At micropoll we are firm believers of ’increasing product agility’. This is something we keep in the back of our minds when we quickly roll out features. Product agility is a result of the team working in a ‘startup team-like’ fashion – communication is prompt, honest and features are rolled out with optimal speed and quality.
BUT, this agility sometimes costs us dearly. This is because we do not allow ourselves enough time to get to the root cause of the specific problems we’re having, and see if we can change the way we work so that we can prevent those problems from happening in the first place.
Rolling out new stuff is good, but rolling out fixes for stuff you rolled out regulary doesn’t make sense. The right mix of product agility and process improvement is what a disciplined software company should have. You don’t want processes to slow you down, but you want them to ensure that you are not reckless being ‘agile’.
Business sense is what matters the most even in Product management. Reducing ‘Product Waste’ is key here.
How do you know, how agile your software product is ?
Since I love coming up with formulas, heres one which I believe will work for software products
PRODUCT AGILITY = ( SPEED OF ROLLOUT * VALUE OF FEATURE * USER PERCEPTION OF FEATURE) / PRODUCT WASTE
Every variable in the formula above is self explanatory except for ‘Product Waste’ which I will explain in a later post.
About the author: Anup Surendran is the product manager for Micropoll. He has consulted for various technology startups in his career servicing Fortune 50 companies. He works out of Toronto, Canada and blogs frequently on his personal blog.