Stein-Otto Svorstøl

Is there any contradiction between product and agile?

A recent event I was considering visiting, was advertising that there was supposed to be discussion there on product vs. agile., as these were somewhat on a collision course. I do not agree with the premise at all, and I’ve thought about the relation.

Product is about what to build, i.e. something that hits a need. Agile is about delivering continously, and being able to respond to changes fast. It was a response to waterfall and plan-based development.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. From The Agile Manifesto

A company can be agile but not be product-minded. And a company can likewise be product-minded but not agile in how they deliver it.

To combine the two means

  1. Being organized for flow into product teams that have what they need to deliver, i.e. utilize tools such as Domain-Driven Design and Team Topologies
  2. Have effective prioritzation that does not isolate Time-To-Market-calculations to development teams, but rather a organization wide effort. See Flight Levels and Rethinking Agile
  3. Utilize tools such as Product Discovery Habits, and develop product-market fit

The product-mindset comes into play in the product teams. It can also happen in dedicated business development departments or teams, as long as those are viewed as a part of a complete value chain for the company.

Any thoughts, comments or corrections after reading this post? Please, do reach out by E-mail. Thanks.

Post is tagged with: #Agile