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Breaking Silos In Product Development

Breaking Silos In Product Development

In this talk, I look closer at the negative consequences of working with dis-empowered teams in what has also become known as the feature factory organization. I will show how the most innovative product companies of today seem to work very differently and talk about two examples from my personal career that have been very eye-opening in that regard. With this talk I hope to encourage people with an engineering background to make themselves more familiar with “state-of-the-art” product management to help make our software product companies more successful together.

Presented at the Paris.rb Ruby Conference, Feb 2020

Raphaela Wrede

February 18, 2020
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  1. BREAKING SILOS IN
    PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
    Raphaela Wrede
    February 2020, Paris.rb Conference

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  2. RAPHAELA WREDE
    ➤ Ruby developer
    ➤ Turned engineering manager
    ➤ From Berlin
    ➤ Currently working @contentful
    ➤ Previously @travisci, @babbel
    ➤ Part-time student of sociology and
    political sciences
    ➤ Lover of Berlin Currywurst but
    also Haute Cuisine Française

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  3. TWO REAL-LIFE
    PROJECTS

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  4. PROJECT A
    Scene from movie „Wrong“ by Quentin Dupieux, 2012

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  5. PROJECT B
    Scene from movie „Apollo 13“ by Ron Howard, 1995

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  6. The difference in team engagement
    and the unfolding development
    process, was very noticeable and felt
    very eye-opening to me.

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  7. Project B was also a lot less risky
    because of very early user testing.

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  8. Unfortunately, most products are still
    built like in example A in the
    software industry.

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  9. Project B had felt so creative,
    empowering and engaging.
    Like a much more mature and
    elevated way of working together in a
    team.

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  10. How are the really great companies
    doing Product?

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  11. RESEARCH ON
    HOW INNOVATIVE
    PRODUCTS ARE BUILT

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  12. Product podcasts
    Product books
    Product blogs
    Product conferences
    Product Evangelists
    Product talks

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  13. There is a huge discrepancy between
    how the mediocre and the great
    product companies do Product.

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  14. HOW IS PRODUCT DONE
    RIGHT?

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  15. DISCLAIMER
    There is no silver bullet!

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  16. BUT:
    ➤ There are some principles and patterns that great
    product organizations seem to have in common.

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  17. BUT:
    ➤ There are some principles and patterns that great
    product companies seem to have in common.
    ➤ Interestingly, those companies can have pretty
    different company cultures.
    Makes great product culture
    Culture A Culture B

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  18. 4
    PRINCIPLES OF GREAT
    PRODUCT CULTURES

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  19. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Distinction between Discovery and Delivery workstream

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  20. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Distinction between Discovery and Delivery workstreams
    ➤ Collect evidence to separate the good ideas from the bad

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  21. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Distinction between Discovery and Delivery workstreams
    ➤ Collect evidence to separate the good ideas from the bad
    ➤ Series of experiments using rapid prototyping to discover solutions

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  22. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Purpose: Address 4 critical risks asap
    ➤ Value risk: Will the user buy the product or choose to use it?
    ➤ Usability risk: Can the user figure out how to use it?
    ➤ Feasibility risk: Can we build it?
    ➤ Business viability risk: Does the solution work for our business?

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  23. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Purpose: Address 4 critical risks asap
    ➤ Value risk: Will the user buy the product or choose to use it?
    ➤ Usability risk: Can the user figure out how to use it?
    ➤ Feasibility risk: Can we build it?
    ➤ Business viability risk: Does the solution work for our business?
    (see also in „Inspired“ by Marty Cagan)
    (User research/Analytics)
    (Design/UX)
    (Engineering)
    (Business Analysts/Marketing/Sales/Market Research)

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  24. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    1. Product Discovery vs. Product Delivery
    ➤ Purpose: Address 4 critical risks asap
    ➤ Value risk: Will the user buy the product or choose to use it?
    ➤ Usability risk: Can the user figure out how to use it?
    ➤ Feasibility risk: Can we build it?
    ➤ Business viability risk: Does the solution work for our business?
    ➤ Not more than 1/3 of ideas should make it into Delivery !

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  25. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    2. Experimentation mindset
    ➤ Short and time-bound bets: How much are we willing to
    invest in a solution?

