In this presentation, Duncan Campbell reviews a post-mortem of a project which, during its lifetime, appeared to have all the trappings of a successful agile development project: a prioritised backlog, a Scrum board with Post-It notes, a burn-down chart, daily stand-up scrums, regular sprints, retrospectives, a Product Owner, a Scrum Master, and an actual product, but the project eventually died without having found any sustainable customer base.

Despite the outward appearances of a successful agile development project, the body of this project had suffered numerous diseases: an organisation inexperienced in software development, poor quality staff, poor attention to quality, poor communication within the team, mismatched expectations, and a seemingly unstoppable rollercoaster ride of sales and development efforts.  In the end, even after several years of effort, there were no real customers willing to purchase and use the product.

Which diseases lead to the death of this project?  Was it a particular combination of diseases which proved fatal?  Was there just a single disease which sealed the project’s fate?

Given a second chance, how could the project have succeeded?

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Background of the project.
  • Why the project appeared to look healthy.
  • The diseases suffered by the project.
  • Back to basics with the Agile Manifesto.
  • Which diseases or combinations of diseases were fatal for the project.
  • What is valuable software?
  • How to identify potentially valuable software?
  • How to test if software is valuable?
  • Conclusions

Learning Outcome

  • First principle behind the Agile Manifesto:

"Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software"

  • Developing a product well does not guarantee that it will be well-received
  • Scrum Product Owner role is key to ensuring product-market fit
  • Scrum Sprint Review is insufficient for gathering actionable feedback
  • Treat each project like a Lean Startup
    • gain actionable feedback
    • avoid vanity metrics
  • Iterate faster to learn sooner

Target Audience

Product Managers, and anyone else interested in developing a product that people want not just developing a product well.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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