Scrum Achilles' heel and ProdThink
What is Scrum?
I discovered this extremely well done video made by a young Scrum master and talented communicator, named Hamid Shojaee. Hamid competes with movie stars, as his video has so har three quarter of a millions views. Wow. I embedded the video here for easy reference
Naturally, every new product request starts with some features request. Supposedly each feature is associated with a benefit. How this is done? Customers, executives and perhaps some team members request those features. Each feature and benefit is collected as a User Story.
Then all the user stories are placed on a product backlog, a wish list. Someone, called the Product Owner looks at this wish list and decides which features to implement as minimum to reach product success.
At this moment the Scrum Master appears on the scene. Before he steps in to take the lead, we had a feature selection process taking place outside the Scrum framework. The input provided from executives, customers, some engineers, may be somewhat hazy and eclectic. Umair Haque had a tweet today, describing how things may work when trying to repair something. In my opinion, Scrum's fogging feature decision process qualifies.
2. Knowing what to think without knowing how to think. Knowing how to do without knowing what to do. That's what mediocrity is.Scrum is a well designed methodology to deliver clean products in the shortest time. The human ability and intuition is key to give a credible input for the product destined to be a triumph. The Project Manager, or Scrum Master estimates the effort, creates various sprints, burn down charts, velocity slope and keeping the project on track. This is great.
— umair haque (@umairh) January 30, 2014
And the video of Hamid is a spark of genius.
What is ProdThink?
This comes from another tweet today, after reading Laura Klein blog
@lauraklein @ProdThink What a great article LauraThe best way to explain what ProdThink does, is to watch their home page video
— Miha Ahronovitz (@myinnervoice) January 30, 2014
ProdThink HomePage Video from ProdThink on Vimeo.
I quote an email I received today from ProdThink CEO Steven Cohen, with some of ProdThink's key features:
This is fantastic piece of technology, that took pains and hard work to develop. Now the web site is open for business.
- Recruit: Ask users to give feedback on specific features
- Survey: Dig deeper with customers and stakeholders with audience specific surveys
- Record: Share a URL with users and record their screens
- Roadmap: Share your Roadmap with stakeholders for them to vote on key features
- Analyze: Filter survey results to find features that match certain criteria
The Obvious Take Away
ProdThink is the solution to the Scrum's Achilles' heel Both are tools. ProdThik is a tool for Product Managers. Scrum is a tool for Project Manager, aka Scrum masters. Tools don't replace people.
But by using in tandem Scrum + ProdThink we have an elegant framework that minimizes risk to let the wrong features slip in, and to create a beautiful product nobody wants to buy or adopt.