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In our first class, we’ll discuss the various characteristics and types of products, paying particular attention to the product lifecycle. We’ll introduce the idea of a business model, and discuss the various risks that products might face in different parts of the product lifecycle. We’ll review a brief history of project and product management, and discuss the differences between the two.

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  1. 1. i290 lean/agile product management unit 1: foundations @jezhumble This work © 2015-17 Jez Humble Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
  2. 2. course overview • The history of project & product management • The product lifecycle • Economic frameworks for product management • User research • Agile software development • Lean startup • The experimental paradigm of product development • How to grow high performance teams • Release planning • Process improvement • Innovation accounting • Product marketing • Venture capital
  3. 3. assignments and grading • 15% for attendance; • 20% for one 25 minute group topic presentation; • 30% for your 25 minute final group project; • 35% for a set of weekly assignments as described in the syllabus which take the form of either exercises or short essays. Full details at
  4. 4. grasp the history of project management understand the lifecycle of products be able to perform basic risk analysis know the difference between product and project understand the forces acting on products now learning outcomes
  5. 5. by type: web service, user-installed, embedded something people will give you money for goods and services by lifecycle stage: disruptive, incremental, commodity by market: b2b (enterprise); b2c (consumer) product
  6. 6. lifecycle of innovations
  7. 7. technology adoption lifecycle Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm
  8. 8. What are the most important costs inherent in our business model? Which Key Resources are most expensive? Which Key Activities are most expensive? Through which Channels do our Customer Segments want to be reached? How are we reaching them now? How are our Channels integrated? Which ones work best? Which ones are most cost-efficient? How are we integrating them with customer routines? For what value are our customers really willing to pay? For what do they currently pay? How are they currently paying? How would they prefer to pay? How much does each Revenue Stream contribute to overall revenues? For whom are we creating value? Who are our most important customers? What type of relationship does each of our Customer Segments expect us to establish and maintain with them? Which ones have we established? How are they integrated with the rest of our business model? How costly are they? What value do we deliver to the customer? Which one of our customer’s problems are we helping to solve? What bundles of products and services are we offering to each Customer Segment? Which customer needs are we satisfying? What Key Activities do our Value Propositions require? Our Distribution Channels? Customer Relationships? Revenue streams? Who are our Key Partners? Who are our key suppliers? Which Key Resources are we acquiring from partners? Which Key Activities do partners perform? What Key Resources do our Value Propositions require? Our Distribution Channels? Customer Relationships? Revenue Streams? Day Month Year No. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  9. 9. business plan
  10. 10. risk management product development is primarily about risk management. what are the risks? what are their probabilities and economic impacts? which ones do we care about? how can we measure and mitigate them?
  11. 11. risk matrix probability impact low probability low impact high probability low impact low probability high impact high probability high impact
  12. 12. exercise • divide room up into groups based on lifecycle stage: – brand new, disruptive product: LCD film you stick on windows that can display images or be completely black – enhancement to existing product: Windows that are 50% thinner than existing windows – legacy product: vinyl windows • 5m to come up with ideas individually • 15m to create risk matrix as a group • 5m to present back to rest of group
  13. 13. product/market fit MOST IDEAS FAIL!
  14. 14. explore vs exploit
  15. 15. three horizons Baghai, M., Coley, S. and White, D., The Alchemy of Growth
  16. 16. Intuit horizons and metrics
  17. 17. Margaret Hamilton (Director, Software Engineering Division, MIT Instrumentation Laboratory) in 1969 with the source code for the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer
  18. 18. waterfall “Managing the Development of Large Software Systems” by Dr Winston W Royce. 1970 I believe in this concept, but the implementation described above is risky and invites failure.
  19. 19. @jezhumble v-model
  20. 20. @jezhumble Shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world … [it is] a result, not a strategy … Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products. Jack Welch | Bernard Gagnon
  21. 21. @jezhumble
  22. 22. We must set measurable objectives for each next small delivery step. Even these are subject to constant modification as we learn about reality. It is simply not possible to set an ambitious set of multiple quality, resource, and functional objectives, and be sure of meeting them all as planned. We must be prepared for compromise and trade- off. We must then design (engineer) the immediate technical solution, build it, test it, deliver it—and get feedback. This feedback must be used to modify the immediate design (if necessary), modify the major architectural ideas (if necessary), and modify both the short-term and the long- term objectives (if necessary). Tom Gilb, Principles of Software Engineering Management (1988), p91
  23. 23. @jezhumble releasing frequently 1. build the right thing 2. reduce risk of release 3. real project progress
  24. 24. manufacturing vs software Manufacturing Software Must be completed before it can be used Can start using it from early on in product development process Must avoid significant “discoveries” once design complete Cheap to change if we discover problems early enough Doesn’t change much once completed Successful products evolve enormously
  25. 25. apple macintosh “Instead of arguing about new software ideas, we actually tried them out by writing quick prototypes, keeping the ideas that worked best and discarding the others. We always had something running that represented our best thinking at the time.” “The Macintosh Spirit” | project=Macintosh&story=The_Macintosh_Spirit.txt
  26. 26.
  27. 27. product vs project • projects have an end-date and a single customer, and we care about scope, cost, quality, and hitting the date. • products are evolving continuously, we have multiple customers, and we care about a broader set of risks