Do the right thing

I have been a fan of Lean Startup ever since I read the book with the same name for the first time. Working with hypothesis in really short iterations fueled by lean principles in order to gain validated learning. Replacing big investments with small experiments is what it is all about. Theory is one thing though, implementing it in an organization is something else. Luckily I had the possibility together with my team mates in team Kafka and our friends in team Firefly at Tieto to attend the Crisp course Lean Team. We (Product owners, developers and support consultants) left this course with new knowledge, insights and tools that will help us to not only do things right, but even more important do the right things.

The course kicked off with a case study on how a system for handling examinations at Stockholm University was implemented. The major learning here was that until validated we should consider everything in the backlog as speculations. Short iterations and frequent releases that was tested on real users created knowledge that could never have been anticipated in advance.

Courses held by Crisp are often (or always?) using the Training from the back of the room strategy. Making the learners driving the learning by participating in a lot activating and inspirational exercises. This creates a course that is pure fun and making the new knowledge stick. The first exercise we did was a Lego game showing the importance of team members having T-shaped skills in order to deliver great results.

Next up was one of my biggest takeaways from the course. Learning about Impact mapping. This is a lightweight tool for describing the connection between business goals and features and how we want to change user behavior in order to reach the goals. Other benefits is that you get a road map nicely visualized. This is how I hope we can handle the backlog in the future. Ordering the Impact Mapping book by Gojko Adzic to learn more is now on my to-do list.

We learned a lot of techniques for gaining more knowledge with just a small investment of time.

Creating Proto-personas.
We are creating personas to be able to see things from a customer-centric point of view.

Story boarding.
We describe problems and solutions by drawing story boards

Hypothesis creation
Why we believe in an idea and how we can validate it.

Design studio.
A workshop for collaborative idea generation.

Created an MVP by doing a prototype.
An MVP is the smallest thing we can do to validate an idea.

Goobing
How to plan and execute validation of ideas on real people.

For every step we did we used an experimentation kata to validate the work. It is a generic technique that can be applied in almost all situations.

I really enjoyed this class and learned a lot of things that we can implement in our daily work. Taking the class together with the whole team made it even better. Getting advice and feedback from experts and hearing examples from their work life made it a great time.

I recommend everyone that has the possibility to take this class to do it! Bring the whole team!

A big thank you to everyone making our participation possible and to everyone attending for making the class great!

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