VISUALIZING THE IDEA PIPELINE
- November 7, 2022
- Posted by: mealone
- Category: Uncategorized
VISUALIZING THE IDEA PIPELINE
Agile implementations emphasize product backlog work. This approach helps a team and product owner focus on developing a software product. Initial ideas might fall immediately into the product backlog when a small company has few products. However, larger companies must manage differently. How can you quickly evaluate new ideas and decide where to invest? The way to achieve this effectively is through the business idea pipeline.
THE IDEA PIPELINE
The enterprise idea pipeline offers three benefits:
- It allows an end-to-end flow of ideas from recording to release and reflection.
- It is the enterprise-level idea backlog.
- It highlights high-value ideas immediately, so the company does not miss its window of opportunity.
The enterprise idea pipeline requires a culture that promptly examines ideas based on a current problem or opportunity. This approach works better than waiting until the next budget to consider the idea. In addition, the pipeline is a more adaptable approach to managing your company’s work portfolio, as you may add ideas at any moment, and feedback might modify their priority or shape. Finally, the pipeline gives an organization’s efforts enterprise-wide visibility and transparency.
What is an idea? An idea is a valuable thought yet unexplored. Tiny or huge, you should record it. Then, depending on its value to the consumer, it may become a product or service. The corporate idea pipeline should centre on customer value. The enterprise idea pipeline depicts the end-to-end customer value flow from the idea recording stage through release and reflection.
Portfolio backlog, enterprise kanban board, and idea pipeline are the other names with which enterprise idea pipeline may be identified. All the words suggest that teams may work on significant ideas eventually (or immediately). The corporate idea pipeline feeds all product backlogs and connects strategy and ideas to user stories (and tasks) and vice versa. Medium to big firms utilizes an enterprise idea pipeline to make investment decisions across portfolios and determine where the highest-value work is. It helps when many products have dependencies or some ideas do not have a clear place in a product backlog. When an organization has a single product, the product backlog works as the enterprise idea pipeline, including future product ideas. New ideas must be rated even at the backlog level, so the highest-value proposal gets worked on first. A more prominent company may need a portfolio-level backlog with numerous products as a work pipeline.
A business idea pipeline shows the movement of ideas from recording to release. It enables idea-to-delivery. Emergn’s Idea Management approach is a valuable technique to pattern business job flow. You establish a work route using the 5R model’s first five patterns. The five Rs are Record, Reveal, Refine, Realize, and Release. This 5R model is adaptable. Companies may use similar phrases as they may work best for them. For example, instead of Realize, you may use Develop or Unveil.
Each stage advances the idea towards the path of being a shippable product. However, the course is not linear. For example, some ideas may reach the Reveal stage yet have little value, so they do not go further immediately. Likewise, the business may remove some concepts in the Refine stage, but once in the Realize stage, clients may find it more beneficial, requiring an update on its value in the Record stage.
Recording the Idea
In the Record stage, the team documents new ideas. Everyone in the enterprise should see the documentation. Who contributes ideas? A product owner, portfolio leader, business or marketing leader, or customer-facing management can record an idea. When registering a concept, add a description, persona or market segment, value, risks and assumptions.
Since work has not started on the idea, restrict the time spent detailing its intricacies in an Agile context. The documentation should include enough detail to comprehend the concept, but not so much that it wastes time if it is not chosen. Avoid drafting a significant business case too early in the idea’s development. Many approaches exist to record an idea. It may be freestyle with the needed details. It can be in a hypothesis structure with any new material on an experimental basis. Using a Lean Canvas is yet another option. This article teaches how to use Lean Canvas to collect ideas. The Record stage requires documentation of the value of the idea. Cost of delay (CoD) and CoD divided by duration (CD3) show how much money you lose weekly or monthly by delaying value delivery. Other value methods are possible. After recording the idea’s description, persona, value, hazards, and assumptions, we are ready to reveal the concept.
