All posts by Scott Sehlhorst

About Scott Sehlhorst

Tyner Blain is a company focused on requirements management and software development processes. Scott Sehlhorst is the founder and president, with a background in both mechanical engineering and software (development, management, consulting).

Outside-In User Story Example

thumbnails in a messaging app identifying conversation members

Being “outside-in”, “outcome-based”, and “market-driven” is particularly important for creating successful products.  The problem is that just saying the words is not enough to help someone shift their thinking.  For those of us who are already thinking this way, the phrases become touchstones or short-hand.  For folks who are not there yet, these may sound like platitudes or empty words.  I know many people who want to switch their roles from “do these things” to “solve these problems.”  They have to change their organizations.  This example may help get the point across.

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Minimum Valuable Problem

redacted use case dependency thumbnail

Defining and building a good minimum viable product is much harder than it sounds.  Finding that “one thing” you can do, which people want, is really about a lot more than picking one thing.  It is a combination of solving the minimum valuable problem and all of the other things that go with it.  Solving for both the outside-in needs and the inside-out goals is critical.

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Professional Services and Improving Your Product

Prioritization at whiteboard

How do you work with professional services, consulting, field engineers, etc. to make your product better? Do you just treat their inputs as yet another channel for feature requests, or do you engage them as an incredibly potent market-sensing capability?

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Product Owner Manager – Alone Together

thumbnail of venn diagram

Product owners and product managers.  Two roles, often done by one person.  Together, the product people need to take an organization’s strategy, figure out the appropriate product strategy, and convert that into actionable work for the delivery teams to create the right product.  What does the product manager own, and for what is the product owner responsible?

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Product Owner Survival Camp

Product Owner Survival Camp 19-20 May, Cambridge, MA

Product owners are likely to find themselves alone in the organizational wilderness. Their organizations expect them to connect the towers of long-term strategic planning with the frontiers of great new products. Iterative and incremental development of solutions can bring these two worlds together. There’s always a gap between strategy and execution – and product owners are ideally positioned to help fill that gap.

What we need is a survival guide – a set of principles, tools, and techniques; learned and applied in a two-day “camp” with industry-leading experts in agile product management and product ownership.

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Customer Churn and SaaS

Revenue by Cohort thumbnail

Software as a Service is not a one and done transactional offering.  A product or business built on SaaS is built on the subscription model – recurring revenue is half of what drives the business (and valuation).  The other half is the rate of growth of that recurring revenue.  Customer Churn is the loss of existing customers and the slope that makes growing a subscription business an uphill climb.

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You Won’t Believe What These Five Lenses Can Show You About Your Product

three priorities of product management - desirability, feasibility, viability

Fundamentally, product management requires you to assess, synthesize, and prioritize the needs which drive the creation of your product in the context of three main objectives: desirability, viability, and feasibility.  While laudable, these objectives are too abstract to be actionable.  That’s where the five lenses come in (I could not resist the Buzzfeed-styled title).

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Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

list of features

Last month, Mike Smart of Egress Solutions and I gave a webinar for Pragmatic Marketing on product roadmapping when working in agile environments. We had a great turnout of over 1500 people in the session – with not nearly enough time to answer all of the questions.

One attendee asked, “Please explain how a prioritized list of features is not a roadmap?

A fantastic question, which we did not see in time to answer during the call.

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You Don’t Know Jack (or Jill)

Candles

You’ve got some shiny new segmentation data about prospective customers; how much they earn, where they are located, how old they are. How does that help you make decisions about your product? You know this information, but you don’t really know your audience, or why they might become your customers.

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