What’s in the Product Vision for Testers?

Creating the product vision is a crucial part of the product discovery and development processes. It serves as the big picture and the guide for everyone to look at and follow. Will the new feature help achieve the product vision? Will this solution align with it? A clear and effectively-written product vision will help stakeholders contribute value to the project. It also helps developers succeed the elevator test, as Joel Polsky mentioned in his “Product Vision” article.

Testers help ensure that the product will meet the customer needs and requirements. Involving them as early as during product discovery can further ensure quality throughout product development. This article will detail what are some activities done in creating the product vision, and how testers can help with it.

Aligning with the business strategy

The product vision should be in line with the company’s strategy and existing program backlog. This is why the Scrum team must understand the business and their stakeholders.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis will allow the Scrum team to assess the business against its competitors. Activities include listing advantages, areas of improvement, market trends, and obstacles that the project must anticipate.

Having a gap analysis meeting will also help the Scrum team understand what needs to be done for the project. This is done by identifying where the project is at the moment, where the project wants to be, and how they can bridge the two states together.

Understanding the market and the customers

It is important to understand the market and the target customers. Doing so lets the project determine the right problems to solve and get a better picture of the product to be developed. Primary research needed for baselining the current state of the market will involve surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions.

During market research, testers should listen actively and be on the lookout for the needs and pain points of the users. They can use what they learn to think of scenarios and integration points in the product. Testers should also participate in testing any prototype being developed and provide feedback that can be used in refining ideas.

Developing the product strategy or business case

When the team constructs their product strategy or business case, it must describe the following:

  • Key objectives
  • Market opportunities and business needs
  • Buyer profile
  • How solution aligns with business strategy
  • Estimates of investments
  • Benefits and dis-benefits
  • Timescale and costs
  • Risks and opportunities
  • Options for consideration in decision making

Developing a solid business case entails doing research work, laying out options, listing implementation plans, describing benefits and risks, and presenting recommendations.

Because testers have been exposed to various systems, they can derive from their experience some common issues and existing defects that could similarly happen in the solution to be proposed. They can also throw in scenarios that should be tested against as well as the risks the product should address.

Holding modelling sessions

Modelling sessions are activities where people focus on the development of one or more models for the product. These sessions let people collaborate so that they can better understand user needs and refine solutions to identified problems the product should address. Some types of modelling sessions include use-case modelling sessions, data modelling sessions, and class modelling sessions. According to Scott Ambler, these are “single artefact modelling sessions”, where each session would come up with a single artefact for the project.

When it comes to Agile projects, it is recommended having phase modelling sessions, where the sessions focus on phases that correspond to major phases in a traditional project. For example, requirements modelling sessions would be for defining what the stakeholders want from the product, while analysis modelling sessions would be for refining the requirements. Design modelling sessions, on the other hand, would focus on detailed build strategies for different portions of the system.

Agile modelling sessions are highly-iterative and would take a requirement, analyse it, and come up with a potential design strategy in a matter of minutes. This approach rapidly goes through the different project phases – requirements analysis and then onto design – on a small chunk of the product on a need-to basis, and reflects how an agile project would operate daily.

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Our Book Recommendations

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

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Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

What is this course?

This ‘Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)’ provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Tester roles and responsibilities

You will explore the Agile Scrum project life-cycle, including how an Agile User Story is created, to how we know when it is ‘done’

This course is aimed at those with or without prior knowledge and experience of the Agile values and principles

During this course you will learn the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Tester

What will you learn?

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Tester roles and responsibilities, and you will be able to

  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Tester
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team
  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Developer
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team

What topics are covered within this course

You will cover the following topics during this course:

  1. An Introduction to Agile Project Management (Tester)
  2. The 12 Agile Principles (Tester)
  3. Introduction to Scrum (Tester)
  4. Scrum Projects (Tester)
  5. Scrum Project Roles (Tester)
  6. Quality in Agile (Tester)
  7. Acceptance Criteria and the Prioritised Product Backlog (Tester)
  8. Quality Management in Scrum (Tester)
  9. Epics and Personas (Tester)
  10. Planning in Scrum (Tester)
  11. Scrum Boards (Tester)
  12. User Stories (Tester)
  13. The Daily Scrum (Tester)
  14. The Product Backlog (Tester)
  15. Review and Retrospective (Tester)
  16. Validating a Sprint (Tester)
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