Revealing the Idea
The Reveal stage focuses on two areas. In the initial section, fresh ideas are disclosed based on their value. Second, we assess if the proposal has enough weight to notify the owners, stakeholders (such as product owners), and Agile team(s). The idea’s worth determines its rank in the pool of ideas. The new idea might rise in priority in the idea pool depending on stakeholder feedback. If it is a high-priority idea, it will be displayed prominently. If it is low-value, the team does not explore it further. From an Agile viewpoint, it is not worth investing additional time until it does, if it ever does. This technique ranks high-value ideas instantly, so they do not miss market opportunities.
Who reviews recorded ideas? Value owners (like product owners and chief product owners) and those who drive investment choices (such as business leaders, marketing, and senior management) should conduct this task. They should all care about the mission and have a mindset that encourages discovering improved and better ways to do things. Numerous things happen if an idea rises to the top of your enterprise’s idea pipeline. First, the business should debate the concept. The idea’s owner or contributor should reveal facts, risks, how the stakeholders established value, and assumptions. Value owners should routinely examine the idea pool to debate high-value ideas. To evaluate the idea’s value, stakeholders should examine the underlying assumptions. Early in an idea’s journey, little details are known. Challenging value assumptions benefits the organization by determining where to spend people and resources. Challenging the value assumptions decreases the chances of misrepresentation of the value of the idea.
After debate, the concept may be updated with new information and revalued. The notion reaches its appropriate degree. If the proposal seems valuable, evaluate the team(s) working on it and any dependencies on other teams and resources. Once recognized, the team is alerted. The goal is to assess the team’s workload. Here, the team may decide on persons and priorities. Adding employees to a team or adapting another team’s talents to high-value work benefits the organization when making personnel decisions. If a new concept has a higher value than current work in the team queue, it should be reordered. During the Reveal stage, a chief product owner or portfolio leader may determine how much work each team has and when it can draw the work into its backlog, depending on its current velocity. Teams aim to offer a pull signal for high-value work as early as feasible, so the concept misses as little of its market window as possible. Teams should negotiate slack time to pull a new high-value idea quickly. If teams’ backlogs are so packed that they cannot remove work soon, you may not be giving enough slack. Slack is double-sided. First, slack helps a team provide excellent work since design and refactoring emerge. Slack enables emergency response, high-value labour, and creativity. Without slack, many high-value ideas might languish.
The Refine Stage
The Refine stage involves the team(s) understanding the idea, decomposing it into increments and user stories, and validating its value. Once a team pulls a high-value concept from the reveal pool, the stakeholders may improve it. The goal is to avoid spending months documenting all needs upfront. Instead, cooperatively focus on a piece of the concept to gauge its worth.
Who should deconstruct ideas? Product owners and teams should be involved. Developers, testers, architects, databases, and UX should all be engaged. They should be educated and have a discovery attitude. When it comes time to develop the concept increment in the Realize stage, the complete team should have firsthand knowledge of the Refine stage’s work. In the Reveal stage, you may have learnt that many teams are involved in the concept, but in Refine, you discover the details. An idea may span teams and divisions. Cross-team cooperation should begin during Refine. Decomposing an idea into epics and user stories is difficult. Story mapping is recommended. Short-form narrative mapping is a visual activity that shows how a user may utilize an idea (product or service) and a deconstruction method that helps you decompose the concept. Jeff Patton created the visual part to assist the team in visualizing the customer experience. This action enables the team to consider what customers value. Story mapping’s deconstruction portion helps the team to think through customer experience alternatives, cut a slice of the concept, and gather consumer feedback. The slice selections become epics and user tales representing user experience. This approach helps confirm the idea’s value and assures the optimum client experience.
Story mapping validates the idea’s worth as you add slices progressively. Instead of spending months constructing the whole concept, build a piece and receive user feedback. The feedback is utilized to improve customer value, the concept record, and the value score. One slice at a time. You may realize that the first slice was valid or that the consumer did not like the idea.
Other techniques exist to divide thoughts. For example, use cases map interactions between actors (personas) and a system to achieve a goal. Like story mapping, the purpose is to cut a work that reflects one of these encounters and display it to customers or users to gain feedback on the idea and customer interface.
