Archive | Agile

When the Product Backlog Runs Out

You’ve got sprint planning coming up and, looking at your backlog, you see that there is nothing ready for the team to work on. I have talked to quite a few product people about this and no matter how experienced they were, all of them told me that this is a situation they’ve encountered at […]

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Sprint Zero – On Designing the Right Thing

Developing great products is hard. The most conservative estimates place new product failure rates at 50% or more.  Many of us can relate to working on an exhilarating project with talented colleagues, where the solution was architected brilliantly and even delivered on-time, only to see the product fall short of expectations in the marketplace. Mark […]

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Video: Doing it properly, at scale

Tom Loosemore, Deputy Director at the UK’s Government Digital Service, spoke at ProductTank recently about how to do product development properly, at scale, in government. It’s an eye-opening case study of how even the most entrenched and sluggish organisations can revitalise their digital presence with the thoughtful application of simple principles of user-centered design and […]

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Validate or Die: Using Validation to Build the Right Product

As product managers and entrepreneurs, we know the importance of validating an idea before committing to getting it built. However, validation is easier said than done. In fact, it’s possibly one of the hardest things you will ever do in your product life cycle, otherwise products and startups wouldn’t have the abysmal 90%+ failure rate […]

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The Power Of The Perfect Slice

Agile methodologies extol the virtues of releasing early and using feedback to guide your product decisions. For new products, this philosophy works well and can avoid wasting effort building features that users don’t value. However, agile techniques often hit problems when used on established products due to stakeholder fears about brand and experience damage. The […]

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Agile roadmapping

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay Every so often, I hear someone suggest that you can’t really build a roadmap when you’re working in Agile, because you’re only planning one iteration at a time. That, my friends, is nonsense. In this article I’ll describe a lightweight planning […]

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Beware The Dogma Of Agile And Lean

The public discourse around startups, product management and UX has become a touch dogmatic for my taste lately. If you’re not following the Lean Startup(TM) to the letter, holding daily scrums, doing continuous integration, embracing failure or (pick your own buzzword) you’re apparently doing something wrong. But I think this sort of dogmatic thinking is […]

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