This August, Strive Columbus sponsored the International Institute of Business Analysis Conference. This event attracts and helps further the professional development of 500+ BA’s, Product Owners, Product Managers and Scrum Masters in central Ohio. Our very own Faye Thompson was a featured speaker and facilitated two sessions: (1) Sliding Into Alignment, a technique to help generate more enriching conversations around what matters to everyone involved in group settings and (2) Introduction to Wardley Maps, to discuss how they can support overall work in understanding, responding to, and communicating a product’s landscape.
Please see presentation description of each individual presentation along with photos from the event below!
Sliding Into Alignment
Product Owners maximize the value of work delivered by a team. To do this, we must make trade-offs on where we spend our energy, time and other resources. Understanding the cost of choosing one alternative over another is critical to making informed decisions.
But what happens when we don’t all agree on which alternatives should be chosen? Disagreement such as this can create confusion, and in the worst cases, derail our efforts altogether. Getting that alignment can focus our efforts, become the guardrails for development teams, and signal to us when we have drifted too far from our guiding purpose.
We will practice facilitating conversations using trade-off sliders, including ways to avoid common biases such as anchoring and groupthink. This lightweight technique can generate more enriching conversations around what matters to everyone involved.
Introduction to Wardley Maps
In order to design a winning product strategy, we must have a clear purpose, understand the landscape we are in, and understand what influences that landscape. Once we have these, we can answer the main questions required of any strategy: where do we spend our efforts, and how will we succeed?
Unfortunately, we often lack situational awareness and, instead, operate on gut feeling. We end up building the wrong thing, improving the wrong process or organizing ourselves in a way that does not support success. Wardley Maps were created to diagram, design and evolve systems through a contextual lens. Because they are visual, Wardley Maps also allow us to communicate strategy more easily, and let others challenge and improve it.
We will review a basic primer of Wardley maps, and discuss how they can support our work in understanding, responding to and communicating about our product’s landscape.