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The Art of a Handoff
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The Art of a Handoff

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We've all experienced the tension that occurs between designers, product managers, and engineers during release time. Scope creep is one key culprit, but another one that isn't often talked about …

We've all experienced the tension that occurs between designers, product managers, and engineers during release time. Scope creep is one key culprit, but another one that isn't often talked about amongst teams is when and how to handoff specs, designs, and code. In this presentation, Poornima Vijayashanker, formerly founding engineer at Mint.com, and currently Founder of two startups BizeeBee and Femgineer discusses about:
* How to setup a process for handoffs that is flexible.
* How to measure the success of the process and refine it over time.
* How to coordinate with teams outside of product and engineering in order to meet business goals.

About the Speaker
Poornima Vijayashanker is a software engineer, entrepreneur, speaker, blogger, and lecturer. After graduating from Duke University with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer science she moved out to Silicon Valley to begin her career as an R&D Engineer. After a couple of years she was lured into startup land. Here first startup was Mint.com, where she was the founding engineer. After Mint's acquisition, she transitioned from being a founding engineer to a founder. Currently she is the CEO & Founder of two startups: BizeeBee and Femgineer, and is spending the fall of 2013 lecturing at Duke University. When she's not running companies and building products she's practicing Bikram yoga, cooking, or traveling around the world.

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  • 1. AIPMM Webinar Series www.aipmm.com © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 2. © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 3. The Hub Of All Things Product Management  Founded 1998, AIPMM has certified product team professionals in nearly 70 countries  World’s largest professional association for product management, product marketing, and brand management  Provides globally recognized certifications: • Certified Product Manager • Certified Product Marketing Manager • Agile Certified Product Manager • Certified Innovation Leader • Certified Brand Manager © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 4. Tweet! Use AIPMM: Product Handoff: #AIPMM #ProductHandoff Follow Poornima Hector Del Castillo: AIPMM: @Femgineer @hmdelcastillo @AIPMM © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 5. Participate and Win! • Win a copy of the Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK®) , or • Win a full scholarship to attend next Femgineer 8week Lean Product Development online course, which will take place February 2014. © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 6. Today’s Speaker Moderator: Hector Del Castillo, CPM, CPMM, PMP Presenter: Poornima Vijayashanker CEO & Founder of BizeeBee, Femgineer poornima@femgineer.com @femgineer www.femgineer.com © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 7. The Art of the Handoff Poornima Vijayashanker
  • 8. Agenda • Why is handoff important? • Why it typically fails? • How it impacts the business? • What PMs can do to improve the process. • Baby steps...
  • 9. Product development is changing!
  • 10. Team Dynamics • Remote teams • Contractors • Small scrum teams
  • 11. Work is being done asynchronously.
  • 12. Affects shipping.
  • 13. Additional Factors • Expectations for uptime have changed • Continuous integration and deployment
  • 14. What has stayed the same • Scope creep. • Resource limitations.
  • 15. What is the role of the PM?
  • 16. Translator.
  • 17. Translating • • Customer requests and feedback into product features Product marketing, engineering, and design speak
  • 18. Alignment.
  • 19. Aligning • Product roadmap with business goals • Team growth
  • 20. What typically happens during a handoff?
  • 21. Handoff Hijinks • Mistake in implementation due to • • interpretation of spec or requirements Too many bottlenecks due to technology that is not agnostic e.g cutting and pasting code No streamlined process for integration
  • 22. Estimates fail because people don’t factor in complexity.
  • 23. Different work requires different amounts of time.
  • 24. People cannot foresee every challenge.
  • 25. Continued pressure from management.
  • 26. Point of no return... • Scope creep • Lack of checkpoints • Poor integration process
  • 27. Process Priorities • • • • Understand business goals (limit the number) Ship Flexibility Deal with scope creep
  • 28. Prioritize Goals • One Metric That Matters • Pushback
  • 29. Flexible Process • Teams grow and shrink What to do if you shrink? o What to do if you grow? o • Responsibilities change • Different parts of the learning curve • Integration
  • 30. How do you handoff?
  • 31. What does design need from engineering? Engineering What does engineering need from design? What does product need from engineering? What does engineering need from product? Is it an actual need? Is it an actual need? Design Product Can product buy design time?
  • 32. Handoff • • • Establish checkpoints Review work Infrastructure: test suite, technology used for integration
  • 33. Measuring Success • Collect feedback from customers and • • employees Quarterly postmortems Use a tracking system o Pivotal Tracker, Sprint.ly, Trello, Asana
  • 34. Getting Other Teams Involved • Meeting types • Post meeting tasks
  • 35. Not another process change!
  • 36. Baby steps...
  • 37. Some people are unhappy and want to stay unhappy because they are comfortable with discomfort
  • 38. Others maybe willing to take a risk.
  • 39. Get buy-in.
  • 40. Make one change.
  • 41. Track its progress.
  • 42. Story of how we cut down our ship time.
  • 43. Additional Resources • • • Lean Product Development Course: accepting applications - February 2014 The Soft Skills You Need to Ship Software Successfully: gumroad.com/femgineer femgineer.com/blog
  • 44. Poornima Vijayashanker Poornima Vijayashanker is a software engineer, entrepreneur, speaker, blogger, and lecturer. After graduating from Duke University with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer science she moved out to Silicon Valley to begin her career as an R&D Engineer. After a couple of years she was lured into startup land. Here first startup was Mint.com, where she was the founding engineer. After Mint's acquisition, she transitioned from being a founding engineer to a founder. Currently she is the CEO & Founder of two startups: BizeeBee and Femgineer, and is spending the fall of 2013 lecturing at Duke University. When she's not running companies and building products she's practicing Bikram yoga, cooking, or traveling around the world. © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 45. Q&A Moderator: Hector Del Castillo, CPM, CPMM, PMP Presenter: Poornima Vijayashanker CEO & Founder of BizeeBee, Femgineer poornima@femgineer.com @femgineer www.femgineer.com © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 46. Upcoming Courses Zagreb, Croatia Belgrade, Serbia Singapore, Singapore Washington, DC Singapore, Singapore Washington, DC Follow the links above for more information, or visit: Transform Your Career. © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com
  • 47. Please Join Us Again! AIPMM Webinar Series: Mind the Agile Business Gap Why the Way You Collect the Voice of the Customer Matters Dec 4th, 3 pm AEDT Dec 6th, 12 pm ET http://aipmm.com/aipmm_webinars/ Global Product Management Talk: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalk Stay Informed! Announcements: http://www.aipmm.com/subscribe Call For Speakers: http://www.boldpm.com/call-for-speakers LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aipmm Membership: http://www.aipmm.com/join.php Certification: http://aipmm.com/html/certification/ © AIPMM 2013 www.aipmm.com

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