Listen to Your Product

This year at Agile 2014 I met Raje Kailasam who talked about very interesting approach which is Product Humanization (PH). As Raje claims, she’s still searching for a good name. She also consider Product Persona as a name. As you’ll see later on, Product Experience (PX) seems to be good name as well.

In short, PH/X is an idea to stand in your product’s shoes and feel what it feels. Sounds awkward, huh? Let’s take a deeper insight.

If I asked you about next features or a next sprint scope, you would start thinking about answers but in the same time this process would be biased by doubts related to: budget, velocity, technical dept or whatever. That is because your logical thinking tries to find 'the best’ answer according to you current situation.

But when you identify yourself with your product, you may employ whole your body to this process and express what the product feels (if it could) and what it think as well.

Take a look on free-style examples we recorded at the conference.

During this short session we also draft two techniques employing Raje’s approach.

Product Interview

Purpose of this technique is to grab some deeper knowledge about current state of a product. One of the Scrum Team members plays the product role, rest of the Team interview him or her.

We found the critical part is questions you ask the product. These seem to work well:

  • What do you as an entity want to be?
  • What do you want to do?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • How do you want to be served?
  • Why do you want to exist?
  • What do you want to see?
  • With whom do you want to belong?
  • Who are your friends?
  • How do you feel now?
  • How do you feel about your future/past?
  • How do you feel about your body? Tell me more about it?
  • Which of the part of your body you are aware the most now?
  • What do you feel about your relationships? Which are difficult? Which are not?
  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to say? To whom?

Use collected answers to improve Product Goal, Releases, Epics, Product Canvas or to identify places to introduce improvements to increase business value.

Product Advocate

It is about employing an advocate of the product during Scrum planning meeting.

The Advocate tells the Team and PO how s/he feels about new stories, sprint goal and scope. Use the answers to improve Sprint Goal, User Stories, scenarios.

These is early draft of Product Humanisation. Watch Raje’s activity to stay up to date.