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BA and Beyond 19 - Jonas Van Poucke - We stopped doing projects

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Since the 50's people have used projects as a way to fund and organize software development. Teams are formed to work on temporary, development-focused projects which are approved though some sort of business case. The entire focus is on output: getting the project done in scope, in time and on budget. The rare project that meets these constraints can however still produce a crappy product: it does not achieve the necessary outcome (benefits to the user).

This is different with a product mindset. The focus is not on the output (getting features out), but on achieving the best possible outcome for the end user. A product mindset focuses on detecting and solving problems, and adapting when new ones emerge. Teams are given problems to solve instead of a list of solutions to implement. Product teams focus on maximizing customer value.

In this talk, I explain why we favor products over projects and delve deeper into the benefits and challenges of a product mindset.

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BA and Beyond 19 - Jonas Van Poucke - We stopped doing projects

  1. 1. Put your hand in the air when… • You have been involved in creating software. • You started with a pre-defined scope and had to figure how long it takes to build. • You have no clue how successful your product is.
  2. 2. SUCCESS! On time, in scope, on budget…
  3. 3. Definition of a project In PRINCE2, a project is defined as “a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.”
  4. 4. Definition of a project In PRINCE2, a project is defined as “a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.”
  5. 5. Definition of a project In PRINCE2, a project is defined as “a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.”
  6. 6. Definition of a product A product is anything that can be offered to a market to solve a problem, or to satisfy a want or need.
  7. 7. Definition of a product
  8. 8. Definition of a product Mind the Gap Product
  9. 9. Output versus Outcome Your job is to change the world
  10. 10. Output versus Outcome Problem NOW FUTURE Outcome Impact Output Creative Commons attribution to Jeff Patton + Idea
  11. 11. Output versus Outcome Projects maximise output, products maximise outcome.
  12. 12. Output versus Outcome
  13. 13. Projects end, Products Persist A product has no clear deadlines
  14. 14. Projects end, Products Persist A products has a life cycle that consists of multiple stages.
  15. 15. Projects end, Products Persist “Done” means out of business for a product
  16. 16. Projects end, Products Persist
  17. 17. Projects start with scope, Products start with discovery No clear definition of what has to be delivered (scope)
  18. 18. “The business” vs “The end-user”
  19. 19. Teams
  20. 20. Thesummarythatsaysitall
  21. 21. Questions for starting a discussion How would you implement/start… • Find alternatives for managing against time, cost and scope • Teams that stay together and that you give problems to solve (instead of solutions to build) • Focus on outcome over output • Getting out of the office and talk to end users, not “the business”

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