Does agile software development prevent rounded products

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Everyone can struggle to get their head into the agile ethos. Product Managers are no exception. This pack walks through many common issues with agile software development and what product managers can do to help out. This was presented a product camp sydney on the 4th June 2011.

NOTE: The slide notes hold a lot of the value.

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  • Goal: Multidisciplinary teams with diverse skills enhance creativity and innovation. See “Managing Creativity and Innovation” from HBS Press.\nReason for Issue: Not everyone in the team is capable of thinking about a whole product. Some go off on their own tangent/bias, some are just not good at their jobs and others don’t have empathy for other disciplines or the customer. They could also be eager, but naive.\nSolution: Get highly competent people and facilitate a multidisciplinary discussion.\n
  • Goal: Multidisciplinary teams with diverse skills enhance creativity and innovation. See “Managing Creativity and Innovation” from HBS Press.\nReason for Issue: Not everyone in the team is capable of thinking about a whole product. Some go off on their own tangent/bias, some are just not good at their jobs and others don’t have empathy for other disciplines or the customer. They could also be eager, but naive.\nSolution: Get highly competent people and facilitate a multidisciplinary discussion.\n
  • Goal: Provie details to Project and Product Managers to make decisions (very small units)\nReason for issue: Delivery team focuses on a small piece of work at a time to the exclusion of all other work. Not context is applied.\nSolution: You want a Da Vinci, not a Picasso. Work closely with the team (or proxy your knowledge) to make sure they know the vision of the product and iterate until you get what you need.\n
  • Goal: Provie details to Project and Product Managers to make decisions (very small units)\nReason for issue: Delivery team focuses on a small piece of work at a time to the exclusion of all other work. Not context is applied.\nSolution: You want a Da Vinci, not a Picasso. Work closely with the team (or proxy your knowledge) to make sure they know the vision of the product and iterate until you get what you need.\n
  • Goal: Looking after yourself.\nReason for Issue: Each person is trying to maximize what they get out of the project\nSolution: Get highly competent people and facilitate a multidisciplinary discussion. Frame the work in a way where there is a win-win.\n
  • Goal: Looking after yourself.\nReason for Issue: Each person is trying to maximize what they get out of the project\nSolution: Get highly competent people and facilitate a multidisciplinary discussion. Frame the work in a way where there is a win-win.\n
  • Goal: Get the most important parts of the product done.\nReason for Issue: The delivery team has limited resources of some type. Time? Money? Expertise? People?\nSolution: \nconvince the decision makers (the project sponsor, the project manager) that what the “missing bits” are important and get them reprioritized. \nIf it doesn’t fit (because everything is more important), can you negotiate for more time or money?\nMaybe you can achieve the same goal with a different approach or a different implementation. Don’t focus on the artifacts you’ve dreamed up, but the benefits you’re trying to deliver.\nYou do realize you have a budget, right... Right!?\n
  • Goal: Get the most important parts of the product done.\nReason for Issue: The delivery team has limited resources of some type. Time? Money? Expertise? People?\nSolution: \nconvince the decision makers (the project sponsor, the project manager) that what the “missing bits” are important and get them reprioritized. \nIf it doesn’t fit (because everything is more important), can you negotiate for more time or money?\nMaybe you can achieve the same goal with a different approach or a different implementation. Don’t focus on the artifacts you’ve dreamed up, but the benefits you’re trying to deliver.\nYou do realize you have a budget, right... Right!?\n
  • Goal: Provide manoeuvrability to the business. Start with high level goals and iterate to get the details.\nReason for Issue: high degree of novelty, creativity and change with no previous identical cases make planning and estimation very difficult (impossible?).\nSolution: (assuming the estimates are as accurate as the requirements) then \nhave the team give a confidence level around their estimates (+50%) - quantify the uncertainly and be comfortable with it.\nprovide more details so the estimates are more accurate\ntailor you product to fit within the high level estimate - treat the estimate as a budget\nbeat the team into submission until they say “yes” and then watch them miss the date - false confidence\n
  • Goal: Provide manoeuvrability to the business. Start with high level goals and iterate to get the details.\nReason for Issue: high degree of novelty, creativity and change with no previous identical cases make planning and estimation very difficult (impossible?).\nSolution: (assuming the estimates are as accurate as the requirements) then \nhave the team give a confidence level around their estimates (+50%) - quantify the uncertainly and be comfortable with it.\nprovide more details so the estimates are more accurate\ntailor you product to fit within the high level estimate - treat the estimate as a budget\nbeat the team into submission until they say “yes” and then watch them miss the date - false confidence\n
  • Goal: Continuous delivery means you can respond to your customers needs quickly.\nReason for Issue: Bunching up a whole lot of features add complexity (and hence cost) to the delivery of you software. Releasing often lowers the cost.\nSolution: Get the delivery team to add the new functionality, but hide it. This allows the code to be released and when you get really got at hiding stuff you can then get good at selectively showing it. Think about beta/loyalty programs where trusted users get special features (first).\n
  • Goal: Continuous delivery means you can respond to your customers needs quickly.\nReason for Issue: Bunching up a whole lot of features add complexity (and hence cost) to the delivery of you software. Releasing often lowers the cost.\nSolution: Get the delivery team to add the new functionality, but hide it. This allows the code to be released and when you get really got at hiding stuff you can then get good at selectively showing it. Think about beta/loyalty programs where trusted users get special features (first).\n
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  • \n \n www.extremeprogramming.org/rules/velocity.html\n \n \n \n\n how much work is getting done on your project. To measure the project velocity you simply add up the estimates of the \n \n user stories\n \n that were finished during the \n \n iteration\n \n .\n \n \n \n \n\n \n
  • Burndown charts show work remaining over time. Work remaining is the Y axis and time is the X axis. The work remaining should jig up and down and eventually trend downward.\nThe Scrum books define a sprint burndown chart as a place to see daily progress, and a product burndown chart as where to show monthly (per sprint) progress.\n\n \n
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  • Does agile software development prevent rounded products

