An unspoken problem with agile development is that frameworks like Scrum and Kanban offer guidance to organize a team to build and deliver software. However, these frameworks provide little support to validate which software product the team should build. For example, the Scrum Guide defines the Product Backlog as “an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product” and the “single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team.” While this definition helps agile teams understand how to create a backlog, it does not help them determine what should be in the backlog. Agile leaders lack basic tools that help them understand their users’ essential needs and support them in creating product backlogs of the right work.
In this talk, Steven presents a lightweight product discovery framework that quickly helps agile leaders turn ideas into validated backlogs. The framework utilizes four essential tools - user personas, customer journey maps, opportunity canvases, and story maps - and does not require special software or preexisting product experience. He demonstrates how agile leaders can build validated backlogs within two weeks and integrate their work with agile teams to ensure fast user feedback. When done correctly, these techniques will reduce the risk of building products no one wants while helping agile leaders to discover ideas that users will love and use.
Steven Granese has been building innovative teams for his entire 20+ year career in the technology and organizational consulting industries. His expertise lies in helping teams to achieve better and more consistent results by building effective systems of work. He is an expert in team productivity, organizational design, and agility frameworks. A regular speaker at industry conferences and corporate events, Steven holds master's degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. He resides in St. Petersburg, FL, with his wife and two children, where he enjoys coaching baseball and tackling technology projects in his spare time.
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