How does your product building process look like in your organization?

  • 8 November 2021
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Hey everyone, I am wondering how does your product development process look like in your organization? Do you follow scrum or any other methodology? How happy are you with it?

In our organization we used to follow the classic two-week scrum sprint cycles, but it wasn’t really working for us (I wrote about it in this article). After several iterations of our development process we ended with this way of working:
 

We follow a continuous cycle of two-type iterations where each iteration has to have an objective defined before it starts. The first type is Build iterations that are 6–8 weeks long and their goal is always to solve some customer problem. The problem is captured in a “problem definition” resulting from our product discovery process that precedes the build iteration. During the iteration whole team solely focuses only on this goal and each build iteration is finished with a release into the production environment. After the release, the iteration smoothly transitions into the other type that is Refine iterations. These are up to 4 weeks long during which each team has time to address technical debt, bugs, or small UX improvements. Every two weeks, we sync with the teams on the progress and their main challenges, so we can adjust the course of action if needed.

 

While we’re happy with how it’s been working so far, it also brings new challenges. So, I would love to hear how you build product in your organization so I can get inspired to improve it further ;)


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@martinmichalik a bit surprised others haven’t chimed in with their thoughts on this topic, but wonder if it’s just that they are all heads-down with end of year 2022 planning and work.

From an execution standpoint, I’ve found that most folks follow a two week sprint cycle typically, some may reduce this to one week or increase to as much as four weeks. Outside that it’s also not uncommon to see some variation of existing frameworks like Basecamp’s Shape Up or others you’ve likely seen from various companies pop up along with many organizational variants. GitLab for example documents their process (what they call their product development flow) and it has a validation track and a build track and has a specific timeframe

It’s not uncommon for perfection to be a quest here and I usually encourage folks to focus on shipping value to their customers regularly. Teresa Torres in her book Continuous Discovery Habits echos that. As Marty Cagan said:

The reason product development process is often such a religious topic is because that typically impacts everyone on the team, usually in fairly fundamental ways...see how these various choices either support cultural values or work against them.

 

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