April 23, 2018 // By John Doucette
As your business and IT departments come together to collaborate on new software innovations, it’s critical everyone is on board with a product-based — not a project-based — approach.
“Bring the work to the teams” is the focus of product driven software development. By creating fully functional teams, with all the roles such as a product owner, scrum master, development lead, developer, test engineer, designer, data scientist and even an architect – you get consistency and velocity. The team(s) work together, usually in business domains such as inventory, purchasing, merchandising, or marketing.
“Bring the people to the work” is a hallmark of project-based organizations, building annual budgets and prioritizing those projects in the queue which need to be delivered. There are domain teams, but much of the shared resources such as business analysts (aka product owners), test engineers, and project managers, come from other parts of the organization to work on the project. Velocity takes a while to find, and most projects have a time sink in the repeating patterns of FSNP, or Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.
From my years of experience with both approaches, I recommend the product-based strategy because of the profound effect it can have on the overall velocity to meet market demands faster. Its structure allows entire teams to keep their eyes on the prize: the fast and efficient development of money-making vehicles that will solve clients' problems, using the latest technologies available. Here are a few tips for optimizing product-based strategies:
- Assign a skilled product owner to oversee the process and keep your team focused.
- Build a backlog and encourage team participation in scrums, grooming sessions, demos and retrospectives that help maintain your planned scope and timeline.
- Throughout the process, continue to seek real-world feedback from users and review it with the team, allowing it to take ownership and make changes accordingly.
While both product- and project-based methodologies offer value, I believe product perspectives are more effective and efficient when it comes to collaborating on marketable software products.
You can learn more about how shifting from a project to product mindset can get you to market faster in our latest editorial.