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  26. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    2. Experimentation mindset
    ➤ Short and time-bound bets: How much are we willing to
    invest in a solution?
    ➤ Measure success of shipped work

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  27. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    2. Experimentation mindset
    ➤ Short and time-bound bets: How much are we willing to
    invest in a solution?
    ➤ Measure success of shipped work
    ➤ Kill unsuccessful features

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  28. PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    2. Experimentation mindset
    ➤ Short and time-bound bets: How much are we willing to
    invest in a solution?
    ➤ Measure success of shipped work
    ➤ Kill unsuccessful features
    ➤ Learning through failure is seen as a success

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  29. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    3. Empowered and autonomous teams
    ➤ Problems (not work) assigned to teams

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  30. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    3. Empowered and autonomous teams
    ➤ Problems (not work) assigned to teams
    ➤ Techniques: User story mapping / Design sprints

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  31. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    3. Empowered and autonomous teams
    ➤ Problems (not work) assigned to teams
    ➤ Techniques: User story mapping / Design sprints
    ➤ Trust: Management trusts their teams

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  32. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    3. Empowered and autonomous teams
    ➤ Problems (not work) assigned to teams
    ➤ Techniques: User story mapping / Design sprints
    ➤ Trust: Management trusts their teams
    ➤ Cross-functional teams staffed with people of sufficient
    seniority and competence

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  33. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    4. Teams Equipped With Business Context
    ➤ Avoids creative chaos while guaranteeing team autonomy

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  34. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    4. Teams Equipped With Business Context
    ➤ Avoids creative chaos while guaranteeing team autonomy
    ➤ Teams are grouped around a customer-centric mission:
    ➤ A part of the user journey / customer personas

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  35. COMMON PRINCIPLES OF GREAT PRODUCT CULTURES
    4. Teams Equipped With Business Context
    ➤ Avoids creative chaos while guaranteeing team autonomy
    ➤ Teams are grouped around a customer-centric mission:
    ➤ A part of the user journey / customer personas
    ➤ Some form of OKR system
    ➤ Alignment through high level objectives
    ➤ Outcome-oriented vs. output-oriented

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  36. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE & TERMINOLOGY
    Versus
    Project mindset
    Product mindset
    Feature factory
    Scrum
    Output-oriented Outcome-oriented
    Experimentation mindset
    Work assigned Problem assigned
    Top-down Collaborative
    Product discovery
    Mission-driven

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  37. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE & TERMINOLOGY
    Versus
    Project mindset
    Product mindset
    Feature factory
    Scrum
    Output-oriented Outcome-oriented
    Experimentation mindset
    Work assigned Problem assigned
    Top-down Collaborative
    Product discovery
    Mission-driven

    View full-size slide

  38. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE & TERMINOLOGY
    Versus
    Project mindset
    Product mindset
    Feature factory
    Scrum
    Output-oriented Outcome-oriented
    Experimentation mindset
    Work assigned Problem assigned
    Top-down Collaborative
    Product discovery
    Mission-driven

    View full-size slide

  39. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE & TERMINOLOGY
    Versus
    Project mindset
    Product mindset
    Feature factory
    Scrum
    Output-oriented Outcome-oriented
    Experimentation mindset
    Work assigned Problem assigned
    Top-down Collaborative
    Product discovery
    Mission-driven

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  40. As Engineers we should care and
    know more about how great products
    are built.

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  41. We are impacted heavily by how
    software products are built in our
    companies, today.

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  42. It does not really matter with what
    technology we are building unoriginal
    products.

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  43. T-shape yourself
    with some
    Product knowledge!

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  44. „We need to break silos between Engineering
    and Product to help make our product
    companies more successful together.“

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  45. „We need to level up our knowledge about state-of
    the-art Product Discovery and Management to
    reduce the huge chasm between the mediocre and
    the great product companies out there.“

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  46. THANK YOU!
    Find me on Twitter @raphaelawrede.
    Pour Hélène ❤

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  47. READ MORE HERE
    Inspired:
    https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/inspired-2nd-edition/9781119387503/
    Nimble Leadership:
    https://hbr.org/2019/07/nimble-leadership
    The Lean Startup:
    http://theleanstartup.com/book
    Sprint - How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days:
    https://www.thesprintbook.com
    Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, 3rd Edition:
    https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Facilitator%27s+Guide+to+Participatory+Decision+Making%2C+3rd+Edition-p-9781118404959
    User Story Mapping:
    https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/user-story-mapping/9781491904893/
    12 Signs You’re Working in a Feature Factory:
    https://cutle.fish/blog/12-signs-youre-working-in-a-feature-factory
    Shape Up - Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters:
    https://basecamp.com/shapeup
    How to build a generative engineering culture:
    https://changelog.com/posts/how-to-build-a-generative-engineering-culture

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