Does your organization find it hard to determine “the right thing” to build? You are not alone – studies show that even in very high performing organizations only 10-35% of initial ideas actually generate business value. Agile development should make it easier to obtain early customer feedback, but in most organizations Agile approaches are limited to software development teams with little connection to the rest of the business. In addition, Agile methods by themselves offer few guidelines on how to translate organizational goals and customer needs into the backlog’s content and relative priorities in the first place. As a result, there is a significant, but often underappreciated risk that Agile teams end up very efficiently building “the wrong thing right.”
In this session, we explore how Lean Discovery and experimentation can expand the scope of Agile’s “inspect and adapt” feedback loops to systematically identify and validate critical assumptions about our product’s value proposition. Based on the Lean Startup and Lean UX approach to product development as a series of hypotheses about customers’ behaviors and value perceptions, we discuss ways to derive testable assumptions from organizational goals to enable validated learning. Finally, we explore the implications of this approach on project planning and budgeting to support increased business agility.