Introduction and core ideas

This chapter gives you and overview of the concepts behind the Agile Product Management Framework, explain why this framework was written and how it is meant to be used.

Overview of the steps of the Agile Product Management Framework

About the framework

The “Agile Product Management Framework” aims to provide a structured approach to product management in agile contexts. Much has been said on how to structure and most effectively setup agile development teams, but little efforts have been made to structure the process before that, which tackles the vision building, the planning and the effective management of agile requirements within complex environments. This framework aims to bridge that gap and give product managers or people in charge of product development a structured and proven way of creating and structuring compelling products in agile environments. Without having to reinvent the wheel with every new product, product managers can focus on delivering the best value to their customers.

As mentioned above, this framework explicitly tackles the steps needed to be done before development starts, thus integrating well with other development frameworks, like Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, etc.

This framework has been created by combining many existing best practices and models around product management, business models, requirements-engineering and agile in general. If you are familiar with agile workings, some of the models presented may seem familiar. The goal of the framework is to bring all this together in a meaningful way that makes sense as one stringent process, which helps to reduce errors and enable people to use a set of proven practices to improve the quality of their products.

Core ideas

When developing complex agile products, this usually involves dealing with multiple agile (development) teams as well as various stakeholders. To deal with this complexity, and in order for everyone to work on the same product effectively, the future product must be known and agreed between everyone involved. That’s why alignment is at the core of this framework. All the tools and steps have visual outcomes that can be easily understood by all people involved, helping to transport the product’s goals and visions easily and reach alignment between everyone involved.

Also it is highly recommended to place all these charts/visions/roadmaps in a place where everyone involved can easily access it, creating a shared vision and understanding. Product plans that are kept on a “management level” will lead to poor product decisions and low product quality. Thus transparency is key to reach alignment.

We believe that theory is interesting, but knowing how to put this in action is valuable as well – that’s why this framework provides a ready-to-use-toolset for each step.

On top of that, all the tools/templates provided work in a highly visual, non-technical way. This is especially important, as this allows us to quickly do changes with minimal effort. We can almost guarantee you, that there will be important changes that arise during the product’s lifetime – and the faster we can react to these changes, the more value we’ll be able to deliver for the same amount of money spent. This ability to quickly respond to changes is at the core of agile, which is why everything in this framework centers around what we call “product agility”.

Roles

This framework does not define any new roles, as all outlined steps lie in the accountability of the product manager/product owner – or whoever is responsible for defining the product scope, vision and direction.

This does not mean, that one person has to deliver all of it alone – after all agile is about teamwork and collaboration – but the product manager/owner stays solely accountable for the creation and the quality of the steps outlined in the framework.