Tyner Blain

Agile at Scale – Outcome Driven (or Broken)

Tyner Blain

Taking agile, a process otherwise optimized for small, cross-functional, collaborative teams and making it work at scale is fascinating. You have to change some elements, and retain others, as you redefine the context.

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Product Management Synapses

Tyner Blain

You know you’re a product manager when this image causes more than a chuckle. A few random thoughts inspired by this Rorschach test of product management concepts from sunk cost fallacy to intentionality. Hanlon’s Razor.

Trending Sources

Minimum Valuable Problem

Tyner Blain

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.

The Potential of Agile

Tyner Blain

The pop-culture concept of a silver bullet – a simple solution to a hard problem – is a dangerous idea. It can be used to over-promise, and doom a team to under-delivery.

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Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

Tyner Blain

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.

Outside-In User Story Example

Tyner Blain

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.

Playing Whack-A-Mole With Risk

Tyner Blain

Assumptions are interesting things – we all make them all the time, and we rarely acknowledge that we’re doing it.

Is Agile Really Cheaper?

Tyner Blain

There are several ways to answer the question “is agile cheaper than waterfall?” ” Here are two of my favorites: “It depends. Agile done well is cheaper, as long as you measure correctly.” ” “You’re asking the wrong question.

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

Tyner Blain

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.

Classifying Market Problems

Tyner Blain

Theodore Levitt may have developed the whole product model to help companies compete more effectively with their products. We wrote about the whole product game based on Mr. Levitt’s work.

Why Not What – An Example

Tyner Blain

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.

Agile Cadabra

Tyner Blain

Agile is not magical. Changing from a waterfall process to an agile process changes how your team works, and helps eliminate inefficiencies. Adopting an agile process does not let you magically have a more successful product. What makes agile powerful is also makes it dangerous. Triage and Urgency.

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Agile Through a Matrix Lens

Tyner Blain

“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.

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Why Write Requirements

Tyner Blain

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?

How is SaaS Changing Product Management – A Research Thesis

Tyner Blain

Paddy Barrett in Ireland is preparing his Master’s thesis on Product Management and would like to interview (USA) state-side product managers for his primary research. It would be awesome if you could help him, and help us all. My Connection.

Encryption is not Binary

Tyner Blain

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.

Product Owner Survival Camp

Tyner Blain

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.

Whole Product Game

Tyner Blain

How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap? I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams. Whole Product Game Background.

Customer Churn and SaaS

Tyner Blain

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.

Professional Services and Improving Your Product

Tyner Blain

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? Conversation Starter.

You Don’t Know Jack (or Jill)

Tyner Blain

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?

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Progressively Elaborated Users

Tyner Blain

Understanding your users is critical to developing good products. A “complete” understanding is sometimes required, and always comes at a cost. A contextualized understanding is valuable but less so, and costly but less so.

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10 Tips for Creating an Agile Product Roadmap

Roman Pichler

1 Focus on Goals and Benefits.

Focus on the Metrics that Matter: Identifying Your Product’s Key Metrics and KPIs

UserVoice

We live and work today in a world that is increasingly data-driven, but we cannot successfully adopt a data-driven approach to decision making without first identifying the metrics that matter most.

Here’s Why Every Product Manager Must Learn to Love Data

UserVoice

“Big data.” It’s one of Silicon Valley’s favorite and most annoying buzzwords, yet there’s no data shortage in sight as data companies continue sprouting (and growing) like weeds.

20 Years of Product Management in 25 Minutes by Dave Wascha

Mind the Product

Dave Wascha started as a product manager 20 years ago working on Internet Explorer 4.0.

The Ladder of Evidence: Get More Value From Your Customer Interviews and Product Experiments

Product Talk

One of the best signs of an effective product team is a regular cadence of customer interviews and product experiments. But it’s not enough to simply check the box on these activities; we need to make sure that we do them effectively.

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

Melissa Perri

“What is the difference between a Product Owner and a Product Manager?” It’s an interesting question and one that takes time to unpack. Let’s look at where these terms and disciplines originated from and how some common frameworks explain them.

Building a Realistic Revenue Projection for a New Product

Mind the Product

Here’s a scenario nearly everyone finds themselves in at some point in this line of work: You’re psyched about a new product or feature in the works. You’ve got requirements, design vision, and even a development timeline. You’ve got feedback from potential buyers and they love it.

How aligning product and marketing teams improves customer experience

Mind the Product

It wasn’t too long ago that designers and developers were disciples of strictly separate crafts – but today, someone who can do both well is quickly labelled a “unicorn”, and sought after by many a unicorn-thirsty start-up.

Escaping the Build Trap by Melissa Perri

Mind the Product

Like most of us, when Melissa Perri started as a product manager she started with giant requirements documents, dutifully recording every little detail from stakeholders and turning them into shiny docs for the developers. Then she discovered Agile and churned out features even faster.

How To Say “No” To A Feature Request

PM Hardcore

No (picture credit at the bottom). Sometimes No Is The Right Answer. Can you talk to me about a time when you had to say no to a customer? Why did you have to say no? How did you handle it?

When should Product Backlog Grooming Take Place?

Roman Pichler

Option 1: In the Sprint Review Meeting. Your first option is to work on the product backlog in the sprint review meeting.

Hiring a Product Manager: A Little Clarity Goes a Long way

Mind the Product

I was invited to appear before an audience of tech recruiters for a panel called: “Everything you’ve ever wanted to know from a technologist, but were too shy to ask.” I realized I needed a good way to explain what it had taken me a while to see in the world of product management.

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Enter The Matrix – Lean Prioritisation

Mind the Product

Prioritisation is a necessary evil of every product development lifecycle. Deciding what to build, where to focus limited resources and what customer segments to target are questions that face every organisation on a daily basis. With this being the case, why do companies prioritise so badly?

Things Nobody Told Me About Being a Product Manager

Mind the Product

Shaun Russell shares his journey into product management, sketching out the well-trodden path he took to getting started – reading, taking workshops, learning from peers, and so on. But being a product manager is really hard, and nothing can prepare you for it.

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

Roman Pichler

As you may know, the product owner originated from Scrum, where the role is responsible for maximising the value the product creates. This sounds like a text-book product management responsibility to me.

How to Sell Your Boss on Roadmaps Without Timelines

Mind the Product

Can’t get your boss to part ways with a time-based feature roadmap? Then sell them on the risk. I wonder what it is about feature roadmaps that is comforting to the C-suite.

How To Fix A Product Management Mistake: Diet Pepsi

The Accidental Product Manager

Pepsi’s product managers screwed up Diet Pepsi, can they fix it? Image Credit: Mike Mozart. I think that we do need to hand it to the Pepsi product managers – at least on paper they did everything that they really should have done.

How to Distinguish Between Your Product Roadmap, Product Strategy, and Product Vision

UserVoice

While you might “own” the product, your product’s vision should be coming from the top of the house. It should be driving everything in your organization, not just product development. Sales, operations, technology… all of it should be working toward a common vision.

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