast we recorded on agile analysis practices with BA coach Yamo. (Find the podcast here.) The specific question that Katie Metcalf asked us was this:

“What Agile techniques would you suggest introducing to a software development team that is currently not using the Agile approach but would like to get a flavor for the methodology?”

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Agile Analysis, Agile Testing: Synergies for Successful Software Solutions

My experiences working with agile teams have taught me that agile analysis and testing skills are truly synergestic.

So much so, that I put together a tutorial for the April 2011 Quest Conference (Quality Engineering Software & Testing) entitled, “Requirements Exploration with Tester Collaboration”. Subsequently, I had the honor to work with agile testing guru Janet Gregory to present this at Agile 2011.

Next month, EBG’er Sue Burk will co-present this tutorial with Janet at Software Testing Analysis & Review (STAR) conferences. So, you might be wondering, what are those synergies?

The Testing Mindset

Product needs evolve into requirements that define what will be built, what will be tested, and how the product needs will provide value for the organization. People with testing skills need to be involved in requirements for the same reason the other product stakeholders need to be involved: to boost the team’s ability to deliver a high-quality product.

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Business Analysis for Business Intelligence

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken to user groups to share my experiences working with use cases, scenarios, and user acceptance tests in support of data warehousing and Business Intelligence (BI) BI analysis. Afterwards, many people ask me to summarize my recommendations. In response, I wrote a short article – Requirements Tips for Data Centric Projects. You can access it here (note: you may have to register).

In my article, I focus on analyzing the context of usage. In addition, remember this: to elicit, analyze, and specify requirements in this space, almost all of the time-tested data-centric techniques are still necessary.

People often asked me for additional tips and advice. What additional considerations for business analysis for BI?

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Best Books for Software Developers

This winter, SD Times editor Jennifer deJong Lent asked me to contribute an SD Times article on recommended books for developers. Jennifer and I agreed my list would exclude books about languages, databases or IDEs. I was pleased to contribute.

Jennifer begins her article with the following: “With the proliferation of online articles and ebooks, old-fashioned paper books seem not to have a place in today’s world. Many experts, however, still find useful things in paperbacks and hardcovers. From technology to people and team management, these books still help developers out today. Here are what the experts recommend.”

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Tips on Software Security Requirements

Security requirements are a difficult quality attribute to elicit and specify. (Quality attributes are one the three types of nonfunctional requirements—along with interfaces, and design & implementation constraints*). Distinguishing can help. So too, it helps to

Sue Burk distinguishes between security requirements and security controls, shares four categories of security requirements, provides suggestions for eliciting security requirements, and explains why making them testable is important in her expert response.

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Power Up Your Agile Planning & Analysis

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.

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