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Right question, wrong answer: agile stakeholder management

You are part of a successful multi-disciplinary team working in a user centered and iterative way. A stakeholder – not a user – in the service your team manages gets in touch with feedback. What’s your first reaction? It’s probably to tell them to go away. This reaction may be even more vigorously expressed when the feedback betrays a lack of understanding about how your …

delorean

10 things to remember when preparing for a service standard assessment

The last couple of times I’ve prepared teams for service standard assessments, I’ve put together a presentation to help explain the process. This has covered the background to the service standard and the main areas that I’ve seen cause confusion or problems. I don’t intend to cover the background here [1] but I thought I’d list the areas that can cause issues, in case that’s …

narrow walls

The value of user needs

Prologue A meeting room in a UK government department. Being discussed is the integration of a vendor’s system into the digital service managed by the various people on the other side of the room. A number of questions are raised about the approach to the integration and the user experience of the service once the new flow is included. The head of the vendor team …

Into the great wide open

Have you ever jumped off – or even out of – something that existed rather higher up that you’d have liked? I once got to climb to the top of a telegraph pole, stand on top of it and then jump to catch a trapeze swing suspended above and a little way away from it. This experience came with two negative aspects. The first of …

10 questions that mean 2019 will be a great F1 season

1. The five year itch? 3rd. 4th. 2nd. 2nd. That’s Sebastian Vettel’s championship placings during his F1 career with Ferrari. It’s not just the hangover of last year’s disappointment that points to next year being critical, it’s history. Consider the difference between the record above and these two sequences of championship placings: 2nd. 4th. 2nd. 2nd. 3rd. 2nd. 2nd. 5th (crucially, missing almost half of …

What a product person is, and what they are not

A product person [1] is… The Digital, Data and Technology Profession role description for a Product Manager is: A product manager is responsible for the quality of their products. They use their knowledge of user needs and business goals to frame problems and set priorities for their delivery teams. Product managers: form the vision for their product and engage their teams and stakeholders in the …

git branches

Five product anti-patterns

Why not get rid of your product person? Why let a product person enable decisions? The best possible case for not getting rid of them and making sure you enable them is what happens to your team if they’re not there. Here are five alternative approaches that I’ve spotted, and some of the sub-optimal consequences. 1. Anarchy Description: everyone does what they want to do. …

people chatting at party

What does a product person do?

If you’ve ever worked as a product person [1] then you’ll have had the experience of a family member, or someone at a party, asking you what you do. Unless you’re more articulate than me, there will be some awkwardness whilst your mouth opens and closes and you try and fail to explain what you do. Sometimes this will be followed by your audience saying …

children's amusement park

Websites are amusement parks, not classrooms

We’ve taken our little person to an amusement park several times in the last year. You’ve probably been to one of these at some stage in your life. There are lots of exotic animals to make sure that it’s properly educational. Then there are a lot of other brightly coloured options including (but not limited to): playgrounds, rides, special shows, giant sandpits, cuddly toy shops …

All of our songs sound the same

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful My husband likes it. I think it’s s***e. By ******** ****** on 25 Nov. 2013 Format: Audio CD The music is very basic. They keep singing about people I’ve never heard of. When I say singing I’m not sure you could really call it singing. My family and I have had to listen to this album …