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Product Backlog Refinement with Structured Conversations

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One of the most challenging and trouble-prone aspects of Agile product development is discovering the right product requirements to deliver at the right time, for the right customer, and refining them for delivery. This session will share a commonsense, tested approach for defining and refining backlog items so they are “ready” to get to “done.” Explore how refinement is crucial to smooth Scrum flow, shared understanding, and healthy product development team.

(Ellen's slides presented at April 2018 Global Scrum Gathering).

Published in: Technology
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Product Backlog Refinement with Structured Conversations

  1. 1. Product Backlog Refinement with Structured Conversations Ellen Gottesdiener www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  2. 2. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 4
  3. 3. Product Backlog Refinement with Structured Conversations @ellengott Ellen Gottesdiener #SGMSP18
  4. 4. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 6 Ellen Gottesdiener CPO, Founder, CSM, CSPO, CPF Ellen is an Agile Product Coach and CEO of EBG, focused on helping product and development communities create valuable outcomes through product agility. She is known in the agile community as an instigator and innovator for collaborative practices for agile product discovery and using skilled facilitation to enable healthy teamwork and strong organizations. twitter: @ellengott blog: ebgconsulting.com/blog linkedIn: ellengottesdiener tips newsletter: www.ebgconsulting.com EBG is a global leader in agile product requirements, backlog management, agile business analysis, and collaborative practices for technology products. EBG helps organizations amplify discovery to accelerate delivery.
  5. 5. give-aways 8 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  6. 6. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 9 popcorn please pop up!
  7. 7. agile goal 10 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com discover and deliver high value
  8. 8. product 11 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com “a software application, system, device, service, or combination that provides value to customers and business partners” Gottesdiener and Gorman, Discover to Deliver
  9. 9. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 12 discover deliver
  10. 10. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 13
  11. 11. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 14 Product Backlog items that will occupy the Development Team for the upcoming Sprint are refined so that any one item can reasonably be “Done” within the Sprint time-box. Source: Scrum Guide, 2016 (bolded added by Ellen) refinement Product Backlog items that can be “Done” by the Development Team within one Sprint are deemed “Ready” for selection in a Sprint Planning. Product Backlog items usually acquire this degree of transparency through the above described refining activities.
  12. 12. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 15
  13. 13. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 16 Conditions that indicate that a backlog item is completed, accepted, and potentially shippable “done”
  14. 14. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 17 Backlog item (e.g., a user story) has been developed, unit tested, demo’ed and meets conditions of satisfaction Post-deployment customer feedback prep’d Item can be | is delivered to customer ‘done’ sample Documentation | release notes approved Code deployed to x server No level x defects Acceptance, integration tested
  15. 15. refinement: ready to get to “done” refine doneready 18 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  16. 16. 19 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  17. 17. traveling stories 20 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com NOT ready
  18. 18. poor estimates & elongated planning 21 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com NOT ready
  19. 19. wrong product 22 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com NOT ready
  20. 20. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 23 refinementWhy Who Outcome What
  21. 21. 24 Optimize collaboration Prevent waste (of rework, unfinished work, delays) Can double (or more) team’s velocity* Enable getting to “done” Enable smooth flow * JCarsten Ruseng Jakobsen & Jeff Sutherland, SCRUM and CMMI - Going from Good to Great Increases team domain knowledge refinement (making ‘ready’) benefits © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  22. 22. 25 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com As a concert goer I want to use dining discounts so I can enhance my concert experience refined and ready?
  23. 23. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Environment story w 7Ds refined and ready? ActionAs a Super Fan concert goer concert-related dining discountsI need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience User Control Data Only members can search for dining discounts Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Search query and result Interface iOS, Chrome v50 Quality Attribute Available 95% of time 26
  24. 24. 7 product dimensions 27 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com functional nonfunctional
  25. 25. holistic 28 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  26. 26. conversation 29 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  27. 27. structured conversation 30 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  28. 28. structured conversation & 7 product dimensions 31 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com User Interface Action Data Control EnvironmentQualityAttribute
