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5 Signs Your Agile Development Process Needs Help

Hull Product Owner, Michał Rączka, shares from his experience 5 signs your team's agile development process may need some help, and how to remedy. From his decade of experience managing technical teams at companies large and small, Michał understands when and why certain behavioral patterns arise across managers, developers, and other stakeholders that may cause tension in the development process.

He shares what the signs are, what's *really* happening, and most importantly, how to remedy the issues.

This presentation was originally shared at Userpilot Product Drive virtual summit on June 2, 2020.

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5 Signs Your Agile Development Process Needs Help

  1. 1. 5 signs your agile development process needs help (and how to remedy!) Michał Rączka Product Owner, Hull
  2. 2. Hi, I'm Michał Rączka. I'm a product owner at Hull. WHO AM I? 10+ years experience in product management, engineering, and scrum development Responsible for maximizing development efforts for the Hull customer data platform Passionate about the creative process and finding simple patterns in a complex world Proud father and husband
  3. 3. If you are a product manager or owner If your company runs an agile or scrum development process If your company is still fairly early-stage in its maturity This talk today might help you...
  4. 4. Your dev team says they can't start until they have more detailed specs. one
  5. 5. Dev team feeling "burned" by past experiences Lack of trust in provided requirements and criteria Spec difficulty starts to drive order of work, not value WHAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING: THE REMEDY: Criteria and requirements must be clear and reliable Shorter feedback loops Spike stories Agile is about empowering development teams and striking the right balance between requirements that are too detailed and ones that are incomplete.
  6. 6. Business stakeholders have suggested more upfront planning. two
  7. 7. Issues may be appearing late in the delivery cycle Lack of timely communication Business stakeholders feel out-of-the-loop...or they feel you've lost control WHAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING: THE REMEDY: Talk more about risks Be in touch early, and often Don't miss stand-ups Demos and reviews help uncover problems and misalignment Agile is about getting to a planning sweet spot when the process is the most efficient for every involved party, doing it too early is waste of time, doing it too late is chaos
  8. 8. You, as the product owner, are the only one updating the backlog. three
  9. 9. Purpose of the backlog is not mutually understood by everyone Backlog is perceived as defined and not actionable There is no space to discuss updates WHAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING: THE REMEDY: Tooling adjustments High-level reporting for stakeholders Additional guidance for developers In Agile, the backlog is a tool to communicate between different actors and stakeholders of the software development process.
  10. 10. Sprint planning involves you telling developers what to work on. four
  11. 11. Developers may not understand stories Not enough time given to refine and work on stories prior to sprint planning Last minute changes are handled poorly WHAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING: THE REMEDY: Find enough time for backlog refinement Be open to changing the sprint schedule Agile is about the collective understanding of each story, its goals, and its requirements.
  12. 12. You only hear about problems and issues that arise after your product feature has shipped. five
  13. 13. WHAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING: THE REMEDY: Iteration with close customers, internal stakeholders, and even prospects Product usage analytics Agile is about reflection and continuous improvement. Getting the entire picture (good and bad) helps the team and learn from the experience and improve. Product or feature was built "in a vacuum" Work was done disconnected from actual users No demos and reviews during the development process As a result, only half of the picture is seen
  14. 14. "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly." Manifesto for Agile Software Development
  15. 15. Thank you! GET IN TOUCH: Email me at Connect on LinkedIn Learn more about Hull at