Agile Excellence For Product Managers

A Guide To Creating Winning Products With Agile Development Teams

Software companies are rapidly turning to Agile development to cope with fast changing markets and borderless competition. Yet little has been written to guide product managers through the transition to working with Agile teams and the huge benefits that doing so affords. Agile Excellence is a plain-speaking guide on how to work with Agile development teams to achieve phenomenal product success. It covers:

  • The why and how of Agile development, including Scrum ,XP, and Lean
  • The role of product management
  • Release planning
  • Release management
  • Road mapping
  • Creating and prioritizing a product backlog
  • Documentation
  • Organizational implication
  • and more

It is a must-read for product managers making the switch to Agile development as well as Product Owners and project managers looking for better ways to organize and lead in their companies.

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Table Of Contents

Foreword by Brian Lawley


1. Why Agile is Good for Product Management

1.1 Traditional Software Development
1.2 The Cost of Change
1.3 Agile Software Development
1.4 What’s In It For You?
1.5 Why now?
1.6 The Agile Manifesto
1.7 The Common Threads of Agile
1.8 Why Agile Works
1.9 Product Management Just Got Better

2. Understanding Scrum

2.1 Overview of Scrum
2.2 An Iteration
2.3 The Scrum Team
2.4 Sprint Planning
2.5 Daily Standup
2.6 Feedback and the Role of Unit Testing
2.7 Sprint Review
2.8 Sprint Retrospective
2.9 Sprint Termination

3. Release Management

3.1 Sizing Requirements
3.2 Managing Velocity and Tracking Releases
3.3 Managing an Iteration

4. Release Planning

4.1 Create the Product Backlog
4.2 Map Sprints to the Release and Product Backlog
4.3 Iteration Planning Exercise
4.4 Iteration Planning Exercise Answer
4.5 Working Across Multiple Iterations
4.6 Defining Requirements as Needed
4.7 The Role of User Experience Design in Agile

5. Documentation

5.1 User Stories
5.2 Non-Functional Requirements
5.3 Splitting Stories
5.4 Other Documents

6. Starting Out

6.1 Selecting the Team
6.2 Creating a Product Strategy
6.3 The Release Plan
6.4 Creating the Product Backlog in a Hurry
6.5 Prioritizing the Product Backlog by Business Value
6.6 Selecting an Iteration Length
6.7 Estimating Stories
6.8 Testing and Beta Strategies
6.9 Impact on Sales and Marketing

7. Organizing Around Agile

7.1 Who Should Be Doing What?
7.2 Managing Multiple Projects
7.3 Obstacles to Team Performance

8. A Look at Extreme Programming and Lean Software Development

8.1 Extreme Programming
8.2 Lean Software Development

9. Conclusion

9.1 Process Maturity and Agile
9.2 Sweet Spots for Agile Development
9.3 Organizational Agility Trade-Offs
9.4 Agile Product Management Review
9.5 Leadership
9.6 Visibility, Flexibility, and Quality


Appendix: Additional Resources

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