Process

Newtick-box

The Product Owner’s Checklist for the First Sprint

Scrum is a popular agile framework for developing a product with the right features and the right technologies. Unfortunately, it does not state the prerequisites for kicking off a Scrum project and for starting the first sprint. As a consequence, I find it not uncommon that product managers and product owners are unsure about the work they should do prior to the first sprint. This post offers a checklist to help you do the right upfront product management work.

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guidance

The Product Owner’s Guide to the Sprint Retrospective

The sprint retrospective is the key mechanism in Scrum to improve the way people work. Some product owners believe though that they should not attend the meeting, and if they do then only as guests and not as active participants. But the retrospective does not only benefit the development team and the ScrumMaster; it is also an opportunity for the product owner to learn and improve, as this post explains.

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validation

Beyond the Product Demo: Choosing the Right Validation Technique in Scrum

Scrum employs the product demo as its default technique to understand if the right product with the right features is developed. While a product demo can be very effective, it can also be limiting. Like any research and validation technique, demoes have their strengths and weaknesses. This post provides an overview of alternative validation methods so you can choose the one that is best suited for your product.

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goal

A Template for Formulating Great Sprint Goals

Working with sprint goals is a powerful practice. But many product owners and teams don’t leverage sprint goals or don’t apply them correctly: Sprint goals often state the stories to be implemented rather than the reason for undertaking the iteration. That’s rather unfortunate: Effective sprint goals serve to test ideas, to deliver features, and to foster teamwork. This post introduces a sprint goal template to help you write powerful sprint goals to build great products.

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maintenance-feature

Succeeding with Innovation and Maintenance

Innovating existing products is a common challenge for many enterprises: New features are developed to enter a new market segment, to increase the market share, or to catch up with the competition. But while the product is being updated, small improvements and bug fixes have to be made to maintain the current version. This post shares my thoughts on balancing the innovation and maintenance work.

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puzzle-pieces

New Product Development with Lean Startup and Scrum

Discovering Lean Startup was inspiring for me: I felt I had found an approach that could complement Scrum nicely. Since then I have been combining the two approaches in my own new product development work as well as helping my clients to do so. This post shares my experiences and insights. It maps out a high-level process for creating new products within existing businesses focussing on product management practices and tools.

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learning-execution

Get Your Focus Right: Learning and Execution in Scrum

Learning what a product should look like and do, and building solid, shippable software are different concerns. Separating the two aspects and distinguishing between learning and execution helps you manage the stakeholder expectations, select the right research and validation techniques, and choose the right sprint goals.

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market-research

The Product Demo as an Agile Market Research Method

This post provides practical tips on how to use your product demo as an effective agile market research tool: to collect user feedback that validates your ideas and improves your This product.

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Hand-drawing-goal-word

Effective Sprint Goals

Working with a sprint goal is a powerful agile practice. This post helps you understand what sprint goals are, why they matter, how to write and how to track them.

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cycle

The Scrum Cycle

Scrum is a simple framework based on the idea of inspect and adapt: Create a product increment, show it to the stakeholders, and use the feedback to see if the right product is developed. This post describes what I regard as the essence of Scrum: a cyclic three-step process. It shows how the three steps help create a product with the right features and the right user experience (UX).

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Is Intuition or Data more Important in Product Management?

Making the right product decisions is tough. Some product owners trust their intuition, others rely on data. Find out which approach is more helpful to create a great product.

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