The product development process is the end to end process we go through to make sure we build the right thing. As a Product Manager or Product Owner, your job is to lead this process, or parts of it, together with your team.
The process looks the same no matter if you are working in an environment or product with legacy systems or a totally new product. This could be a waterfall, step-by-step process if you are in a slow-paced environment where not much is changing over the time it takes to think, build and ship it, but most often we need it to be more of a fluid process where we can go through it in different ways, with different methods depending on the need. We often want to get from start to end as quickly as possible to not just get quick feedback from stakeholders but also from real users to make sure we build the right thing and solve real customer problems.
The keys to building the right thing lay both in defining the right problems in connection to your business goals and finding the solution to solve the problem. When we work Agile we need to get quick feedback along the way and adapt the solution as we go, and we do that by embedding feedback loops into the process. As you can see above the process the feedback you get in the different parts of the process should help you either move forward or go back to re-iterate your assumption or solution, this is what we call Lean UX and Lean Startup depending on what we are building.
In this chapter we will look at the different parts of the process and what methods can be used to be able to deliver in an Agile way, to get customer feedback, and to involve the stakeholders, team, and customer in a good way along the process.
A couple of things to reflect on:
– Where are you in the process now?
– Do you do work in all parts of the process?
– Do you, or the teams, often jump directly into planning?
– Is someone else doing part of the process, or is no one doing it?
– Do you and the team evaluate and optimize what you ship?
The Product Development Process Poster
This poster with the overview of the product development process can be used for discussing your current ways of working, and as support for anyone to move from traditional ways of working with product development and product management. It can also act as a great support in planning how to work in the team together, and to create a high-level plan when starting some new product development.
The toolbox and how to master them
Mapped out under the process you see some methods that support Agile Product Development which can be done together in the Agile product Team, and where the Product Owner is part of the process, and perhaps facilitating most part of the process together with the Scrum Master and team members.
Some of these methods might take some time to master and in many organizations, there are Agile Coaches and experts supporting in facilitating and training people in the process and the methods helping teams to find methods that support them in different ways depending on what they need.
Pairing up is also a great way to support each other in the learning and facilitation, and then splitting pairs that have learned how to use them to coach two new people, or teams in using the method.
To set a basis of methods that covers the process that all teams and product owners should be able to facilitate and use can be a great start.
You can use this poster as a visualization of the process and connect it to different methods, both new ones that you want to try, and perhaps mapping in the ones you use today to see how much of the process you are covering with your team and what might be missing.
A couple of things that are helpful in methods to enable Agility
– They are based on visualization
– They enable a shared view on what is important
– They enable collaboration
– They are lightweight and minimize waste work
– They enable quick feedback from stakeholders and real customers
– They have built-in timeboxing, sprints, days, hours, or even minutes
– They give context
– They help with risk management
Download the two versions of the poster in high-resolution in two different formats: