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Agile Start Me Up - Using the Minimum Viable Discovery (MVD)


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"The hardest part of building any software system is determining precisely what to build." - Fredrick Brooks

Discovering exactly what customers, stakeholders, and sponsors want to create is often the most difficult part of product development. Getting everyone aligned can be fraught with misunderstanding and misinterpretation. We often start with a backlog, but how do you know that the development of the product supports the growth of your company.

Getting off on the right foot when starting an Agile initiative can set you up for success. This presentation will outline a basic flow of light touch Discovery workshops as a way to start your agile product development engine.

Published in: Software

Agile Start Me Up - Using the Minimum Viable Discovery (MVD)

  1. 1. Agile - Start Me Up Chris Chan Using the MinimumViable Discovery (MVD)
  2. 2. Where does the backlog come from? Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  3. 3. Focus on the details too soon Clear cause and effect from work to outcomes Disconnected “pile of leaves”; Unclear relationships Stories only get small and detailed just-in-time for delivery Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  4. 4. Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  5. 5. No Alignment
  6. 6. The Underpants Gnome approach Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  7. 7. No understanding of the business plan Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  8. 8. #1 Task in the process is to Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  9. 9. Who is this guy famous for?
  10. 10. Stephen Covey
  11. 11. #1 Task (re-phrased): Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  12. 12. Where does the backlog come from? Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  13. 13. Discovery – the missing piece Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  14. 14. Discovery drives development • Explore: • Why are we here? • What problem are we solving, and for whom? • What will customers value? • Does the solution meet their needs? • Is it feasible to build with the tools and time we have? • Deliver: • Describe and plan details • Progressively refine backlog into smaller details • Design, develop and test • Measure cycle time & evaluate progress • Evaluate quality Adapted by Chris Chan (@c2reflexions) from Jeff Patton Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  15. 15. Product development is a team sport Agile Manifesto • Value – Individuals and Interactions over Processes andTools • Value – Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation • Principal #4 - Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project • Principal #5 - Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. • Principal #6 - The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation • Principal #11 - The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
  16. 16. Discovery is about achieving shared understanding and alignment Adapted by Chris Chan (@c2reflexions) from images by Jonathan Rasmusson “We are all in agreement then” Visualise & model “Oh!” Collaboratively develop vision for execution and iteratively model “What if we did this…” Shared understanding & common objectives“Ah ha!”
  17. 17. Avoid assumptions on consensus We get traction when we leave Discovery: 1. Collective understanding of the vision and goals of the product 2. Start to agree on how we will work together moving forward Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  18. 18. Collaboratively co-author • Top-down approach • Connect people solving the problem with the problem space and why • Increase your ability to build the right thing Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  19. 19. MVD MINIMUMVIABLE DISCOVERY Just enough to understand and get going Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  20. 20. 5 Step Basic Discovery Flow Frame the problem Understand the business/ customer context Frame the solution Plan the work Commit to success Collaborative Workshop Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  22. 22. Chris Chan | @c2reflexions Image:
  23. 23. Vision Pixar Pitch 1. Once upon a time there was … 2. Every day … 3. One day … 4. Because of that … 5. Because of that … 6. Until finally … Twitter Pitch <idea> #<benefit> Chris Chan | @c2reflexions Geoffrey Moore ProductVision For <target customer> Who <statement of the need> The <product name> is a <product category> That <key benefit, compelling reason to buy> Unlike <primary competitive alternative> Our product <statement of primary differentiation>
