Anatomy of a Agile Product Lifecycle - Eilon Reshef - Agile Israel 2013


Published on

At Webcollage, we have been delivering a software-as-a-service web-based solution used by hundreds of the world’s leading brands (Microsoft, P&G, Sony, Pfizer). We have been using an agile development methodology, with new software releases pushed to customers every two weeks, yielding a very high customer satisfaction rates.

The talk will present the anatomy of our agile lifecycle, including:
- How and when does planning occur? How does the roadmap get communicated externally?
- When and how does the content of each iteration get decided? How do features get estimated?
- How do new features flow in and out of the system? How are large features broken down and handled?
- How do features flow within the system (elaboration, development, testing, release)?
- How are urgent requests and tickets handled?
- Communication and visual monitoring tools
- Regular meeting cadence

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Anatomy of a Agile Product Lifecycle - Eilon Reshef - Agile Israel 2013

  1. 1. 1Agile Israel 2013Anatomy of an Agile ProductLifecycleJan. 30, 2013Eilon Reshef / VP Products and R&D / Co-Founder
  2. 2. 2Business Background
  3. 3. 3Our Business• Operates the world’s largestrepository for rich productinformation• Manufacturers publish productinformation• Retailers subscribe to productinformation and display it toshoppers on their sites• Rich product informationincreases sales, in most casesover 10%The Company• Delivering content for over1,000 manufacturers, large andsmall• Content accessed ~1B timesannuallyAbout Webcollage
  4. 4. 4• Publish product andbrand information usingthe Webcollage platform• Many of the world’sleading brands• From Blue Chipcompanies to mediumand small businesses• North America andEuropeCustomers: Manufacturers
  5. 5. 5• Subscribe to productinformation from theWebcollage platform andpresents it to shoppers• Hundreds of subscribedretailers• Retailer networkcontinuously growing• Multiple options to integratewith Webcollage – makesparticipation simple• The vast majority of theleading retailers in the USand Western Europe aresubscribedRetailers: Content Subscribers
  6. 6. 6Managing Content in the Channel is a Challenge• Each retailer has a unique process for acquiring and implementing content• Synchronizing product launches across online retail is a nightmare• Updates are close to impossible• Retailer resources are overwhelmedChannelWeb TeamChannel ITChannel SalesManagerMFG ITBrandManagerCorporateCommunicationsChannelMerchandisingManagerAgencyEmailEmailEmailEmailEmailCDCDCDPhonePhonePhonePhoneFTPFTPFTPVideosFlashDocuments InteractiveTourImagesWeb Pages/CopyManufacturer Retailers
  7. 7. 7Webcollage Solution at a GlanceWebcollage lets manufacturers manage their product and marketinginformation and publish it in real-time across retailers and othercompanies who sell their productsWebcollageVideosFlashDocuments InteractiveTourImagesWeb Pages/CopyManufacturer RetailersContentPublishingRetailerNetworkw/AutomationContentPresentationReportingEngine
  8. 8. 8The Agile Lifecycle
  9. 9. 9Ancient History: Old Style Product LifecycleLaunchBeta, Release, PRDevelopDesign, Develop, QAPlanNegotiate, Prioritize, ScheduleLong cycles:1 year2 years3 years. . .
  10. 10. 10Long Term Product Planning at Webcollage• We meet annually to decide on high level priorities forthe year• Involves budget, hiring, sales planning, business development, …• We create a “straw man” framework• What we think will more or less happen on a quarterly basis• We keep tons of slack• Slack grows as the year proceeds• Our crystal ball distorts from far away
  11. 11. 11• We have high-level roadmappresentations that show whatwe’re planning for the year• We are not committing thatparticular features will actuallybe developed• We are not committing toparticular timelines• We are doing a lot to make ourcustomers happy, and theyknow it• When we have to give hardcommitments, we do it but itrarely happens• Part of the corporate cultureCommunicating the Roadmap / Plan12354
  12. 12. 12Short-Term Planning• We meet each quarter to review priorities and newlearnings• We recreate straw man plans for the upcoming quarter• We keep slack at ~50%• Quarterly plans are generally kept internal• Not shared with customers• Day to day planning happens in a relatively standardfashion• Wish List, Backlog, “In Play” (sprint equivalent)
  13. 13. 13Tactical Execution: Iterations• Two Week Development Cycles• One-week pre-release period• Two source control “streams” one for “QA” and one for “Dev”• Another one for “Prod”2013.10 2013.11DevelopmentTesting
  14. 14. 14Tactical Execution: Anatomy (small fonts ;-)2013.08 2013.09 2013.10Sun 7 InstallationMon 8 Weekly Meeting (~45 minutes)Tue 9Wed 10Communication Meeting (What’sOut)Thu 11 Done Development (source control)Fri 12- - -Sat 13Sun 14 PlanningMon 15 Weekly Meeting (~45 minutes)Tue 16 Pre-release coordination meetingWed 17ReleaseCommunication Meeting (What’sComing)Thu 18 Release E-MailFri 19- - -Sat 20Sun 21 InstallationMon 22 Weekly Meeting (~45 minutes)Tue 23Wed 24 Communication Meeting (What’s Out)
  15. 15. 15Tactical Execution: Iteration Scope• We avoid “Closed Iterations” (Committed Content) [Scrum]• We use “Open Iterations” (Flexible Content) [Kanban]Feedback Feedback FeedbackFeedback Feedback Feedback
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17Feature Source: Wish List and Backlog
  18. 18. 18Feature Source: Tickets
  19. 19. 19Preparation• No story cards• Level of elaboration varies by depth• GUI: Power Point with pages and GUI design• “Deep” Features: Short Document (1-2 Pages)• “Shallow” Features: Note within case system• Managing the documents in a cloud document system• “Box”• Trying to put in place a “specification by example” session• Assignment is usually early in the process
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. 21Communication beyond Development• We hold broad weekly meetings• Products, R&D, Professional Services, Pre-Sales, Product Marketing,Operations, Technical Services, Technical Support• Not sales• Up to one hour• Discussion• Noteworthy features in last iteration• Noteworthy features in upcoming iteration• Tasks• Create decks, communicate further• Bi-weekly “what’s new” e-mail• (We found out that information doesn’t bubble well enough)
  22. 22. 22What’s Coming Dashboard (Pre-Launch)
  23. 23. 23Last Version Dashboard
  24. 24. 24Rollout Approach: Gradual Rollout• Very rarely can large features be ready 360° out of the gate• Training• Online demos• Key Approach: Feature Flag• Turns Feature on or off• Globally (configuration)• For individual customers• Common Scenario• Feature flag off: internal users only on• Feature flag off by default: select customers on• “Alpha”/“Beta”• “Canary Installation”• Feature flag on by default: off for select customers• Data migration• “Release Candidate”• On for all• Applicable to large features, not to bug fixes
  25. 25. 25Thank You