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How to Keep Product Development Teams Going Fast

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Session from ProductCamp 11 in Austin (July 2013)

Features often get delivered quickly on new software projects, but the pace gets exponentially slower over time. Why does this happen and what can you do about it? In this session, we'll introduce the hidden drag of technical debt and explain how it works. Through a combination of presentation, discussion and exercises Product Managers will learn how to recognize the symptoms and work with your team to eliminate it, so you can keep going fast.

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How to Keep Product Development Teams Going Fast

  1. 1. HOW TO KEEP YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TEAMS GOING FAST Product Camp Austin 11
  2. 2. As you come in, find someone in the room and discuss what you know about Technical Debt
  3. 3. We’d prefer a fast, steady stream of new features…
  4. 4. But sometimes it feels more like this
  5. 5. Long Delivery Times Mounting Defects Rising Development Costs Poor Customer Responsiveness Late Deliveries Frustrated and Poor Performing Teams
  6. 6. Intentional Debt Temporary Code Business Pressure Delayed Testing Other Conscious Tradeoffs
  7. 7. Unintentional Debt Poor Code or Design Business Pressure Poor Practices Inflexible Software Lack of understanding Poor design/architecture Unintended Complexity Poor design
  8. 8. A Vicious Cycle Time Pressure Poorly Implemented Features Late Delivery
  9. 9. Continuous Integration
  10. 10. Test (and other) Automation
  11. 11. Refactoring - would you trust delivery of your products over this road?
  12. 12. Peer Review
  13. 13. http://jimhighsmith.com/the-financial-implications-of-technical-debt/ Jim Highsmith’s Technical Debt Graph Rewrite!
  14. 14. Let’s do an exercise to understand the concept further. Form into Teams of at least 4 people.
  15. 15. Feature Cost: 15 Feature Cost: 10 Feature Cost: 5 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 10 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Iteration Card Setup your board as follows
  16. 16. Feature Cost: 15 Feature Cost: 10 Feature Cost: 5 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 10 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Iteration Card Add up the total impact of all technical debt items -35
  17. 17. 0" 10" 20" 30" 40" 50" 60" 70" Itera/ on"1" Itera/ on"2" Itera/ on"3" Itera/ on"4" Itera/ on"5" Theori/ cal"Capacity" Technical"Debt"Impact" -35 25 X
  18. 18. 0" 10" 20" 30" 40" 50" 60" 70" Itera/ on"1" Itera/ on"2" Itera/ on"3" Itera/ on"4" Itera/ on"5" Theori/ cal"Capacity" Technical"Debt"Impact"
  19. 19. Feature Cost: 10 Feature Cost: 15 Feature Cost: 10 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 15 Impact -10 Technical Debt Cost 10 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Technical Debt Cost 5 Impact -5 Iteration Card You have 25 Points to Spend Select the cards you want to spend your points on. No partially done work. Feature Cost: 5 Feature Cost: 5
  20. 20. 0" 10" 20" 30" 40" 50" 60" 70" Itera/ on"1" Itera/ on"2" Itera/ on"3" Itera/ on"4" Itera/ on"5" Theori/ cal"Capacity" Technical"Debt"Impact" -35 25 10 15 15 X
  21. 21. The goal is to complete as many feature points at the end of 5 iterations. Go!
  22. 22. The goal is to complete as many feature points at the end of 5 iterations. Stop!
  23. 23. Theoretical Capacity Technical Debt Productivity Time
  24. 24. In order to go fast we need a focus on Craftsmanship
  25. 25. Capture your debt
  26. 26. Visualize and estimate
  27. 27. Need to invest time, team needs slack
  28. 28. Discuss how you could apply these concepts to help your teams go fast.

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