7 Deadly Agile Sins of a Startup Company

7 Deadly Agile Sins of a
Startup Company
Opportunity Cost: Learn how and when to effectively say “No” to the business.
Under promise, over deliver
Pride: What didn’t work?
Data Driven Decisions
Product Councils
Miscommunications of priority
Pride: Defining a culture
Working within the dynamic culture
“mind like water”
Anti-Fragile: adopting processes for robustness
Buy a Feature
Innovation Games
Learned via Agile Velocity Product Owner Training
Understand what’s truly important
Learn to do it virtually with multiple stakeholders
Make it easy
Gluttony: Lessons in Defining
Minimum Viable Ship
Temptation into gluttony is a plethora of features and capabilities all that
promise to bring about the customers to love us…. But less in this case is
Gluttony: What didn’t work
Large Epics and stories that were never broken down
Lack of subject matter expertise or training on new
Too many assumptions
Too few conflicts or getting comfortable with conflict
Learning to under promise, over deliver
Learning to say “no” effectively and challenge the
assumptions productively
Resurrect backlog grooming and iterative story
development for estimation
Dress it up, dress it down… not making time for refactoring can
cripple your product
Sloth: What we learned
Attempting to introduce process to slow down resulted
in bypassing process
Quality improvement activities to refactor ended up in
being rushed due to new commitments / business
Why such a resistance to refactoring?
Keep an eye to sustaining and maintaining work
Document as you go … otherwise you spend more time
supporting code when you’ve moved onto other
projects stalling velocity
With just this one more feature, the customers will come….
Greed is good… or is it?
Lean out the product by removing unused features to
ease maintenance and sustainability
When adopting new features account for continued
delivery of it
Strategies for keeping current with integration product
Lust: Intense Desire
If you build it “easy to use” they will come:
- Design Firms and UX
- User Interface Complexity
- Wholesale site redesign versus iterative
Lust: Lessons Learned
Develop a user testing practice
Understand what actual users use and value
Iterate to make the actual users lives easier
Challenge your assumptions
Become deeply passionate about your users
Wrath: What didn’t work
Attempting to chase new customers to the exclusion of
current customers
Assuming customers were self-managing
Individual ticket management of enhancement
Organizational commitment to customers through account
management and support
Dedication to sustaining efforts to enhance customer experience
Understand and quantify value of solution
What’s next: FAB and customer workshops to quantify enhancements
and fixes at a larger scale
Online Voting of customer needs and market information visible to
all customers
Regular and routine sprint demos to build customer
Regular and routine field development calls to jointly
align priorities and help them understand what we’re
building and why

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