Continuous Exploration


Consists of three separate activities:


Product Management facilitates a continuous collaborative process:

  • System Architect/Engineers
  • Customers
  • BOs & Stakeholders
  • POs and teams


Product Management uses a variety of activities and techniques:

  • Customer visits
  • Gemba walks
  • Elicitation
  • Trade studies
  • Market research


Based on the previous activities, Product Management synthesises findings into Vision, Roadmap and Program Backlog

  • Program kanban
  • Funnel, analysis and backlog make a good starting point
  • Features that make it to the Program Backlog are ready for WSJF prioritisation to determine which ones should be pulled into PI Planning


Vision inspires action

Vision provides a longer term context:

  • How will our future solution solve the larger customer problems?
  • How ill it differentiate us?
  • What is the future context that our solutions will operate?
  • What is our current business context and how must we evolve to meet this future state


Elaborate features with Lean UX

  • Define a benefit hypothesis
  • Design collaboratively
  • Build MMF (Minimum Marketable Feature)
  • Evaluate  MMF against the hypothesis



Features have Benefit Hypothesis and Acceptance Criteria

  • "Feature" is an industry standard term familiar to marketing and Product Management
  • Benefit hypothesis justify Feature implementation cost and provide business perspective when making scope decisions
  • Acceptance Criteria are typically defined during Program Backlog refinement
  • Reflects Functional and Nonfunctional requirements
  • Fits in one PI



Prioritise Features for Optimal ROI

  • In a flow system, job sequencing is the key to economic outcomes
  • To prioritise, we need to know two things:
    • What is the CoD (Cost of Delay) in delivering value?
    • What is the cost to implement the valuable thing?

In the general case, give preference to the jobs with shorter Duration and higher CoD using WSJF:




Three factors contributing to Cost of Delay:


User-Business Value - Relative value to the customer / business

  • They prefer this over that
  • Revenue impact?
  • Potential penalty or other negative impact?
Time Criticality - How User/Business Value decays over time

  • Is there a fixed deadline?
  • Will they wait for us or move to another solution?
  • What is the current effect on customer satisfaction?
RR / OE - Risk Reduction / Opportunity Enablement value - What else does this do for our business

  • Reduce the risk of this or future delivery?
  • Is there value in the information we will receive?
  • Enable new business opportunities?

Duration (Job size)

  • Could be hard to determine, especially early on when we might not know who's going to do the work or the capacity allocation for the teams.
  • In system, with fixed resources, Job size is a good proxy for duration



Architectural Runway

  • Consists of existing code, hardware components, etc. that technically enable near term business features
  • Enablers build up the runway
  • Features consume it
  • Architectural Runway must be continuously maintained
  • Use Capacity Allocation (a percentage of the train's overall capacity in a PI) for Enablers that extend the runway


Emergent design and intentional architecture

  • Every teams deserves to see the bigger picture. Every team is empowered to design their part.
  • Emergent design - teams grow the system design as user stories
  • Intentional architecture -  fosters team alignment and defines Architectural Runway
  • A balance between emergent design and intentional architecture is required for speed of development and maintainability