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Showing posts from June, 2008

Pearls of Wisdom from Stacey Weber

Are you an executive who has recently adopted Scrum or another agile approach to product management and development? If so, Pragmatic Marketing's Stacey Weber has some important observations that will help you understand the roles and skills you'll need on your team. (See my concise description of Scrum first.) First, your product manager (often equated, unfortunately, with the product owner in Scrum) should focus on the problems to be solved, not features: How often have you already envisioned the solution before you’ve stated the problem? Begin with the problem-oriented requirement: “Every [frequency], [persona] has [problem] with [result].” Then work with a user interaction designer or business analyst to define the solution. and Take a look at your team’s backlog. Is it features? Or, even finer-grained tasks than that? A Product Manager’s primary responsibility is to know the market – to discover urgent, pervasive problems that people are willing to pay to have solved.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile approach to product development that is centered around brief, informal stand-up meetings. The term "scrum" originated in the game of rugby. A rugby scrum is a way of resuming a game that has paused due to an accidental foul or the ball having gone out of play. Opposing players engage head-to-head and compete for possession of the ball, which is thrown into the fray. A "media scrum" is an impromptu press conference in which the media gather around a political figure and bombard her with questions. Thus "scrum" has come to refer more generally to a short, informal gathering. In the Scrum approach to product development, scrums are frequent (often daily) stand-up meetings in which each member of the product team states his immediate goal and any risks or obstacles he is facing. The scrums typically start at precisely the same time every day and are often time-boxed to 15-20 minutes. Other Scrum practices include: Iterations ("spri