Grooming helps break down and better grasp commercial and technical detail (also known as Scrum refining). Refine should result in epics and user stories that the project can add to your product backlog. Another purpose is to identify dependencies and dangers that might affect future development and mitigate them.
The Realize Stage
Realizing involves turning an idea into a practical product. It is the systematic development of a product or program. Realize affects all product-building team members. All cross-functional team members should be involved, including development, QA, database, UX, documentation, education, and configuration management. In the Realize stage, the product owner prioritizes the backlog based on customer value, shares the business context with the team, and incorporates customer input and feedback as the concept grows. In Reveal, you may have learnt that many teams create an idea’s increment. Teams should cut the first increment during Refine. In the Reveal stage, teams should use Scrum of Scrums to coordinate and collaborate as they develop the increment. Scrum and Kanban occur at the Agile Realize stage. Regardless of the Agile method, the team should utilize an iterative process to design, develop, inspect, and change the product for customer value. Realizing involves developing a concept. From the Refine stage, epics and user stories from the slice or increment enter the product or team backlog(s). The team(s) should further develop the epics into user stories. Iterative development and testing should follow.
Realize should use iterative and incremental Agile engineering. Pair programming, continuous integration, test-driven development, communal code ownership, refactoring, and more are XP methods. Integration testing should be done when two or more teams work on a concept. Include system, performance, load, and other forms of testing. Agile’s end-of-iteration aim is to have a shippable product. Because the Realize stage produces a potentially shippable product, the business should leverage customer feedback loops to confirm the idea’s value. The team should concentrate on bringing persona-based clients to demos to obtain feedback and assure customer value. Finally, sales and marketing may debut a new product to current and potential consumers.
The Release Stage
Agile aims to make ideas shippable by the conclusion of each iteration. The release includes final integration testing, code preparation, packaging, and deployment.
When two or more teams work on an idea increment, there may be final integration efforts to ensure both components operate together. Final integration testing includes system, integration, performance, load, and other tests. These activities should be limited as testing should happen in the Realize stage. Next, version control begins code preparation and packaging. Then, production platforms differ. Identifying executable code and updating a website may be enough. Packaging the new release and offering terms & conditions may be adequate for mobile apps. Setting up a downloadable online URL for code or burning it onto CDs, packing user instructions, and designing terms and conditions are part of the procedure for on-premise goods.
In the Release stage, marketing and sales may execute their launch plan. This action informs current and potential clients about a new increment. After a release, update the enterprise concept pipeline to show the first increment.
Reflection on the Idea
Record, Reveal, Refine, Realize, and Release are the 5R phases. Some reduce 5Rs to 4Rs (Reveal, Refine, Realize, and Release). Some make 5R into 6R. I have added a sixth R, Reflect. Most product development life cycles finish at Release, but I think it is vital to add a phase when you review the deliverable’s results. How did it sell? How many buyers were there? Customer-satisfying? Is the product advertised?
There are various forms of product feedback loops. Reflecting on the product’s worth is crucial. Feedback helps you adjust your concept.
Reflect assures you revisit the idea’s worth from Record and Reveal. Did you make money based on the idea’s value or the cost of delay? It is essential for the R model’s integrity that individuals involved know you will evaluate the concept when it is released. While questioning an idea’s value assumptions in the Reveal stage lowers value score gaming, reflecting on the actual value data after disclosure can further reduce value score gaming.
The enterprise idea pipeline shows the movement of ideas from recording to release. As an enterprise-level portfolio backlog of ideas, it allows the company to respond quickly to high-value ideas, so it does not lose its window of opportunity. It provides a more flexible approach to managing work portfolios and responding to comments. It is designed to showcase high-value ideas as soon as they enter an organization so they may be worked on quickly and the company can seize the opportunity. The enterprise idea pipeline contains large concepts that teams will work on. The enterprise idea pipeline connects ideas to user stories and is the parent of all product backlogs. The business concept pipeline flows into Agile budgeting and investment. It shows you your best and highest-value work.