As a [Who], I Want [Outcome], So That [Why]
Who is this person? What are they hoping to achieve? Why?
We often forget the story and conversation ...
"Something we put into Jira" "The thing I write to get anything done here"
I wanted to build stuff people use. Stuff they value.
But we sold, shipped, shipped, guessed, shipped, sold, and chased our tail.
The User Story Black Hole. Where do they go?
Into the fog. Into the mist. Into bits and bytes. Never to be seen again ...
In your organization when is a story done?
Like really done? Customer happy done? Feel good about a job-well-done done?
Measurement and Learning Debt
You've grown so fast. Your intuition took you this far. But now the personas multiply. The app expands into a morass of pages.
Experiment, Iterate, Test vs. Ship. Plan. Accountability.
The words we use are powerful. We're pulled in two directions. To explore and learn is human. To exploit those learnings is human. Have you lost your will to learn ?
Build. Measure. Oh shit we forgot to fire that event!
Build, Measure, Learn is good in theory. But to measure you often need to build. To learn, you need to leave time to learn and adapt. Too often it is Build. Build. Build. We forget the learning.
When is the value actually delivered?
Your product represents potential value. When does it become customer value?
Sales sells a promise. Product delivers that promise.
We buy on pain. But we use on value. We renew on value. We recommend on value. Snake oil is only snake oil when you don't need snake oil.
Conversations. Narratives. Pictures.
Details, arc, drama, actors ... everyone loves a good story
Explore (Diverge > Converge) Exploit (Diverge > Converge)
This is the cycle of learning. We cast a large net. Tighten. Understand the opportunities. And then diverge as we dream up solutions. And then converge to exploit that solution
INVESTable stories are Valuable and Testable
Engineers write tests for stories. They do it all day. Their work is scrutinized. It must "pass". How about product owners?
Given [Context] When [Event] Then [Outcome]
Wondering what to measure? Think about the story. It's all there. We measure the context. Fire events. And then, most importantly, measure the outcome.
If we were successful, we might observe ...
This is not a science. We are looking for signals. We may know when we see it. But that is no excuse for a lack of rigor, or no discussion.
Put a stake in the ground. Before you start.
In three months you'll present to the whole company. Make that presentation NOW. And then fill in the blanks. Adopting an evidence-based approach requires a commitment . Make it.
We are learning. And the learning horizon is broad.
The sprint is just a narrow slice. Extend the horizon "to the right". Monitor those stories as they pass to customers, and into their regular daily workflow.
Mistakes and antipatterns
You're not learning. You aren't exploring. You're never failing. Good news-ism. No "now what". Protecting teams from evidence and data.