Don’t Call it Improv – David Farkas on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs November 11 2019 True podcast, Product management, product management podcast, The Product Experience, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 488 Product Management 1.952

Don’t Call it Improv – David Farkas on The Product Experience


David Farkas

If you’ve got a background in waterfall processes, it can seem as if agile techniques are just about making it up as you go along. (MTP’s own James Mayes once commented that waterfall, on the other hand, “is making it up before you even begin”.) What happens if we embrace this, and bring improv techniques into the product development process?  UX consultant and strategist David Farkas talks us through how he’s helped teams to better collaborate, communicate, and work together by introducing some of the activities and philosophies to his teams – something he covers in depth in his book, Collaborative Improv – Building Better Products Through Improvisation.

Quote of the Episode

One important thing to note about ‘Yes and…’ is that saying yes to someone does not mean that you agree with them. It’s about acknowledging that person, what they’re sharing with the team, and sharing for the product.

Listen if you’d like to learn more about

  • Building better products through improvisation
  • Collaboration
  • What personality type are you?
  • Team building
  • Learning from failure

Links mentioned in this episode


The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.

Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early-stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. Now the Product Director at Symec, Lily also runs ProductCamp in Bristol and Bath.

A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media and entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Now a trainer, Discovery and Leadership consultant, he’s spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg and Manchester), the Business of Software, Turing Festival, a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, and Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.

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Our theme music is from Hamburg-based Pau, featuring ProductTank Hamburg’s own Arne Kittler on bass. Listen to more on their Facebook page

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