Value-Driven Product Development
Maybe you have an idea for a product. You have to figure out how to deliver software that will delight your customers. You want to ship something of value now!
Maybe you need to manage a project that’s already going to go over budget. Your deadline is looming on the horizon. You’ve tried negotiating scope the way the books have taught you to and it’s not working. “We have to have it all! Tomorrow! Hurry!”
Maybe you feel like your team has lost sight of what they’re trying to build. They have a long backlog, they’re cranking their way through it, but it just doesn’t feel right. You’re still building the wrong product… or at least you’re doing an awful lot of work to build the right one.
Maybe this course is exactly what you need.
This course is ideal for you, if…
- You are a business person with an idea for a product, or a product manager trying to meet your customers’ increasing demands for new features now, or a programmer struggling with unrealistic deadlines. If you want to deliver more value with less software, then you need this course.
- You are a technical worker—a programmer, a tester, an architect—having trouble understanding what you’re supposed to help build. Either you build the wrong thing, or too much of the right thing, or find out too late that you should have done something simpler. You suspect that you could deliver 80% of the value for 20% of the effort, but between you and your stakeholders, it’s just not happening. You need this course.
- You are in a startup and everyone is happily going fast and breaking things. You’re on course to survive the “learning to fly” stage, but you’re worried that once you have enough cash to stand on your feet and want to develop a longer-term strategy, that you won’t have the discipline that you’ll need—or worse, that your fellow starter-uppers won’t realize just how much extra discipline they’ll need to stay in business. You need this course.
- How to turn a ridiculously long, convoluted backlog into a concise road map for your product.
- How to build a coherent, minimum, viable product. Don’t let “MVP” be just another useless buzzword.
- Why so many people just don’t get “user stories”, and how you can avoid that whole mess.
- How to help business people and technical people speak the same language when exploring the product together.
- Why you need business people and technical people exploring the product and its features together!
- How to install a common vision of the product into everyone’s head.
- How to “do behavior-driven development” without drowning in a sea of repetitive, annoying Cucumber tests that look like COBOL and take forever to run. Step away from the tools!
- How will you support the people around you in doing these things? With simple techniques like Lost Luggage, Magic Wand, and Try To Stop Me.
I Practise What I Preach…
A company whose software product I rely on to run my business asked me the Net Promoter Score question, and I rated their product 8. I told them that if I could combine their look and feel with a competitor’s features, then I’d rate it a 10. When one of their customer service representatives asked for more details, I sent them a thorough description of what I needed using myself as a Persona, describing my specific business goals, and even writing a few Examples/Scenarios. They loved it! They told me:
This is such valuable feedback that I cut and pasted your entire message and sent it to our CEO and Head of Product.
Wouldn’t you like to cultivate relationships like that between the people asking for features and the people delivering them? This training will get you on your way!
To participate in this course, you will need:
- Something to write with.
- Something to write on (and probably a lot of it).
- Access to a shared document writing service that you feel comfortable using to write about your product. (Example: Google Documents.)
- A product or project that you feel comfortable discussing with others.
Remote Training Preparation
Please do the following at least one day before the course is scheduled to start.
- Upgrade Zoom to the most recent version.
- Check audio, video, and screen sharing on Zoom.
This course is available as a private live/remote course in standard and express format.
The standard course runs as 4 sessions of 1/2 day each scheduled within a 2-week period. The course is suitable for groups up to 30 people. Larger groups should run the course multiple times.
This format includes lectures, group discussions, working sessions, and question-and-answer sessions. Participants practise on a sample product and work on their real products, exploring feature areas, prioritizing features, and writing examples that programmers could turn into automated tests.
The express course runs as 1 session of 1/2 day. The course is suitable for groups as large as your technology options can support.
This format consists of lectures followed by a question-and-answer session. You’ll have to practise the techniques on your own, but I will answer as many questions as time allows. This option works best for clients who need to limit their up-front investment, but need more guidance than reading articles and books can provide.
Start the booking process for your live/remote course.
Team Support Sessions
It is also recommended to add follow-up working sessions to be scheduled 1 month, 3 months, and 6-12 months after the course ends, as a way to support the group as they apply what they’ve learned to their daily work.