Focus on Learning, Context and Empowerment

Focus on Learning, Context and Empowerment

Why learning is so important?

The biggest waste in software development: building the wrong thing!

Marty Cagan was right: half of the time or 50% the product manager is wrong with his ideas.

It’s not about keeping everybody busy, it’s learning what’s the right thing. Focus your attention on that.

The Proven Learning Process

Learning is the essence of product development and there is a simple proven learning process to get there. This could be highly simplified by inspect and adapt or sense and respond:

  • signals/ patterns
  • problem statement
  • hypothesis
  • experiment
  • analysis
  • conclusion
  • Restart

What does is mean?

Start with signals and patterns from the market.
Focus on problems – not features.
Plan with hypothesis – not estimates.
Do multiple experiments – not a backlog of stories.
Use data to decide – don’t guess at a solution.

Learning needs to be steady, doesn’t have to be fast. There will be time to learn and time to move fast.

Advice to product people

I love this tweet, because it explains how and what a product manager should really do: be the context builder and catalyst.

You need to evaluate the hypothesis.

Try to empower your teams instead. Stop having product persons to tell teams what to do. Stop proxies.

Virtual Patrick

Try to bring in customer perspective and a joined view of perspectives into something customer love. Try to get a common and shared understanding.

Stop having delivery teams. Start having problem solving teams. The teams job is to discover what makes customers awesome.


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