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Date

Creating Outcome Focused User Stories with Scott Sehlhorst

When I have questions about product-related topics Scott Sehlhorst is always the first person I reach out to. He is a product management and strategy consultant that makes my head explode every time I talk to him and this interview is no exception. Scott joined me for this interview that builds on his recent blog post “How to Make Your Product Special” (https://bit.ly/3AciBBK). We dig into product positioning, why understanding the desired outcome the product is supposed to provide is often the thing fail to understand, and how to start creating User Stories that are focused on those outcomes instead of the output-driven stories most people write.

This interview covers a lot of ground as we talk through the challenges we all face when we’re trying to understand the problems we are trying to solve, who we are solving them for, and how to capture a user-centric explanation of what we need to create in a way that genuinely addresses the goal of the end-user. 

This podcast will make more sense if you first check out Scott’s blog post “How to Make Your Product Special” (https://bit.ly/3AciBBK

drunkenpmradio · Creating Outcome Focused User Stories with Scott Sehlhorst

Contacting Scott

Posted on: June 30, 2022 08:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Assumptions Mapping with David Bland

Assumptions are often the Achilles heel of any development effort. These are the things we’ve unintentionally decided are true and unfortunately, far too often, our assumptions are wrong. If you’ve based the success of the work you are doing on incorrect assumptions… VERYBADTHINGS.

But, if they are things we’ve unintentionally decided are true? How do we find them in the first place? And if we can find them, what do we do about them?

This episode is all about understanding the assumptions we are making when we develop new products and services. Precoil Founder David Bland has joined me to talk about why we need to pay attention to assumptions and how to use Assumptions Mapping to determine which of our assumptions present the biggest threat and need to be addressed first. During the interview, we review how to use the Assumptions Mapping approach that is included in Testing Business Ideas, the book David co-wrote with Alexander Osterwalder.

 

drunkenpmradio · Assumptions Mapping with David Bland

Links from the Podcast

Contacting David

Posted on: November 29, 2021 02:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

When Your Team Members Also Report to Other Teams w Dan Eberle

In this episode of the podcast, Agile Coach Dan Eberle is back to help me respond to a student question that is complicated, confusing, and more common than it should be…

Ivan (not the person’s real name) explained the situation like this… 

Six Product Owners/Developers oversee 20 reports within the org. Each of the reports has a specialized role. They are broken up into teams that range in size from 1-5 people, and the team size tends to fluctuate. Some of the Product Owners/Developers oversee teams and are also the people managers of the individuals on the team. Some of the team members report to people managers who are Product Owner/Developers of other teams, team members of other teams, or people completely outside the grouping of 6 + 20. There is competition for the attention/efforts of team members who are allocated to more than one project and/or reporting to a people manager who has different priorities than the PO/Dev they are assigned to work with. 

Basically, everyone is over-allocated and the people on your team, who you need to do the work you are responsible for, are being pulled in other directions either by the person they report to, or the other projects they are assigned to. 

I tried to draw a picture of this. Ivan confirmed this was pretty accurate. https://bit.ly/30doyyk

During the conversation, Dan and I discuss the challenges this situation creates, potential responses, what the root cause of this problem might be and how to pursue solving that, rather than simply finding a coping strategy

drunkenpmradio · When Your Team Members Also Report to Other Teams w Dan Eberle

Links from the Podcast

To Learn More about the Lean Agile Visual Management (LAVM) course Dan and I are taking with Modus Cooperandi -> https://bit.ly/3HbZ6u6

Contacting Dan

Posted on: November 12, 2021 01:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Understanding the Product Goal with Don McGreal

In November of 2020, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland released an update to the Scrum Guide. One of the changes they introduced was the Product Goal. This is a change which, to me, seemed like a brilliant way to keep the Product Backlog focused on achieving a measurable outcome, but at the same time, it seemed at odds with how I had come to think about and work with a Product Backlog. For the past few months, I’ve been speaking with Agile and Scrum thought leaders in podcast interviews, trying to get my head around the concept. All of the conversations have helped me deepen my understanding of this topic, but the ones I have had with Don McGreal reshaped how I understand the way that the Product Goal impacts my entire understanding of a Product Backlog and how to work with it.

Don McGreal is the VP of Learning Solutions at Improving, the co-Author of The Professional Product Owner book, the co-founder of TastyCupcakes.org, and a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer. He’s also a really nice guy and he was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about the Product Goal. 

In this interview, Don shares how 4DX has impacts his approach to Product Ownership, working with the Product Backlog, and how it fits with the Product Goal serving as a measurable step towards achieving the Product Vision. As Don and I continue the discussion we explore some of the choices that Product Goal is going to force you to make about how you work with a Product Backlog. For example:

If the Scrum Team is focused on one Product Goal at a time, and all the work in the Product Backlog should serve the Product Goal, what do we do with technical debt? 

If you are trying to get your head around Product Goal, this interview is going to pose some important questions that require you to reconsider how your team (and your organization) works with a Product Backlog, what jobs you are hiring it to do, and how to be disciplined, but not dogmatic in your practice of Scrum.

drunkenpmradio · Understanding the Product Goal w Don McGreal

Links

Contacting Don

Posted on: May 16, 2021 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Product Goal w/ Dave West

TLDR - My podcast interview with Scrum.org CEO Dave West on the Product Goal - what is it, how do I work with it.

In November 2020 Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber introduced a new version of the Scrum Guide. There are a number of changes they introduced to Scrum in the update, including the topic of Product Goal. 

Here is what the Scrum Guide says about Product Goal:

“The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.

A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users, or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract.

The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team. They must fulfill (or abandon) one objective before taking on the next.”

Initially, I found this mildly at odds with respect to how I tend to think of the Product Backlog - as a set of options... all the things we could do. And the more I tried to understand it, the more I felt it slipping through my fingers.

I've raised my concerns about the Product Goal in a few other interviews recently, but I got to a point where I knew I needed help getting my head around it. So I reached out and I am deeply indebted to the folks from Scrum.org who were kind enough to share their time and wisdom with me.

This interview with Scrum.org CEO, Dave West, is the first of a few podcasts I am going to post on the topic. Dave not only helped me get a better understanding of the concept, but he challenged me with something towards the end of the interview that helped me shake off my dogmatic blues and re-embrace the idea of Scrum being a framework that is meant to be adapted. 

drunkenpmradio · Product Goal with Dave West

Links from the podcast

Previous Interviews that involve Product Goal: 

If you'd like to contact Dave West you can find him here:

Posted on: May 03, 2021 10:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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