Dec 20, 2019
On today’s podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by his collaborator, Sam Falco! Today they will be comparing a product-focused approach versus a project-focused approach and highlighting some of the major differences. They also cover how to apply a product mindset to a project-focused organization and offer some key tips on how to effectively implement either!
What defines a project-based approach?
A defined start and a defined end
Success is defined at the beginning by doing the project within scope, budget, and within the estimated time and to deliver on that
Check off the tasks and get to the end
This approach works best in best-practice or turnkey solutions where a defined process is always going to give you the same outcome
The focus is on completing tasks
What defines a product-based approach?
No defined beginning and end
Starting with an undefined want or need
Delivering in increments
Instead of asking, ‘Did we do all the things?’ success is defined around user adoption and user retention as well as revenue increases and/or cost savings
Think of the three Vs: Vision to Value to Validation (these three Vs are also aligned with the three pillars of empiricism [which is what Scrum is based on]: transparency, inspection, and adaptation)
With more complex work like software development, a product-based approach tends to work the best (as you will generate less waste and be able to change course as needed)
Focused on achieving outcomes
What exactly is a product?
Anything that can be put out into the market and could satisfy someone’s needs or wants
Something that will generate a benefit for the producer of the product (whether that is revenue, new customers, cost savings, etc.)
Once that value is created, you want to release frequently and get feedback from the consumers of the product
The mindset of product and some additional key pieces of information:
Creating a sustainable pace (don’t bombard people with updates nor release too infrequently)
A product mindset can be applied to a project-focused organization
Remember: mindset is not just the way we think about something; it’s thinking that drives our actions (so you can still be in a project environment but have a product mindset)
Getting a working piece of software into the hands of your customers every sprint rather than defining everything upfront
Mentioned in this Episode:
Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 56: “Scrum and Agile Q & A with Christy Erbeck”
The Professional Product Owner:
Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage,
by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham
Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons, by Bryon Powell
How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business, by Douglas W. Hubbard
Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 27: “Deep Dive on Scrum Values with Sam Falco”
Sam Falco’s Book Picks:
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
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