  29. 29. slice for value © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  30. 30. conversing 33 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  31. 31. 34 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  32. 32. 35 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  33. 33. 36 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  34. 34. Concerts4Me 37 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com . At C4Me we are always looking for ways to enhance our concert goers’ experience. Our newest initiative: partner with restaurants who want to connect with C4Me members attending neighboring concerts.
  35. 35. SC & 7 product dimensions 38 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore confirm evaluate value explore
  36. 36. © 2016 by EBG Consulting | www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Discovery Board 7 Product Dimensions: Options User Interface Action Data Control Environment Quality Attribute Theme: Persona: 1 2 discover deliver Backlog Plan Vision: Goals: Product Partners Value Considerations Objectives: Hypothesis: Problems: Dependencies: … Risks: … Costs: … our example Download Discovery Board kit: http://www.discovertodeliver.com/visual-language.php
  37. 37. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 40 User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options Download Discovery Board kit: http://www.discovertodeliver.com/visual-language.php discovery board
  38. 38. 41 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com User Users interact with the product
  39. 39. C4Me Members
 42 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Dedicated 18 Super Fans 20 Tag-Alongs 22 Soloists 26 % of 
 Less Engaged More Engaged More SocialLess Social
  40. 40. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 43 User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Dedicated Soloist Super Fan Tag Along discovery board
  41. 41. The product provides capabilities for users 44 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Action
  42. 42. Action 45 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Search for Discount Share with Friends Download Discount Connect with Restaurant Provide Feedback Story Map Shows sequence of tasks to accomplish goal Tell a Friend
  43. 43. 46 discovery board User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Dedicated Download disct coupon Soloist Tell a friend Super Fan Connect w restaurant Tag Along Share experience Provide feedback © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  44. 44. Data 47 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product includes a repository of data and useful information
  45. 45. Data 48 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Data Model Shows logical structure of data and their relationships
  46. 46. 49 discovery board User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Artist Dedicated Download disct coupon C4Me Member Soloist Tell a friend Concert Super Fan Connect w restaurant Venue Tag Along Share experience Restaurant Provide feedback Dining Disct © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  47. 47. Control 50 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product enforces constraints
  48. 48. 51 User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Artist Anyone can search for C4Me partner restaurants Dedicated Download disct coupon C4Me Member Only C4Me members can search for dining discounts Soloist Tell a friend Concert C4Me is not responsible for enforcing the terms of the dining discounts Super Fan Connect w restaurant Venue Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Tag Along Share experience Restaurant Only C4Me members can download a dining discount coupon Provide feedback Dining Disct discovery board © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  49. 49. Environment 52 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product conforms to physical properties and technology platforms
  50. 50. 53 discovery board User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Artist Anyone can search for C4Me partner restaurants Facebook Dedicated Download disct coupon C4Me Member Only C4Me members can search for dining discounts iOS Soloist Tell a friend Concert C4Me is not responsible for enforcing the terms of the dining discounts Chrome v50 and up Super Fan Connect w restaurant Venue Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Safari Tag Along Share experience Restaurant Only C4Me members can download a dining discount coupon Android 4.1 and up Provide feedback Dining Disct Android Wear device Apple Watch © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  51. 51. Interface 54 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product interfaces to users, systems, and devices
  52. 52. Interface 55 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Context Diagram Illustrates interfaces to/from product
  53. 53. 56 discovery board User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Artist Anyone can search for C4Me partner restaurants Facebook Search criteria Dedicated Download disct coupon C4Me Member Only C4Me members can search for dining discounts iOS Search result Soloist Tell a friend Concert C4Me is not responsible for enforcing the terms of the dining discounts Chrome v50 and up Selection Super Fan Connect w restaurant Venue Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Safari Coupon Tag Along Share experience Restaurant Only C4Me members can download a dining discount coupon Android 4.1 and up Link to restaurant site Provide feedback Dining Disct Android Wear device Apple Watch © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  54. 54. Quality Attribute 57 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product has certain properties that qualify its operation and development
