Having an outside-in bias as a product manager is important – you need to understand how your customers (or your customer’s customers) would value capabilities you might build into your product. When running a workshop to collect that information, playing some “serious games” is a great way to get more and better information. We ran a few 20/20 Vision games last week, to great effect.
Tag Archives: agile product management
“For what one idea do you want your product to stand in the mind of your customer?” I heard Roger Cauvin ask that question at the most recent ProductCamp Austin [correction - he said it here - thanks Roger], and the quote has been jumping to the front of my mind almost daily ever since. Maybe by writing about it I can exorcise the demon and get back to using the idea instead of being haunted by it.
April Dunford just presented Startup Marketing 101 at DemoCamp Toronto. Great ideas from the ‘marketing and your startup’ point of view. I’ve often said that product managers and product marketers care about much of the same market data, they just do different things with it. The idea of minimal feature set came up in April’s presentation – this article talks about product management, agile, and initial market acceptance.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Agile values working software over comprehensive documentation, and it values customer collaboration over contract negotiation. With that in mind, how much is a picture of a model worth? Check out a simple example, how it helped, and what we didn’t do.
Planning by ROI. Hmmm. Isn’t that impractical? In an econometric way, yes. But you can still estimate the relative value of the capabilities / stories you’re planning for your scrum sprints. The point is – don’t look only at value – also look at costs. While “ROI” may be a poor choice of terms, “bang for the buck” is not.
Agile development methodologies succeed because they help development teams be as effective as possible. Development teams do not, however, work in complete isolation. The company they work for has a strategy. The company manages a portfolio of products, and targets a particular product at specific market problems. Within that context, an agile team can thrive. What’s the best way to provide that context?
Your strategy should be driven by the needs of the market. Becoming market-driven is critical to intentional product success. But it is not enough to understand your market. You have to sustain your understanding, and take advantage of it, competitively.