Envisioning done right

June 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm 1 comment


When you start a new product development you have to do something before the first Sprint: shaping a product vision, creating an initial product backlog, forming the team etc. There are a lot of names for these activities: envisioning, ideation, customer discovery, pre game etc. Envisioning seems to be the most common name.

While I think that Envisioning is often necessary I am often shocked when I see what companies do during “Envisioning”:

  • The Envisioning lasts weeks or months when hours or days would have been sufficient.
  • Comprehensive fine grained product backlogs are created.
  • Detailed designs are created.
  • etc.

That is not Envisioning. That are the early phases of a waterfall project. Therefore some people consider the Envisioning an anti pattern in Scrum.

Before I join these people I want to try to explain better what Envisioning should be and what not.

During Envisioning I value

  • learning important things over designing things
  • having business and technical people in the Envisioning team over having only the Product Owner doing the Envisioning
  • Product Owner and Team listening to and working together with real customers and users over giving research orders to marketing
  • checking assumptions about the market, customers, users over dealing with corporate stage gate processes
  • checking technical assumptions with prototypes over having long design discussions within the team
  • sketching things on flip charts over creating power point slides
While few of the things on the right side have value, I value the things on the left side more during envisioning.

Entry filed under: it-agile-blog-planet. Tags: .

Commitment and the Comfort Zone Artikel: “Die Architekturvision in Scrum: Vorausplanung und emergentes Design balancieren”

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