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Product Discovery Stories: when and how to use a discovery sprint to validate your ideas

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Recording of Kevin Burns, Matt Engstrom, and Jonathan Wentz (Thomson Reuters) presenting at Twin Cities Product Conf 2019.

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Product Discovery Stories: when and how to use a discovery sprint to validate your ideas

  1. 1. Discovery Sprint Stories Thomson Reuters Presenters: Matt Engstrom, Jonathan Wentz, Kevin Burns Product Conference Twin Cities April 29, 2019 REUTERS / Jason Reed
  2. 2. The Agility Journey @ Thomson Reuters “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.” — Oscar Wilde
  3. 3. 3 The Agility Journey @ Thomson Reuters Mindset – Values – Principles - Practices Products Projects Why – Who – What - How Shared TR Agile Culture Shift Agile Conversation Left Outcomes Output Product Agility Dojo
  4. 4. 5 David Hussman
  5. 5. Consider doing a Discovery Sprint if… You have big ideas but aren’t sure if these ideas resonate with your customers. You have big ideas but aren’t sure how best to design their implementation. You are testing new products and/or new markets.
  6. 6. We’re gonna build & test a realistic prototype in 5 days. We sometimes modify this.
  7. 7. If not, SUPER QUICK intros: Venn diagram…
  8. 8. Quality Innovation Value User Customer Business Valuable Design Usable Software Engineering & Quality Assurance Business Customer Technically Feasible Do you have the right balance?
  9. 9. Do you have the right balance?
  10. 10. 1. The Facilitator is in charge of the schedule.
  11. 11. 2. The Decider makes all tough decisions.
  12. 12. We often have an uber-decider and supporting deciders.
  13. 13. 3. No devices in the room. (You can use them at breaks. Or step out of the room any time.)
  14. 14. 3. No devices in the room. (Power Gloves are okay.)
  15. 15. We sometime modify sprint length: • Week 1 – Thing 1 • Week 2 – Thing 2 • Week 3 – Idea Testing
  16. 16. What problems are we trying to solve for who?
  17. 17. Nobody knows everything, so you’ll share info, ask questions, and share understandings.
  18. 18. Ask the experts “How might we…?”
  19. 19. Make a map This will be a simple diagram with around 5-15 steps.
  20. 20. Pick a target 1. Choose a customer 2. Identify opportunities 3. Prioritize opportunities
  21. 21. Sketch The process goes step-by-step to make it easy.
  22. 22. You’ll make fast decisions without groupthink or sales pitches. We sometimes modify this
  23. 23. Sticky decision Choose the best sketches with silent review and structured critique.
  24. 24. If our product is on a screen, try tools like Keynote or PowerPoint and InVision or Marvel.
  25. 25. If it’s on paper, design it with Keynote, PowerPoint, or Word.
  26. 26. If it’s a service, use sprint team as actors.
  27. 27. If it’s a physical space, modify an existing space. The Founder 'Speedy System' Featurette
  28. 28. If it’s an object, modify an existing object, 3D print a prototype, or prototype the marketing.
  29. 29. Interview 5 customers, 1:1.
  30. 30. The team watches over video from another room.
  31. 31. FM T W T If you do 3 sprints in a row… FTWT FT …they won’t all take 5 days.
  32. 32. 52 Focus on User Interactions Story mapping keeps us focused on users and their experience, and the result is a better conversation, and ultimately a better product. User Story Mapping, Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product – Jeff Patton Good story conversations are about who and why, not just what.
  33. 33. “I wish we could work like this all the time” “Great team work and collaboration with business” “Having business experts come explain what they do was very valuable and huge learning opportunity…it allowed us to build deep understanding of product quickly” “I loved how we removed role divisions…ideas come from everyone, not just the business” “Removing distractions was very valuable” “While there are maybe 100 things we could have done differently or better, it was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences I can remember.” What teams say about the experience…
  34. 34. • 100% team dedication (especially business owner) was crucial and led to each individual being invested in the outcome of the product • A neutral facilitator was key to sticking to a tight schedule, maintaining focus, and creating urgency to force decisions • Humility - find out where we were wrong and how we can be better • Knowing we can change it afterwards, nothing is written in stone • Tech involvement - contributing to recommendations, addressing early feasibility concerns, planning code approach early Key Insights
  35. 35. Consider doing a Discovery Sprint if… You have big ideas but aren’t sure if these ideas resonate with your customers. You have big ideas but aren’t sure how best to design their implementation. You are testing new products and/or new markets.
  36. 36. Psst! Check out the checklist PDF. thesprintbook.com/tools
  37. 37. ? Matt.engstrom@thomsonreuters.com Jonathan.wentz@thomsonreuters.com kburns@sagesw.com

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