Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Alignment of strategy, roadmap, and backlog


Published on

Slides Chris Butler recently used in his discussion w/ mentees of The Product Mentor.

Synopsis: All product managers need to link the high-level challenge they are solving with the day-to-day. How do you keep them connected and in sync when there are different disciplines and stakeholders involved on each level? During this talk, we will review the process and method by which you align the three key components of product planning.

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Alignment of strategy, roadmap, and backlog

  1. 1. Alignment of strategy, roadmap, and backlog The Product Mentor Session 11 For references and more info:
  2. 2. Chris Butler Chief Product Architect @ IPsoft TBPP 2016, TPM 4/6-11 19 years of product and BD Microsoft, Waze, Philosophie, Horizon Ventures, KAYAK, and started my own company (failed) @chrizbot
  3. 3. Alignment of strategy, roadmap, and backlog ● What are these things…? ● ...and how are they done wrong? ● What is alignment…? ● ...and how do you get it?
  4. 4. What are these things? Strategy: what is the key problem are we solving and why us? Roadmap: how do we prioritize the sub-problems we have to solve? Backlog: what focused work are we doing right now?
  5. 5. Strategy
  6. 6. One thing we agree on as an organization... ...and disagree about everything else
  7. 7. What is bad strategy? ● Failure to face the challenge ● Mistaking goals for strategy ● Bad strategic objectives - just a list of things to do ● Fluff
  8. 8. Why is bad strategy bad? ● Doesn’t link high level with day to day action ● Focuses the team on the wrong things ○ Or doesn’t focus the team ● Avoids tough decisions ● Makes the wrong tradeoffs ○ Or assumes that you have to make tradeoffs at all
  9. 9. Strategy anti-patterns
  10. 10. Failure to face the challenge
  11. 11. Mistaking goals and planning for strategy
  12. 12. Just a list of things to do
  13. 13. Each person’s own strategy
  14. 14. It isn’t written down
  15. 15. About the future, rather than the present
  16. 16. SWOT
  17. 17. Fluff
  18. 18. Our strategy is agile. We will lead a customer focused effort of the market through our use of digital transformation and leaders to build a big data. By being both cloud based and disruptive, our digital first approach will drive virtual reality throughout the organization. Synergies between our revolution and growth will enable us to capture the upside by becoming open in a collaborative world. These transformations combined with design thinking due to our social media will create an artificial intelligence through ecosystem and data leaders. Strategy Madlibs
  19. 19. What is good strategy?
  20. 20. Strategy kernel A diagnosis: an explanation of the nature of the challenge. A good diagnosis simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of reality by identifying certain aspects of the situation as being the critical ones. A guiding policy: an overall approach chosen to cope with or overcome the obstacles identified in the diagnosis. Coherent actions: steps that are coordinated with one another to support the accomplishment of the guiding policy.
  21. 21. Example
  22. 22. Doctor’s kernel A diagnosis: a set of signs and symptoms together with a history. The doctor makes a clinical diagnosis, naming a disease or pathology. A guiding policy: therapeutic approach chosen is the doctor. Coherent actions: specific prescriptions for diet, therapy, and medication.
  23. 23. Nvidia’s kernel A diagnosis: in the emerging 3D gaming market the more power you could provide the more the market would buy. A guiding policy: break out of 18 month development cycles in favor of six month cycles, meaning that they were the newest product most of the time. Coherent actions: ● Three development teams working in parallel ● Bad drivers created development risk, so they took control over drivers ● They outsourced fabrication; it wasn’t essential to control ● They sold to computer makers rather than board makers; concentrated buyers helped them grow from a marginal position
  24. 24. Airbnb’s (possible) kernel A diagnosis: there is a lack of liquidity in the short term stay market that keeps travelers staying in high priced hotels. A guiding policy: two sided marketplace for guest to connect with hosts. Coherent actions: ● Simple booking experience like hotels ● Guests and hosts provide feedback on each other to keep the marketplace fair and removes bad actors ● Ignore local tourism taxes and policies, while they can ● ...
  25. 25. Strategies as mental models
  26. 26. Your organization’s mental model “If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form.” - Charlie Munger
  27. 27. Compress to impress “Getting our house in order” - Jeff Bezos
  28. 28. Compress further “gentle” - Melinda Gates
  29. 29. Strategy
  30. 30. Roadmap
  31. 31. What are the basics? ● List of (bigger) things to address ● Ordered in priority to be addressed ● Shared within the team ● More future means less certain
  32. 32. What is good roadmapping?
  33. 33. Roadmap anti-patterns
  34. 34. Conflating strategy, mission, or vision with roadmaps
  35. 35. Not linking strategy with the roadmap
  36. 36. All about features
  37. 37. Inside-out thinking
  38. 38. Backlog or icebox of ideas
  39. 39. Carefully set by the product person alone
  40. 40. Roadmap
  41. 41. Backlog
  42. 42. The “to do” list
  43. 43. What are the basics? ● List of things “to do” ● Each item in format appropriate for your team ● Ordered in priority to be done ● Meet some definition of ‘ready’
  44. 44. “Controversial” aspects ● Includes estimates or points ● Already has acceptance criteria ● Generated before the planning meeting ○ Or drawn from another list somewhere else ● Just dev tasks
  45. 45. Backlog anti-patterns
  46. 46. It is huge
  47. 47. Generated way in advance
  48. 48. It is full of ideas, not qualified work
  49. 49. Items are just research findings
  50. 50. Never changed
  51. 51. Backlog
  52. 52. Alignment
  53. 53. Strategy: timeless and forever Roadmap: for the foreseeable future Backlog: within this sprint
  54. 54. Alignment anti-patterns
  55. 55. Mistaking status emails as alignment
  56. 56. ???
  57. 57. Re-alignment (and tempo)
  58. 58. Make it part of every planning/review meeting
  59. 59. Have conversations when you detect drift
  60. 60. Ask the question: “Do you know how your work connects to the strategy?”
  61. 61. Re-alignment (and tempo)
  62. 62. In closing ● Strategy: one thing we agree on ● Roadmap: prioritization of problems ● Backlog: latest thinking ● Watch out for the anti-patterns ● Your strategy, roadmap, and backlog should always be in alignment
  63. 63. Thank you For references and more info: