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Rapid Product Development

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Rapid Product Development

  1. 1. Rapid Product Development STOP GUESSING AND START DELIVERING! Zach Beer Polaris Solutions
  2. 2. Why this guy? • Ten years working in Chicago-based start-ups • I’ve held nearly every role in a development team • Developer • Tech lead / manager • Architect • Product owner • Scrum master Most of all, though: Because I’ve lived it and know it works.
  3. 3. Some quick disclaimers…  We’re going to talk a lot about customers. Customers are people invested in using your product. They could be internal or external.  We’re going to assume you’re building on an existing product. If you’re starting from scratch, a lot of the same ideas apply, but you’ll want to tweak them somewhat.  We’re going to talk about a process pattern that depends on a number of other ideas. I’m not going to go into significant depth on any of those as part of this presentation.  While I encourage you to do so, you don’t have to do all of these things. Each of them has value even outside of the larger pattern. I’m happy to discuss any of these in greater depth after the presentation!
  4. 4. I believe we can serve our customers better.
  5. 5. How did this happen?  The product owner failed to understand the needs of the customer  Few opportunities to learn from the customer  Forced to take a stab in the dark Manufacturing requires waterfall product development.
  6. 6. What do you mean by “waterfall product development”?  All requirements determined up front  Little opportunity to respond to changing information  Only one opportunity at delivery
  7. 7. Why is waterfall product development problematic?  Scopes constantly change  No customer feedback until the project is complete  Sometimes the problem changes during development  Any mistakes aren’t caught until the end
  8. 8. Customers can’t help us directly Customers are great at…  … pointing out pain points.  … giving lists of things they think they need.  … adapting to change. Customers struggle with…  … thinking in limited scopes.  … prioritizing what’s most important.  … being open to change.
  9. 9. We don’t know what to build either  We crave positive feedback  We don’t want to tell the customer “no”  We think that we understand the customer better than we do  Manufacturing culture tells us we must build the whole thing at once
  10. 10. I believe we can learn from our customers’ actions.
  11. 11. Continuous feature improvement! 1 Determine the narrowest vertical slice that can add value to the customer. 2 Deliver this slice as soon as possible, event if the feature isn’t “complete”. 3 Learn as much as possible from each delivery. 4 Repeat!
  12. 12. Choose the right slice to deliver  How can I add value to the customer quickly?  Is this where the users spend most of their time?  How can I unblock other critical deliveries?  This is a significant technical challenge, is there a way to prove its value? For example, think about a user management system…
  13. 13. User management requirements Before narrow vertical slices  Add a page to our website which allows administrators to view, add, and reset passwords for existing users After narrow vertical slices  Add a page to our website which allows users to view existing users  Restrict access to the view users page to administrators  Add ability to add users to the existing view users page  Add ability to reset passwords to the view users page
  14. 14. Develop critical feedback loops  A/B testing can inform critical (or trivial!) choices  Actively engage with users about specific changes  Tracking tools help you see which features users are engaging with  Heat maps can show where users are focused  Observing recorded user interactions can point out pain points
  15. 15. Creating this way feels difficult…  We’re culturally programmed toward the manufacturing model  We’re praised for our “good ideas”  We want our customers to be fully satisfied immediately
  16. 16. … but it’s actually easier!  You have to know less to get started  You learn details as you go along  Smaller mistakes are much easier to recover from  You can focus on the most important things  Customers focus on progress
  17. 17. I believe this process will make developers happier.
  18. 18. Development is easier with feature branching What is feature branching?  Create a branch for each feature  Only merge completed features Why is it helpful?  Developers can work in parallel  Collaboration is easier, since developers can share branches  Branches can be tested before being integrated  Releases only contain completed features
  19. 19. Automated testing gives developers confidence in releases  Create well-written unit tests  Choose critical behavior-driven tests  Manual test only the newest release items
  20. 20. Automated delivery makes reduces the pain of releases  Run automated tests on each build  Automate deployment to test environments  Automate release approval  Automate release deployment
  21. 21. Even positive change is difficult  Old practices die hard  Existing team members may need training  Developers might complain about writing “more code”  Introducing testing into legacy systems can be challenging
  22. 22. Eventually, teams never look back The most common long term complaints I hear are:  “This story feels too big, can we break it up?”  “Who checked in a broken test? All our tests should pass.”  “Why does the release take so long now? Five minutes is forever!”  “How soon can I push this to production?”
  23. 23. I believe we can serve our customers better.
  24. 24. So if the car was a software feature…
  25. 25. #1 Determine the narrowest vertical slice that can add value to the customer  We want to build toward a convertible top  We identify that switching to a two door model is a requirement for introducing a convertible top  Theoretically, this could add value to the customer  It would also give us customer feedback
  26. 26. #2 Deliver this slice as soon as possible, event if the feature isn’t “complete”  Don’t develop the convertible mechanism, it’s expensive and it’s not needed yet  Find the simplest way to achieve the two door model  Ensure the two door model works correctly before shipping  Deliver the two door model to customers as soon as is practical
  27. 27. #3 Learn as much as possible from each delivery.  Only ship the two door model to a limited set of users  Preferably select users who demonstrated interest  Monitor these selected users carefully after delivery  Compare these selected users to other existing users, are they more satisfied?  Gather real data about our test users compared to existing users
  28. 28. #4 Repeat!  Presumably, our comparison didn’t go so well!  Stop the development of the convertible, customers aren’t willing to compromise on four vs two doors  How much time/energy/effort did we save by shortcutting the process? Get started on the next most valuable slice!
  29. 29. Thanks for listening!

Notas del editor

  • Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, released in late 2010

    In May of 2012, of the 29.5M cars registered in California, only 107 were Murano CrossCabs. http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/drive-by-numbers-who-buys-the-nissan-murano-crosscabriolet.html
    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/dumbest-cars-all-time/#slide-3870821
  • http://www.niagarafallslive.com/images/american_falls_2012.jpg
  • http://www.niagarafallslive.com/images/HorseshoefromSkylon.jpg
  • Feedback forums are rampant with complaints and wild solutions without understanding of the challenges involved.

    Apple and Google both roll out interface-changing platforms and people adapt quickly. If these companies asked for feedback, they’d be skewered.

    http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1113_emoji_iphone_angry_face.png
  • http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1102_emoji_iphone_confused_face.png
  • Things to mention:
    Google Analytics or similar for tracking page usage
    Button placement example of A/B testing
    Sometimes outcomes are easy to track, sometimes they aren’t (purchasing, for example)
    You don’t know the crazy things your users are trying until you watch them!


    https://monetizepros.com/encyclopedia/heat-map/
  • http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1116_emoji_iphone_persevering_face.png
  • http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1081_emoji_iphone_grinning_face.png
  • http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1100_emoji_iphone_face_with_cold_sweat.png
  • http://www.magic-emoji.com/emoji/images/1090_emoji_iphone_winking_face.png
  • Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, released in late 2010

    In May of 2012, of the 29.5M cars registered in California, only 107 were Murano CrossCabs. http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/drive-by-numbers-who-buys-the-nissan-murano-crosscabriolet.html
    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/dumbest-cars-all-time/#slide-3870821

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