Home » Author Archives: Scott Sehlhorst

Author Archives: Scott Sehlhorst

Scott has been helping companies achieve Software Product Success since 1997, and started Tyner Blain in 2005. Scott is a strategy and product management consultant. He has also worked as a business analyst, technical consultant, software developer, project manager, program manager, and electro-mechanical design engineer. Scott has managed teams from 5 to 50, and delivered millions of dollars in value to his customers.

Minimum Valuable Problem

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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 ...

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Product Owner Manager – Alone Together

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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? Product Management Overlaps A ...

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Encryption is not Binary

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If you ask someone if they require encryption on their device, first of all, you will likely get one of two answers – yes or no – useful for segmenting your market or developing persona. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a better answer – “you’re asking the wrong question!”           Be Outside-In, Not Inside-Out Inside-out thinking is taking ...

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

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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). The Product Strategy Grid Steven Haines wrote The ...

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Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

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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 ...

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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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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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Opposite Views of a Product Roadmap

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Your product roadmap 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 – ...

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Agile Through a Matrix Lens

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“Agile” is something most teams do wrong*, without realizing they’re doing it wrong.  A good 2×2 matrix acts as a lens, helping to convert information into insight.  Let’s apply this lens to agile as applied within a company, and see if it helps people decide to do things differently.       When You Say Agile, What Do You Mean? There ...

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Why Write Requirements

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There is a lot of advice out there for how to write requirements. There is not as much discussion about why to write requirements. Spend some time thinking about why you write requirements before you make decisions about how to write your requirements. Why Write Requirements? Whether you communicate requirements through conversation, user stories with acceptance criteria, or traditional structured ...

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