Category Archives: Communication

Articles that focus on communication, including suggestions on how to target communication or make it more clear. Communication can be written, verbal, in presentations, or other forms.

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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Opposite Views of a Product Roadmap

Spinning cat optical illusion - different people see it spinning in opposite directions, some people can switch

Your product roadmap is a view of what you are building right now, in the near future, and in the more distant future.  Or is your roadmap a view of why you are building whatever you’re building right now, in the near future, and in the more distant future?

Your roadmap is both – but one is more important than the other – and product managers need to be able to view the roadmap both ways.

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Pictures and Ideas for Powerful Whitepapers

Pictures can convey messages much more powerfully than words.  In a recent discussion about writing whitepapers, I suggested combining the idea-creation advice from Made To Stick with the image-creation advice from Back of The Napkin.  Check out this article to see some concrete examples.

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Personas Make Blue Ocean Strategy Proactive

Blue Ocean Strategy provides an interesting reactive analysis of companies and markets.  Personas are used to understand your customer’s needs.  Combining the two provides powerful proactive insights when positioning your product for market success.

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Stakeholders in a Barrel

There’s really only one way to travel down a waterfall – in a barrel.  A lot of people died this way, but some survived.  Software projects have been predominantly waterfall projects since the start of software projects.  And stakeholders rode down those projects, basically in a barrel.  The people riding Niagara Falls 100 years ago didn’t know if they would survive until they got to the end.  Stakeholders in waterfall projects don’t know if they will succeed until the end.

An agile project is dependent upon tight interaction (and feedback) with stakeholders.

If you’re running an agile project, and your stakeholders are old-school barrel-riders, how do you make it work?

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Simple Agile Model Example

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.

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