Product Roadmapping with Prune the Product Tree
This post is my own thinking on Requirements Management process using Innovation Games® created by Innovation Games Company.
When using Visual board we as team members assume that the card is the right feature to be developed. I’ll talk here about the inception of feature card.
We start with an empty tree that represents the baseline product, if any. The fruits, leaves and others can represent product portfolio features. Whether we do Agile, Lean or not we still need to create product road maps.
A tree is organized aesthetically, and has valuable fruits to its clients. The aesthetical dimension for me is both predetermined and evolving. The predetermined aspect comes from agreeing with the group on the topology of the tree, for example the tree to the right predetermines the categories of features based on whether they are user/ designer oriented and based on how immediate they are required.
Another aspect is to create multiple trees each represents collaboration among certain community. For example we can have a separate tree for each of customer, marketing, engineering, and executives. For example, engineering group would have interest in adding fruits of technical product architecture type. Another way I see it is that we may have a tree for every persona.
The tree can be pruned through the collaboration of about 8 team members. Having a product vision can be good starting point to improve collaboration, however, that vision should be evolved during the pruning process.
Next step is to fill Excel sheet with various fruits on the tree. Then provide T-shirt sizing for each feature and estimate the required budget to develop it. The teams then play game Buy-a-Feature to select which features to develop. The selection is based on available budget and price per feature. The Requirements Development process apart from being Agile or traditional has always been iterative with cyclic loop backs. Handling this process as a game enhance our ability to deal with the inherent uncertainty and the continuous change.
I guess it’s time for the card (fruit or feature) to land on the visual board with visual control of the portfolio and required date.