Discovery, Past Work, Product Opportunity Assessments, Stakeholders, Workshops

How to kill a bad idea workshop at Thoughtbot Summer Summit

Yesterday I had the pleasure of running a workshop at Thoughtbot‘s Summer Summit.

ThoughtbotThoughtbot is one of my favorite design and development shops, because they are creative, smart people who are great at applying modern best practices like design sprints, design thinking, agile, and extreme programming to build products for their clients. We used them when we were getting Shutterstock Editor going and they brought a lot of value to the team.

So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with them about how to persuade key stakeholders to pivot or even kill an idea. We did exercises around about empathizing with stakeholders; quantifying the product opportunity; selecting key outcomes, core behaviors, and key metrics; and focusing research by talking about initiatives’ risks ahead of time.

It's not enough to be right. You also have to be persuasive. I’ll be expanding on this to offer a public workshop in October. Contact me or sign up for my newsletter if you want to be among the first to know when tickets are available!

Data Science, Stakeholders

How to kill a bad product idea on Alpha blog

I talked with Mike Fishbein about techniques to identify bad product ideas and convince stakeholders when it’s time to end an initiative. Here’s an excerpt:

When working on a product that’s already launched, Holly emphasized the importance of looking beyond “vanity metrics”, such as page views and user counts, to truly understand if the product is valuable to customers.

Read the full article on the Alpha blog for more insights, including advice from Tami Reiss and Beth Temple:

How do you kill a bad product idea?

Agile, Method, Stakeholders

Sharing insights continuously with the Built Learned Planning Demo in Product Management Insider

I partnered with Product Management Insider by Alpha to publish an article on sharing insights continuously as a way to grow your company’s customer focus. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve found that a key to developing continuous discovery and delivery practices—sometimes called dual-track agile—is to master the simple practice of hosting a “Built-Learned-Planning Demo” (BLP Demo).

Check out the full piece for more details and examples of how I used the technique as we built out the Shutterstock Editor team:

Product leaders, educate your stakeholders by adding this one thing to your sprints

Roadmaps, Stakeholders

Techniques for managing timelines on Tech Republic

I talked with Moira Alexander about using long term agile planning exercises to set teams up for success and communicating candidly with stakeholders to manage expectations.  Here’s an excerpt:

​When it comes to addressing expectations, Hester-Reilly says H2R Product Science focuses on regular communication with stakeholders about what’s known and unknown. She utilizes visuals to show the complexities in the problem and in the technology that her team builds. In the planning stage, Hester-Reilly walks her teams through a technique similar to agile planning poker, to improve work estimates. The goal is to help her teams identify various projects they’ve done and assign a value, then they look at the work planned and do a comparison.

Check out the full article on Tech Republic to learn more tips for scheduling large initiatives:

How to address project scheduling difficulties