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Short Feedback Loops: The Key to Building Innovative Products

Short Feedback Loops: The Key to Building Innovative Products

We want our products to make a difference for both our customers and our business. And we know that short feedback loops help us replan. But how short should those feedback loops be? And how can we see all those loops? When we visualize our cycle time and lead time, we can choose when to replan. We can decide when to use small minimums that allow us to release and experiment more often. Those minimums will enable us to visualize value earlier and shorten our product feedback loops. When we do, we can make a difference for everyone.

Johanna Rothman

October 19, 2022

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    WITH JOHANNA ROTHMAN - MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, ROTHMAN CONSULTING GROUP OCTOBER 19, 2022 AT 11:00 AM PDT, 2:00 PM EDT, 7:00 PM BST Product Management Today Empowering you to Empower Them Rayvonne Carter Webinar Coordinator, Product Management Today
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  5. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman “We need innovation! And we

    need to plan everything we’ll do for the next year!” 6
  6. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Innovation Outside In and Inside

    Out • Organizational strategy: problems we solve for which customers • Project and product portfolio: choices about which products to develop when • Every team’s product development 8
  7. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Move from 12- to 8-Week

    Plan 11 8 weeks from Idea to Demo What Do You Think Occurred?
  8. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Questions for the Chat •

    Please answer these questions in the chat: 1. How often do people collaborate on work, so two or more people work on the same piece of work? (Reduce WIP) 2. How often do you fi nish a feature? (approximately, because this is an indicator of throughput) 3. How often do you feel pressure to start more work? 15
  9. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Little’s Law Explains Duration •

    The more work you have in progress, the longer it takes to fi nish it. • That increases the average lead time (cycle time) • This holds true at all levels of the organization 16 Average Lead Time = Average Work in Progress Average Throughput
  10. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Dynamics of Little’s Law •

    The longer the team takes to deliver something, the more pressure to create larger and more extensive product plans (‐WIP, ‑throughput, ‐cycle time) • The more product plans, the more pressure the team feels to increase throughput. They often start more work (‐WIP) • Increased WIP delays all work they fi nish in any given time (‑ throughput, ‐ cycle time) • The lower throughput, the longer everything takes (‐cycle time) • Everything takes longer. (‐cycle time) 17 Average Lead Time = Average Work in Progress Average Throughput
  11. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Everyone feels pressure Pressure reduces

    learning Since innovation requires learning, we get delivery, but not innovation 18
  12. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Innovation Requires Fast Feedback •

    Short experiments • A customer/user/someone can see • Offer feedback to a person, team, and more 19
  13. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Product Building Feedback Loops •

    Start faster with a shorter backlog • Get to done faster with: • Smaller stories • Collaboration • Release often to get feedback 20
  14. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Roadmap Feedback Loops • Initial

    product strategy is an experiment! • Can change the backlog as often as: • Team completes a feature & demos • Customer offers feedback • Rolling wave planning, not big honking roadmaps 21
  15. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Back-of-the-Napkin Feature Cycle Time Calculation

    • You can measure cycle time with a value stream map • Or, ask: • How many stories, fi xes, or anything else does the team typically fi nish in one, two, three, or four weeks? • Is your cycle time where you want it to be? 23
  16. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Back-of-the-Napkin Roadmap Cycle Time Calculation

    • How much do you already have planned? • When can you decide to deviate from that plan? (roadmap cycle time) • Options for better roadmap cycle time: • Plan less in advance • Commit to “how little” and pull from below 24
  17. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Product Roadmaps Are Not Like

    Car Roadmaps • How much rolling wave backlog planning does your org do now? • Too many product people use roadmaps that look like Gantt charts. Instead, choose one small MVP and then pull more work • (See the series that starts here: https://www.jrothman.com/mpd/ 2022/06/why-car-roadmaps-are-not- the-same-as-product-roadmaps- part-1/) 25
  18. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Use Cycle Time for Durations,

    Never Story Points • Story points do not predict duration: • Ideal time • No understanding of essential and accidental complication • Does not account for delays • Cycle time does predict duration, especially when you measure over time 26
  19. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman How Does Your Team Work?

    • Collaborate as in mobbing? ( fl ow ef fi ciency, fastest way to work) • Cooperate as in work together? • Totally separately? (resource ef fi ciency, slowest way to work) 27 Flow e ffi ciency
  20. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman How does your team work

 ( fl ow ef fi ciency or resource ef fi ciency?) Will that help you create more innovative products? 32
  21. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman The more team-based collaboration, the

    faster throughput and the more fun* 33 * In general
  22. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Fast Feedback for Innovation •

    Start one thing. • Finish it. • Do that again until you satisfy the customer. • Shorten all the feedback loops 35 Average Lead Time = Average Work in Progress Average Throughput
  23. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman What Product People Can Do

    • Ask team members to collaborate to reduce the team’s WIP. • Help the team pay attention to WIP. Ask: “What will help us get this story to done today?” • Instead of long roadmaps and large backlogs, ask: “How little can we do and still get a valuable result that will tell us what to do next?” • Monitor your leaders’ decision cycle time. Manage your WIP to support reduced organizational WIP 36
  24. © 2022 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Let’s Stay in Touch •

    Pragmatic Manager: • www.jrothman.com/ pragmaticmanager • Please link with me on LinkedIn • Based on this post: https:// www.jrothman.com/mpd/2020/12/ multiple-short-feedback-loops-support- innovation/ • More information at https:// www.jrothman.com 37
  25. Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group Johanna Rothman /in/johannarothman/ Q&A Rayvonne

    Carter Webinar Coordinator, Product Management Today /in/rayvonnecarter/ @ProdMgmtToday productmanagement today.com jrothman.com/blog/mpd/