    1. 1. Does agile software development prevent rounded products? Mark Mansour - @markmansour Founder Agile Bench - @agilebench
    2. 2. FormatHighly opinionated view What issues I’ve seen and how they can be addressedGroup discussion What part of my talk was BS? What issues have you faced and how have you solved them.
    3. 3. Issue Agile gives all team members influence over the product and the team is not very good at it.
    4. 4. Issue Agile gives all team members influence over the product and the team is not very good at it. Collaborate & CompetenceSolution
    5. 5. Issue The unit of work, a story, provides short term focus but hides the big picture
    6. 6. Issue The unit of work, a story, provides short term focus but hides the big picture Product Vision & CollaborateSolution
    7. 7. Issue Each member of the team is only interested in developing their own craft, not the product.
    8. 8. Issue Each member of the team is only interested in developing their own craft, not the product. Collaborate & CompetenceSolution
    9. 9. Issue Prioritization at the story level can leave a vital part of the product “off the table”
    10. 10. Issue Prioritization at the story level can leave a vital part of the product “off the table” Negotiate & ReimagineSolution
    11. 11. Issue Agile teams often don’t know when they are going finish, or if they do, what will be delivered.
    12. 12. Issue Agile teams often don’t know when they are going finish, or if they do, what will be delivered. Provide more details or get comfortable with uncertaintySolution
    13. 13. Issue Iterative delivery means new features are deployed often! You can’t keep your powder dry!
    14. 14. Issue Iterative delivery means new features are deployed often! You can’t keep your powder dry! Hide featuresSolution
    15. 15. It’s about styleAgile Teams Traditional TeamsCollaboration focused Delegation focusedTeam of generalists Team of specialistsIterations are very small Iterations are very largeValue focused Task focused Choose what works for you!
    16. 16. Agile Bench Agile Project Management SoftwareTeams that have outgrown their to do list that build software.
    17. 17. Visibility - Story Walls
    18. 18. Planning Tools - Velocity Charts
    19. 19. Tracking - Iteration Burndown
    20. 20. Mark MansourFounder - Agile Benchan Online AgileProject ManagementToolExpert in softwaredevelopment lifecyclemanagement15+ years in InternetTechnologiesmark@agilebench.com
    21. 21. Group Discussion! What do you disagree with? What other issues have you found?Has anyone resolved these other issues?

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