Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 iees: Requirement gathering to Feature implementation

Implementing requirements in a way they are supposed to be implemented calls for detailed structured thinking and a robust execution plan. Avoiding this can be dangerous as slight gap in initial understanding can cause large deviation in end-result. It thus becomes important for product managers to define a clear path from requirement gathering till feature implementation. A path that is descriptive & self-corrective, path that eliminates false assumptions and ensures success at the end. I present here one such path, I call it path of 5 iees, it has helped me in recent past to deliver highly accurate requirements.

5 iees: Information, Interpretation, Intelligence, Implication, Implementation

Information: Information gathering requires you (as a Product Manager) to be constantly in touch with ground reality that helps in you in getting timely & accurate information (or still data maybe) on what probably may be your next killer feature. Practice being a social animal, a trail that is must for you to excel in knowing facts . I wrote about collecting requirements in my previous blog so I will just rush through this point.
References: Meeting customer || Information Radar || Social animal

Interpretation: Is knowing what actually you just collected (learned from various sources). If gathering information is like sweeping a broom on the floor then interpretation is like to know what to keep and what to let go in bin. Its imperative that you master this skill and get as accurate as possible. This is skill of make or break as small difference in initial understanding can translate into an out of place feature / product. Focus on every word you hear, drill down to facts and revisit your source of information to ensure you understand what you are expected to understand.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Collecting Requirements

At product owner level, wherein I am sole owner of product / portfolio or LOB, I ensure that I have maximum possible coverage of reference points, inputs from which can be translated into requirements and placed in backlog.

Taking care of large number of reference points is cumbersome, especially if you are dealing with  a cloud based delivery platform that enables high quality services to large number of users. Also, you may not like to wake with a news that your competitor has announced a technology road map that will beat your next release on its launch date, I mean something like dead on arrival. Therefore its imperative for a product owner (or product manager is some cases) to devise a radar that ensures that no such surprises ever enters its space and take him by surprise. I would like to share technical specs of the radar the I have devised to ensure that I have maximum coverage of my space.

Technology: CTO, Architecture group, research group, engineering & individual contributors - consider their inputs from time to time, understand how technology is evolving as it possess the enormous power to disturb the current market equations. Ensure you collect & track key forums, bodies in govern technology in your space.

Competition: If you have not set news alerts of your competitors then I doubt you as product manager. Public announcements of your competition must reach you as it get out (don't set daily or weekly alert, but as it happens). While this a sure must, try and develop channels / contacts via partners, VARs who can provide you with any key movement on competition front. For example: a closed door beta program initiated etc