How to Create Products that Customers Hate

Posted on Thursday 11th November 2010

Summary

This blog post provides a tongue-in-cheek collection of common product creation mistakes. All influence product success negatively. Combined they are a recipe for certain failure and provide a lesson in how not to develop products.

The following list is a tongue-in-cheek collection of common mistakes in applying Scrum. They all influence product success negatively. Combined they are a recipe for certain failure.

  1. Apply the product owner role pragmatically: Spilt the role across several people or work with a product owner committee.
  2. Shoot for the maximum marketable product – a product that pleases everyone and has a myriad of features.
  3. Have a can-do attitude, say yes to every requirement, and put it into the product backlog. You don’t want to disappoint stakeholders and endanger the product success.
  4. Capture and detail all the requirements in the product backlog before the first sprint. This reduces uncertainty and risk, and it enables accurate planning and efficient execution.
  5. Don’t bother with prioritisation. All your requirements are certainly must-have’s.
  6. Don’t ask your customers for feedback on early product increments. You know what’s best for them!
  7. Leverage a big-bang release to surprise your competitors, impress your customers, and achieve complete market domination over night.
  8. When push comes to shove, add more features and cut quality. Customers love complex products. Don’t worry about technical debt. View it as an opportunity to create a new product in the near future.
  9. Tell the ScrumMaster to act as a proper project manager. Work the team hard. Sustainable pace is for wimps.

To avoid the mistakes above and to learn how to create great products with Scrum, refer to my book Agile Product Management with Scrum, or book yourself on one of my product owner trainings.