  24. 24. Product Objectives and Success Measures • Business drivers • What are the Success Measures for the product? • Revenue • Market share • New users • Increased usage • Increased customer satisfaction (NPS) • Other? IRACIS Primary Driver Secondary Driver Tertiary Driver Improve Revenue Avoid Cost Improve Service Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  25. 25. Roman Pichler Start building the Roadmap We will come back to Features later • Is a high-level, strategic plan • Provides a longer-term outlook on the product • Creates a continuity of purpose • Sets expectations, aligns stakeholders, and facilitates prioritisation Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  26. 26. Trade-off sliders What is “really important” to the stakeholders, what are they prepared to trade-off Fixed / Critical Flexible / Unimportant User experience: Feature completeness: Quality: Speed to market: Security: Minimise cost: Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  28. 28. Personas • Makes users more tangible, less ambiguous, easier to envision, easier to empathise with. • Understand behaviours and user needs and goals. Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  29. 29. User Journeys • User’s (persona) experience • Key interactions • Identify opportunities for change and improvement Interactions Pain points Tasks Distractions Emotions Chris Chan | @c2reflexions Channels
  31. 31. ArchitectureVision andTechnical Solution • High level only • Discuss and validate architectural approach Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  32. 32. Story Mapping is an approach to Organising and Prioritising user stories - Jeff Patton Story Mapping is for telling bigger stories Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  33. 33. Create Story Map Customer Journey End-to-end use Necessity UI details Flexibility …. Features Business/User Goals Activity Customer journey image from Adapted by Chris Chan (@c2reflexions) from Jeff Patton
  34. 34. Mockups / Wireframes
  35. 35. PLAN THE WORK
  36. 36. Vision Roadmap Release Iteration Daily Multi-level planning Daily task planning by the individuals Every iteration (1-4 weeks) byTeam & PO 1-3 months byTeam & PO Quarterly byTeam, PO, Stakeholders Yearly by PO, Stakeholders
  37. 37. Vision Roadmap Release Iteration Daily Multi-level planning Daily task planning by the individuals Every iteration (1-4 weeks) byTeam & PO 1-3 months byTeam & PO Quarterly byTeam, PO, Stakeholders Yearly by PO, Stakeholders Discovery
  38. 38. Small Medium Large Triple Shot!! Guesstimation: How much caffeine does the team need? Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  39. 39. Prioritise and identify the MVP End-to-end use MVP MMF Adapted by Chris Chan (@c2reflexions) from Jeff Patton
  40. 40. Slice releases from the story map End-to-end use MVP First Release Second Release Third Release Adapted by Chris Chan (@c2reflexions) from Jeff Patton
  41. 41. Create the backlog First ReleaseMVP Product Backlog
  42. 42. Roman Pichler Update Product Roadmap Update Roadmap based on what we have discovered Add what features are needed from Story Map
  43. 43. Near term more confident Further out details are more vague Roadmap is not a fixed plan – it will change!
  44. 44. 31 October February Q2 Q3 Version 1 Cheetah Version 1.5 Mountain Lion Version 2 Yosemite Version 3 Kangaroo Customer Acquisition Improved ordering experience Retention Customer Acquisition: new segment • Basic catalog • Pay using Paypal • Facebook integration • Stock availability • Multiple shipping options • Credit card payments 100 new user signups per day 20% of signups make a purchase Repeat purchases • Enhanced visual design • New products • Promotions • Mobile New users A sample roadmap
  46. 46. DISCOVERY Are we all committed to this? • The outcome is a team is prepared to execute and able to adapt as they discover and learn more as they move forward. Did we achieve the workshop objectives? Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  47. 47. Fist-to-Five: getting to commitment • Everyone votes at once • 0 to 2: Explore concerns and ask what is needed to get their vote to a ‘3’? Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  48. 48. Final words… • Timebox Discovery • Couple of days to 1 or 2 weeks for a 3-6 month timeframe • Co-locate • No digital tools! • Avoid committing to too much detail early • Involve the right people, including key stakeholders • Facilitation skills Visualisation is awesome! Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  49. 49. IMPERFECT Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  50. 50. Vision Product Goals & Outcomes Personas User Journeys Wireframes Technical Solution ArchitectureVision & Design Principles Product Roadmap Story Map R1 R2 R3 Identify MVPs and Releases Product Backlog MinimumViable Discovery Chris Chan | @c2reflexions Deliver and deploy
  51. 51. The 3Ds - Discovery, Development and Delivery is ongoing Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  52. 52. - Bruce Lee Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  53. 53. At the end of the Discovery the team will be ready to commence working Chris Chan | @c2reflexions
  54. 54. @c2reflexions I hope to be a disruptive force to those who think the way we develop products and services is just fine