Product Design Management for Agile Practitioners
Agile software development practices and product management borrow a number of concepts from the domain of traditional product design and manufacturing engineering, for example, lean development, Kanban and more.
However, it is quite common for organisations who implement agile methodologies, like Scrum, to hold the illusion that these would act as the silver bullet to resolve all the weaknesses in their software development and management practices.
The reality is, this is far from being the case! To be able to conceive and foster great software products, the way they are engineered ought to be based on the kinds of theoretical and practical underpinnings that are inherent of traditional branches of engineering. This way, the sufficient level of rigour can be achieved to permit the evolution of well-rounded and well-engineered software products that deliver value to stakeholders and customers.
This is where product design management can be leveraged to revitalise and complement agile software development practices. Product design management may be seen as an enterprise philosophy and a multi-disciplinary management framework that fosters the embodiment, the deployment and gradual improvement of the products that the enterprise develops, grows and retires over time.
Aspiring to proper product design management in the world of agile software development demands not only the right mindset as individuals, but also the use of suitable tools as well as the skills to apply a range of appropriate techniques. This course will shed light on a set of important and practical product design management tools and techniques to support strategic and tactical agile product management.
The course is chiefly targeted at agile practitioners, for example, product managers, product owners, business analysts, agile project managers, etc. The course may also be taken if you have an interest in applied product design management, provided you have had some prior basic exposure to agile software development or have worked within an agile business.
It is worth noting that this is NOT a course in agile methodologies and, therefore, it is not intended to cover topics like the agile manifesto, Scrum, Kanban, user story mapping, velocity charts, etc.
This is the very first lecture in this series where we will go through introductions and define what product design management means.
In this lecture, we will explain the essence of striving for product design management rigour. We will get to appreciate some of the benefits of the approach when applied to agile product management.
This quiz will test your understanding of the importance of aiming for incorporating the rigour of product design management principles in the domain of agile product management.
In this lesson, we will take time to explain who the audience for the course is. We will also discuss the intended learning outcomes and the scope of the course, i.e. what will be covered as well as what is not relevant. We will also touch on the relevant prerequisites that you need to be aware of.
Here, you will find a decision tree diagram that will help you decide whether this course is really what you are after.
This lecture describes the course roadmap, in other words the structure of the course.
Product life cycle
This is a very brief introduction of what will be covered in this section of the course.
This lecture introduces the product life cycle and explains its key phases in the context of tangible engineered products.
This lecture elaborates on an alternate perspective of the product life cycle.
In this lecture, we will explain another perspective of the product life cycle that views it from a sales and product maturity standpoint. We will also discuss some implications of technical debt as a function of the product maturity curve.
This quiz will test your understanding of the product life cycle.
In this lecture, we will make a pit-stop by the topic of the requirements life cycle. We will expose a simple model of this very important life cycle and share some important tips and examples of the need for capturing 'through-life' product requirements.
This quiz will test your initial understanding of the product requirements life cycle.
This lecture introduces the content of this section of the course on the product strategy.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and is a tool used for product positioning. In this lesson, we will first expose classic SWOT analysis and then focus on explaining a more objective approach for conducting SWOT.
Commercial acumen is quite key when operating in agile product management. One quite straightforward approach of determining the financial viability of some product sales model is through conducting break-even analysis. This lecture, therefore, provides an overview of product break-even analysis.
In this lecture, we will extend the discussion on the application of product break-even analysis.
This quiz will test your understanding of conducting break-even analysis.
In this lecture, we will go through the concept of technology readiness which is an important definition that describes the maturity of a technology in regard to its particular application.
This lecture is a continuation of the previous one on technology readiness.
This quiz will test your understanding of technology readiness.
This is the first part of four lectures on the product roadmap and introduces the concept.
This is the second part of four lectures on the product roadmap, which explains the phase-based roadmap and period-based roadmap.
This is the third part of four lectures on the product roadmap, which explains the idea of swim-lane roadmap using Trello.
This is the fourth part of four lectures on the product roadmap, which further elaborates on the idea of swim-lane roadmap using Trello.
This quiz will test your understanding of product roadmaps.
This lecture will discuss the whole idea of presenting the product roadmap and provides various tips on the importance of doing so.
This lecture introduces this section of the course on product tactics.
In this lesson, you will learn conceptually what showcases are, why they are important and the considerations for conducting (or participating in) one of them.
This lecture introduces the concept of attribute analysis and identifies the need for doing multi-attribute analysis in agile due to the multifaceted nature of requirements and stakeholder needs to be evaluated and prioritised.
In this lecture, we will expose the radar chart method for conducting multi-attribute analysis.
This is a continuation of the previous lecture on the radar chart method for conducting multi-attribute analysis.
Reference models can be used to capture 'blueprints' for representing knowledge. These are more formally known as 'ontologies', which provide a basis for sharing meaning and representing subject matter. In this lecture, we will encounter and explain one such reference model applied to a product context.
A software product can be considered from multiple different perspectives depending on the audience or stakeholders 'viewing' the product. The proper embodiment of a product can be achieved by capturing its multiple perspectives. This lecture provides a digest of multi-perspective modelling in the context of product embodiment.
This lecture touches on two aspects of technology change management namely user acceptance testing (UAT) and release management.
This lecture explains the essence of change control, which is another aspect of technology change management. We will also swing by an expectation-setting model to aid you in the process of raising requests for product changes.
This lesson introduces the topic of root cause analysis (RCA) and identifies its general importance.
A key technique used in root cause analysis for product quality management is Ishikawa. This lecture kicks off the explanation of this easy-to-use technique.
This is a continuation of the explanation on Ishikawa.
This quiz will test out your understanding of cause and effect analysis using fishbone diagrams.
Critical path analysis (CPA) is a technique typically used in the area of project management to understand and analyse flows of activities required in order to achieve a goal. In this section, we will look at an application of CPA as a troubleshooting analysis technique. This lecture, therefore, introduces the concept of CPA.
This is the second part of the explanation of CPA where we will show how the basics of a network diagram is mapped.
This is the third part of the explanation of CPA where we will show how to identify the critical path to assist in causal analysis.
This lecture provides a cheat-sheet of a number of direct and indirect applied techniques for conducting root cause analysis.
This is the last proper lecture in this series where we will wrap-up and conclude the course.
This bonus lecture exemplifies a powerful tool used in traditional mechanical & manufacturing engineering for mapping across the 'voice of the customer' and the 'voice of the engineer'. The tool is called the House of Quality.
Attributions and special thanks to friends and family, etc.