Atlassian Summit — Product Roadmaps for Agile teams.

Atlassian Summit — Product Roadmaps for Agile teams.

A highly anticipated talk by Sherif Mansour — Principal Product Manager, who presented the audience with an interesting perspective about creating product roadmaps in an agile organization. He thoroughly explained three techniques to drive this initiative based on Goals, Personas and Vision.

He shared some great insights which we will try to elaborate on in this post, but we definitely recommend watching his video on the Atlassian YouTube Channel. What he shares is simply priceless.

Company Goals as part of your product.

At Atlassian they have a template which is shared throughout the company, so that product managers, developers and analyst can have a clear understanding where exactly the company’s goals are aligned with the mission.

In the SoftwareDevTools team we used Confluence Pages and Bitbucket to have developers coordinate with one another on the specific features to develop our Agile Retrospectives for Confluence add-on & the Jira version, but also included live demos design with Invision, so all team member where aligned on the products goal which is to create a collaborative approach to Retrospectives for remote teams.

It is important to share this information because it explains how the vision of the products being built can be aligned. The reason behind this is that most products might change over time to adapt to the needs of the market and its customers. But the mission should stay the same regardless of the product or market needs.

The document contains the following fields:

  • Vision. The big picture and the opportunity the product is aiming at, but most importantly, the need it fills in the market.
  • Themes. What will drive the product’s adoption and how will the users see it branded in their activities.
  • Focus Areas. Where the product will begin to drive adoption and revenue, elicited by the needs of the users and the underlying problem being solved.
  • Measures. It is important to establish metrics that will pinpoint to user adoption and the desire of the product.
    Agile Product Roadmaps

Sheriff invited the audience to adapt it to each company or team.
It was surprising to see how well this framework can be aligned to the Objective Key Results (OKRs) of a company. As the following image seamlessly conveys the company’s vision, themes, focus areas and measures down to each OKR across the board. This will be aligned with each team member’s skills and goals, empowering the entire organization in the process of creating a product.
Shaeriff Mansour

It is vital to a product’s success that the team understands where the development of features is heading. Creating software can become a never-ending loop of features that hypothetically could make the product appealing to the clients, yet this can turn out to be a mistake many teams run into.

“Always have an understanding of what the future looks like and what impact you will have when you get there”

-Sheriff Mansour — Principal Product Manager at Atlassian

Decisions on a product’s business model.

When building a product, certain situations where the team must decide what features to build based solely on who will benefit from them can have an impact on the product’s business model itself.

Feature requests can be a very time-consuming task for teams, making prioritization somewhat of a black art, but having a roadmap will enable the team to stay on course and fulfill a product’s vision while still satisfying a client’s need.

There are three important factors to consider when building features for a product:

  • Solution. What is being achieved by that feature?
  • Metric. What is the activity that will provide information to the user who is solving a need?
  • Problem. At the end of the day, you need to be sure that the problem has been solved.

One of the best takeaways from the talk was this quote:

“Beware of Metrics as goals”

—Sheriff Mansour — Principal Product Manager at Atlassian

We have shared some of the most outstanding insights from his talk, but as we said — you must watch his talk from Atlassian Summit 2016 and see the bigger picture :)

Happy Planning!

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