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Best practices for agile product management

Balázs Bakos

Agility is becoming increasingly important to companies, as challenges change daily and push management structures to their boundaries. However, there are some practices you can put in place to respond to these challenges. Read on for six of the best practices in agile product management and the difference they can make to your operations.

1. Set a strategy

The first thing to do when managing any product, including digital ones, is to set out a clear strategy. Not just for when the product is initially launching and being marketed, but there should be a product roadmap defining the journey. A strong strategy means you have the steps in place to respond to changes, which is vital in agile environments that could demand instant responses.

2. Track metrics

Key to understanding the success or failure of your product is a series of statistical metrics. By keeping an eye on some of your product's core metrics you can track when things are going downhill, and you may even be able to see trends that have caused downturns. A thorough understanding can only be truly gained, through advanced statistics and analysis, which is core to having an agile mindset.

3. Target customers

One of the benefits of the agile development process is it allows you to quickly change the product direction if there are changes in customers' opinion of your product. One of the practices of agile product development is to track customer opinions. If you do not, you'll find yourself reacting to internal feelings and morale over the actual view of customers. This responsiveness and attentiveness to customer needs lead to product development decisions being made more objectively. 

4. Collaboration and teamwork 

Agile workplaces can be fluid and complicated in areas at the best of times, but complex projects can be challenging. Create an agile team of between 5 - 7 members, where they have autonomy over the project and collectively decide which approach to take on each task. Collaboration and communication within the team are key to the agile process. Every team member knows what others are working on, regularly checking on progress with others and supports each other when required. 

5. Be prepared to change

Although an agile mindset and product management are important, many people forget that to do this, that you'll need to be ready to make adjustments to the sprints on the fly when required. It's best practice to keep in mind that no task is forever, and the team could always find themselves working on a new path. Whether this is because of technical limitations or a change in customer brief, being flexible is a fundamental part of agile product management.

6. Paths not goals

In any given workday you might set yourself a series of small goals to track how your productivity is going. Whilst this is a way to remain productive, it can do more harm than good within an agile team. Your goals may disappear entirely, or you might become demoralised because more work was assigned to you, making you miss a goal. Instead of viewing these as goals, each agile project is divided into sprints, essentially a path towards the larger goal of project completion. This approach helps keep morale high, as agile team members can see their contributions within each sprint and work at a consistent speed as you pass by your landmarks.

Agile management and software development with Zoosh

If you're interested in agile product management and want to be as efficient as possible, get in touch with the Zoosh team today to find out more about how we can work with you on your digital product.

Want to know more about agile product management? Watch our on-demand webinar “Agile Product Management webinar” to find out more.