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Tag Archives: Product Management

Why Not What – An Example

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Forbes quoted Steve Jobs as saying “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”  This is a really enlightened perspective – and a way to enforce focus from the top down.  Before you can drive a “this goal is more important than that goal” focus, you have to make sure you’re actually focusing ...

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The Product Owner’s Checklist for the First Sprint

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Summary Scrum is a popular agile framework for developing a product with the right features and the right technologies. Unfortunately, it does not state the prerequisites for kicking off a Scrum project and for starting the first sprint. As a consequence, I find it not uncommon that product managers and product owners are unsure about the work they should do ...

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Good Enough

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We hear a lot about building products which are “good enough” or “just barely good enough.” How do we know what “good enough” means for our customers?  No one really tells us. Different Perspectives of Good Enough There are several important ways to think about a product being good enough – for this article, we will limit the context for discussion to ...

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Use Cases for Iterative Development

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Almost everything I’ve read about use cases focuses on describing what needs to be added to your product. Agile development says “get it working first, make it better second.” That means changing the way the software enables a user to do something they can already do. How do you manage requirements for incremental improvement? Iterative Development and Incremental Improvement Iterative ...

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Provocateurs Gather the Best Requirements

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Ask someone what they want, and they’ll tell you they want a faster horse. Provoke them, and they’ll tell you they have a ‘get there faster’ problem, an ‘equine waste disposal’ problem, and issues with total cost of ownership. Thought Provoking If your requirements elicitation session looks like the photo above, you’re doing it wrong. However, just asking people what ...

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Don’t Prioritize Features!

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Estimating the “value” of features is a waste of time. I was in a JAD session once where people argued about if the annoying beeping (audible on the conference line) was a smoke alarm or a fire alarm. Yes, you can get to an answer, but so what?! The important thing is to solve the problem. Solutions Versus Features Everyone ...

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Product Management Slowing You Down?

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Does product management slow down your company? What Causes Your Business to Be Slow? Paul Young put out the call for the third annual You Might Be A Product Manager… list. If you are spending your holiday wondering if Jason Calacanis is right, and product management is actually preventing your company from being successful, you might be a product manager. ...

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A Prototype is Worth a Thousand Lines of Code

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A picture is worth a thousand words. A prototype is worth a thousand lines of code. Two key elements of product management – and of agile development are elicitation and feedback. Low fidelity artifacts can significantly improve both. Polished, codified prototypes can create problems that prevent you from getting the benefits of communication. Prototyping Anti-Pattern David Bernstein has three good ...

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Product Manager – Strategic or Not?

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Are product managers really involved in strategic discussions, or are we just order takers? Adrienne Tan has poked the beehive and started a great discussion with this article. Joining in from here, hopefully adding folks to the conversation. Check it out, and chime in here or on the brainmates blog. Product Managers Taking Orders Adrienne kicks off the discussion with ...

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