Product Management Best Practices

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Product Management Best Practices

It is a Product Manager’s job to determine what to build, it’s an engineer’s job to determine how to build it.


PM Toolkit - Epics and Stories

Epics contextualize and group requests:

  • PMs are problem-solvers of Epics, developers are problem-solvers of stories
  • 80% of prioritization should be done at the Epic level
  • More than just a collection of stories, Epics should holistically solve a problem YOU identify

Order of PM Events

Product Managers work to follow a flow such as:

  1. Identify Epics
  2. Estimate Epics
  3. Prioritize Epics
  4. Pick Epic(s) for Sprint #1
  5. UI Design (optional)
  6. Write stories
  7. Estimate stories
  8. Finalize scope of sprint #1 with stories
  9. Development begins
  10. Pick Epic(s) for Sprint #2 *

Rinse and repeat!

*Doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead


Recommendations

  • It all starts with the Epic. Epics are full-stack “problem themes” that teams should work together to solve, and move on once it’s complete.

  • Focus on the benefits of storywriting and AC, why it’s important to follow and the results it produces. Team can both understand the format and follow through on the development/testing methodologies that support the format.

  • Storywriting and Acceptance Criteria should be a core piece of a Product Manager’s job. It’s his/her responsibility to make sure they are accurate, complete, and move the product forward.

  • Story tracking system (JIRA, Pivotal, etc.) must be accepted and used as the source of truth organization-wide. You cannot be an effectively operating (and distributed) team without tracking stories and conversations.

  • All stories should be reviewed and accepted by a Product Manager (or equivalent) alongside support of QA review. This has the additional effect of forcing the team to rely on Acceptance Criteria to accept/reject stories.

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