  55. 55. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 58 quality attributes
  56. 56. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 59 discovery board User Action Data Control Environment Interface Quality Attribute Options Options Options Options Options Options Options C4Me Member Search for discount Artist Anyone can search for C4Me partner restaurants Facebook Search criteria Availability Dedicated Download disct coupon C4Me Member Only C4Me members can search for dining discounts iOS Search result Performance Soloist Tell a friend Concert C4Me is not responsible for enforcing the terms of the dining discounts Chrome v50 and up Selection Interoperability Super Fan Connect w restaurant Venue Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Safari Coupon Usability Tag Along Share experience Restaurant Only C4Me members can download a dining discount coupon Android 4.1 and up Link to restaurant site Provide feedback Dining Disct Android Wear device Apple Watch
  57. 57. Environment story w 7Ds ActionAs a Super Fan concert goer concert-related dining discountsI need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience User Control Data Only members can search for dining discounts Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Search query and result Interface iOS, Chrome v50 Quality Attribute Available 95% of time 60 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  58. 58. your turn… 61 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  59. 59. let’s play! 62 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 1. Layout the 7 Product Dimensions horizontally (in large deck) 2. Read a question from the Questions deck (smaller deck) 3. Determine which Product Dimension asks this question 4. Move the question card under that Product Dimension 5. Select the next question card, rinse and repeat steps 2-5
  60. 60. assemble 63 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  61. 61. Environment story w 7Ds refined and ready? ActionAs a Super Fan concert goer concert-related dining discountsI need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience User Control Data Only members can search for dining discounts Only “active” dining discounts can be searched Search query and result Interface iOS, Chrome v50 Quality Attribute Available 95% of time 64 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  62. 62. structured conversation confirm to learn 65 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  63. 63. möbius 66 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  64. 64. 67 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com “An example would be handy right about now” Brian Marick, 2007
  65. 65. 68 As a Super Fan concert goer concert-related dining discountsI need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience confirm stories example a scenario that contains actual data values scenario an instance of use test concrete, unambiguous accept. criteria Only members can search for dining discounts Only “active” dining discounts can be searched © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  66. 66. confirm w scenarios 69 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com scenario: an instance of use search for nearby restaurant… search for locally owned restaurant search by cuisine As a Super Fan concert goer concert-related dining discountsI need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience Only members can search for dining discounts Only “active” dining discounts can be searched
  67. 67. given-when-then 70 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Story Scenario business rule(s) Given pre-condition(s), state fixed data context of system When action input data what will be tested Then observable outcome: message, output data post-condition, state result
  68. 68. refinement: the whole story 71 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com scenarios user story examples tests analysis models on Discovery Board and enabling specification R executable
  69. 69. refinement by view 72 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Product Roadmap Business Model Generation Canvas Acceptance Test (using Given-When-Then) Product Box Product Canvas
  70. 70. cascading Discovery Boards 73 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Initial PBR Overall & Multi-team PBR (Requirements Areas) Single- team PBR
  71. 71. 74 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com let’s see examples from real discovery sessions ~ photos from real discovery and refinement sessions shown during the live presentation ~
  72. 72. 75 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com in sum…
  73. 73. 76 © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Engage all three product partners (customer, bus, tech). Clarify—transparently and explicitly—value. Discover options using the 7 Product Dimensions. Use structured conversations. Visualize to communicate. Slice for value. Confirm to learn: to verify and validate. success w/ product backlog refinement
  74. 74. © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 77
  75. 75. 78 Right people Neutral facilitator Divide, Conquer, Correct, Collect pattern Visualize, multi-model Prepare, prepare, prepare collaboration tips © 2018 by EBG Consulting www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  76. 76. www.ebgconsulting.com Events, course outlines, services, resources Tips newsletter: http://bit.ly/ebgNews www.ebgconsulting.com/blog www.DiscoverToDeliver.com DtoD resources, Discovery Board, Visual Language for download Twitter @ellengott | LinkedIn linkedIn YouTube EBGConsulting SlideShare ellengott stay connected!

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