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Learning 7: Create an actionable roadmap. Convert the experience into coherent user stories. Focus o

This article is part of my learning journal. If you are interested to read them all, jump to my main index page "What I have learnt about product management, agile, and personal development at a big bank".

PART 1: 9 learnings on the process of developing a product from discovery phase to delivery phase

Learning 1: The mindset of DVF, and take ownership to explore DVF, at scale.

Learning 2: Understand your problem statement, and create a clear and long lasting vision

Learning 3: Trust the experts and empower the team

Learning 4: Know the rules before you break the rules (understand current state of your solution)

Learning 5: Clear roles and responsibilities = Clear accountabilities and actions

Learning 6: Make use of your cross-functional talents, make it real team collaboration

Learning 7: Create an actionable roadmap. Convert the experience into coherent user stories. Focus on less, to deliver more

Learning 8: Tactical solution vs Strategic solution, whichever you chose, make sure it's shared understanding

Learning 9: Engage with your stakeholders


At the beginning, it's often over-exciting about the future, our great ideas and its potential, then we start to scratch our heads when it didn't happen fast enough. Oh we realised a great concept with end to end customer experience doesn't necessarily equals to an actionable roadmap. So we settled down to explore more. However, at 1 point of time, I was looking at 8 different initiatives, and trying to shape them all at the same time. Let's talk about break down roadmap to epics, features and priorities.

If you remember my 1st learning, I talked about 3 rounds of DVF. and the purpose of DVF is trying to fail fast, learn fast; explore topics based on priorities; shape solutions for the top priorities; and narrow down execution options.

If you have worked in an agile environment before, you will be familiar with the concept of epic, features and user stories. What I like to focus on is the connection between the epics. And that's where a story mapping helps to visualise the connection. Let's talk about a hypothetical product roadmap: build your dream home. You envision your dream home is flexible to grow as your lifestyle changes, from 1 person apartment, to 2 beds love nest, to 4 beds sweet home, without moving from your current location. If we've done DVF properly for the previous round, your architect will probably tell you start building the house on a big land!

Your epics could be flexible and smart floor plan; re-useable structural materials; and light-weight yet strong building materials. For MVP, to build 1 person apartment, while not losing the vision and purpose of creating flexible dream home, you can break down the floor plan epic to the one that includes 1 bath with ensuite, and a kitchen, with smart doors that you can create open ways to other rooms in the future. You can break down re-useable structural material epic to be foldable roof, so you can extend it in the future for 2 beds. And maybe as a stretch goal, have a nice court yard with Australian native plants. But you see, some of the epics and its features are related or even depends on the other. And having a story mapping will help reminder the team what we are building towards, and how each of our tasks is related to each other.

Bear in mind, it's better to focus on a fewer things instead of expanding the fronts you have to fight for. In this case, unless your designer has done the kitchen detailed design for your 1 person apartment, don't get the designer to work on the large lounge on the MDP (minimum desirable product) as part of your 2 beds love nest. Because you'll be taking the designer off his/her tasks, that other people may also depend on to move forward.

Oh, and when there is new shining features such as make your house rotate with sunlight, came into the picture late while you already get the builders to build the 1 person apartment. Make sure you evaluate its DVF and add this feature into your backlog instead of disrupting the building process.



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