I’ve touched on User Stories on several occasions, my favorite being Why Your User Stories Suck! Today I’m here to share with you a very common, yet very commonly overlooked, way to check each and every User Story on your backlog to see whether or not it’s really “ready” for your Dev teams. One of the most frequent causes of delays and slowdowns in most Agile implementations that I’ve seen comes from a lack of balance in the User Stories that the team is being given to deliver — stories that are too big, or which are dictates, or which just exist on the backlog because “someone asked for it”. What we need to do as Product Managers is to occasionally take a close look at each of our backlog items and make sure that they meet the INVEST criteria — Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, and Testable. If we do this simple gut-check on a regular basis, we’re far more likely to see our teams succeed and to reduce the amount of time wasted in long, drawn-out planning sessions.
While Product Management might be my career of choice, my primary hobby of choice has to be gaming. I've been playing games in one form or another for as long as I can remember -- tabletop games, video games, role-playing games...you name it, I've … [Continue reading]
At some point in every interview that you have, the people on the other side of the table will inevitably pose the ultimate question to you: "So, do you have any questions for us?" There are hundreds of guides out there that list out the kinds of … [Continue reading]
I was working with a future mentee last week and we noticed a recurring theme to some of our discussions -- that a large part of good Product Management results from limiting the number of choices that our teams and our executives have to choose … [Continue reading]
A lot of Product Managers wind up rolling into the position with little to no preparation, training, or even a real understanding of the role, and it's common for early struggles to really hamper a newly-minted Product Manager's success. To avoid … [Continue reading]
I'm often asked what I think makes a successful Product Manager, and after giving it some thought, I've narrowed it down to one key factor: Clarity. When applied to our daily jobs, this can mean any number of things: clarity of communication, … [Continue reading]
We've all been there -- whether you're a Product Manager or not, you've sat in a meeting that's going far longer than it should, horribly off-agenda, listening to people bicker about some minor point that's preventing anyone from moving forward and … [Continue reading]