Technical and Business Review

Paulo Caroli

05 April 2017

Discover the Features lists many features, but we need to spend more time to understand the features in more detail. To develop this understanding we assess the features in terms of effort, value, and uncertainty.

In this exercise we annotate the feature canvas that we developed during Discover the Features

Explaining the exercise for a client

How we do it

For effort and business value, we annotate the features using marks on a scale of one two or three.

Ranking uncertainty is a little more tricky. We rate a feature for its technical certainty (how well the development team understands how to build the feature) and business agreement (how well the business people agree on what goes into the feature). Then we use the two ratings and combine them using the table to come up with an overall level of uncertainty: red (high), yellow (medium), and low (green). If a feature falls into the lower left part of the table (marked with an "X") then the feature is not suitable for the MVP.

All the features are annotated with the result of this analysis. So for this example the feature "estimate price" has a medium effort, high business value, and medium uncertainty.

At the end of the exercise, we should have a feature canvas with fully annotated features

The process of taking each feature through these two graphs generates much more than the colors and the markings on each card. Important technical conversations about the feature take place, such as: architecture, cross-functional requirements, and complexity. Assumptions are defined. Uncertainties are described. As usual with this kind of activity, the conversation and the understanding it generates for those taking part matters more than the final output.

Many of these notes contain extra information about the feature that may be needed later. These might be important and we don´t want to lose them, therefore we write down everything about the feature on post-its, and then stick them behind the index card.

The Lean Inception
morningafternoon
Monday Introduce the inception, kick off, and Write the Product VisionThe product Is – Is not – Does – Does not
TuesdayDescribe the PersonasDiscover the Features
WednesdayTechnical and Business ReviewShow the User Journeys
ThursdayDisplay Features in JourneysSequence the Features
FridayBuild the MVP Canvas Showcase the results of the inception to those interested in the project

This page is an activity of The Lean Inception, for an overview go to the main page.

For more details on how to run a workshop, consult the book.