Help Me Create a Better Way to Prioritise Features

Do you remember the legendary PID? the Project Initiation Document. The famous big binder that we used to create in the beginning of a project to satisfy governance and then bury in a drawer so we could get started. Then agile came and we broke things down. We learned story maps, customer journeys, vision statements, business model canvases. For me it works for the big picture, but when it comes to feature development or epics, it's not perfect.

Product Samurai use elegant weapons for a clear and effective battle. So what is our weapon of choice? I have not yet seen te ultimate tool. But I'm close and I need your help to complete it.

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Seven Reasons why Darth Vader is a Terrible Product Manager

It’s not that I have run out of Samurai parallels but I ran into this blog called: “Darth Vader - The Best Project Manager in the Galaxy” and since it’s my sincere belief that this sword wielding (see there is a samurai parallel!) manager actually displays some pretty terrible Product Management Skills:

Here are 7 examples, which should help you, gauge in what side of the force your product management skills lay.
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Verbal Aikido for Product Managers

"Well eh ok, I guess so" mumbled the student in the training exercise where he was practicing how to say no to feature gluttony. I decided to give the class an additional exercise to awaken their inner diplomat.

“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.” - W.S. Churchill

All sweet and well, but how do we say NO?

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The Purpose Alignment Model

When scaling Agile/Scrum, we invariably run into the alignment vs. autonomy problem. In short, you cannot have autonomous, self-directing teams if they have no clue what direction they should go. Or, even shorter, alignment breeds autonomy.

But how do we create alignment? And what tools can we use to quickly evaluate whether or not what we want to do is part of the mission? Niel Nickolaisen, chief technology officer at OC Tanner, created the purpose alignment model. I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to determine what aspects of innovation to keep, and what to leave to others.

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7 Agile Practices You Can Apply in a Controlled Environment

So your teams want to do Agile, perhaps have even started doing so. Now your project managers run around wondering what story points are and why any number of people seem to be attributing hours to their project code. So the question is: what can you adopt easily without turning the Governance of your organisation upside down?

Prince2 can severely hinder your agility

Prince2 can severely hinder your agility, but that is no reason to stop smiling

Is this an ideal Agile way of working? No it's not, but it's a good first step that you can take without frustrating the environment too much. That will make additional steps easier.

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Pitch your product using the 3x3 framework

When pitching innovative product ideas, you only get between five and fifteen minutes of attention. To make those minutes count, you should be able to define your product vision in a simple but comprehensive way. For this, I’ve found this 3x3 framework technique useful. Not only is it a pretty good format for pitching your product, but it also helps you define the vision.

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The Product Samurai Strategy Canvas

"May you live in interesting times" said Feng Menglong in 1627, and it's never been a more fitting expression than today. With companies leapfrogging in the age of disruption to change the way they work and the business models that they use. Scrum has brought us autonomous hyper productive teams that can quadruple your output, but how do you as a leader know what they are doing? and how do they know what strategy you want them to follow?

In this blog I will talk about the Product Samurai Strategy Canvas. An easy to use tool to discover if your autonomous teams are working towards your strategy or if they are moving in random directions. For it is our purpose to lead our teams like the Samurai.Read more →