The Accelerated Product team - and the Accelerated Product Workshop that builds it - is based on the following four key ideas:
- Work on what matters now
- Test what will matter later
- Commit to team improvement
- Enable organisation-wide adoption
Work on what matters now
Work on what you know is needed more than what you think might be needed. This is described in the ‘Lazy J model’.
In the majority of large projects, around 90% of effort is spent defining, designing and clarifying functionality or requirements that are not well known. That’s pretty obvious. In our work together we will identify work that is in the ‘hump’ - i.e. work that you KNOW needs to be done - and deliver that fast. Reducing the focus on the unknown or unclear at the beginning enables greater focus on getting out a minimum viable product. Once that is done, we can begin to focus on the ‘tail’.
By definition, the work on the tail is where competitive advantage lies. Therefore we want to ensure that we discover the value in the tail as fast as possible.
Test what will matter later
- How do we discover the value? Test what you think will matter before you commit to it. This is described in the IOTA model.
The IOTA model is a tool that is used to refine and validate the goal of a sprint. Central to the IOTA model is an hypothesis concerning customer behaviour. We want to test how we think we can get customers to drive the revenue of our product:
- If we deliver X, then the customer will do Y, which will result in Z for our business. Or, as an example;
- If we enable customers to visualise how much money they have left every month they will respond to offers for savings accounts, which will increase our savings deposits by 2% by the end of the year.
In the Accelerated Product Team workshop we get into working with this model in great detail. However, working and planning in such an agile manner requires trust among team members as well as an insatiable curiosity for what will work best for the customer and the product.
Commit to team improvement
Team improvement is as important as product improvement. This is reflected in the 2 Product Principle. This is stated as:
The Two Product Principle: You always ship twice. Product 1 is the product you develop for your customer. Product 2 is the team itself. Every team is in competition, internally or externally with other teams that better understand how to meet their customer’s needs.
In the APW, we will work through how to identify small opportunities for improvement that are accorded equal importance to functional development within a sprint.
The incredible thing about growing a really high performance team in an organisation is that other teams want to do likewise.
Enable organisation-wide adoption
A high performing team can build a high performing organisation. How to scale success in one team across the organisation is discussed in the APW although a lot of the heavy work is done during the first project. ongoing coaching during this project can help you make the right calls in responding to demand for ‘product acceleration’ across the organisation.