We’ve been adding more Agility into our production process here at Vertabase. As product manager, I’m leading this effort. One of the techniques I’m using is to push-back at the development team when they ask me questions, particularly about features.
One of my favorite responses is “Do I need to make a decision on this now?”
The urge to make a decision now is strong, coming from a plan driven background. But it unduly locks-up the team, our customers and our product.
While it is comforting for the team to have me (or a customer, for that matter) make a decision, it makes them less nimble and responsive. It focuses them on meeting a set of requirements, as opposed to the customers’ needs. The responsibility for the feature is no longer in their hands. They can simply follow directions and meet a spec.
So far, the team has been empowered by seeing that a decision doesn’t have to be made nor a policy/spec adhered to, and re-focused instead, on the simple art of the right feature implemented well.