Good news! Last month I was notified by Agile 2010 (Orlando, FL August 9-13) that my product management session and speaking proposal was accepted. I am super excited about the opportunity to present. The conference is stacked with dozens of industry experts scheduled to present on various topics ranging from agile adoption to UI/UX design. It should be a great learning and networking opportunity. Dave Thomas (Bedarra Research Lab) and Mike Cohn (Mountain Goat Software) will be keynote speakers. If you aren't already familiar with the event, it's produced by the The Agile Alliance, (www.agilealliance.org) an organization dedicated to promoting the concepts of Agile software development. In its ninth year, the Agile Conference is one of the premier events for the Agile community.
It should be no surprise that my in interest is particularly from the product management perspective. I've blogged in the past about the impact agile is having on product management and especially the new challenges and responsibilities that come with it. Usually Agile is adopted by development and little attention is given to how it impacts the rest of the organization. Product management is usually first to get the wake-up call (more on that later).
Another emerging area of interest that is increasingly important is the notion of "Customer Development". A methodology that is also growing, only in this case, it's coming primarily from the startup community and the lean startup evangelist from Silicon Valley. Steve Blank, an 8 time entrepreneur and university professor, released the framework in his book entitled The Four Steps to the Epiphany. I highly recommend this book for all entrepreneurs, in startups as well as in big companies.
My session, entitled "Product Management, Agile and Customer Development" will illustrate how these disciplines coupled with product development work in parallel to reduce risk and create products that not only resonate with customers --- but also solve a problem customers are willing to pay for.
Session participants can expect an introduction to Customer Development and how the essential roles of Product Management and Agile Development combine to minimize product/market risk. The session will address the following questions and topics:
- Why Product Development Fails Us
- What is Customer Development and Why do We Need it?
- Customer Development vs Product Development
- The Role of Product Management and Agile Development in Customer Development
- How to Synchronize Product Development and Customer Development
Interested in attending? If you are interested in learning more, improving your skills, or sharing your expertise around agile --- Agile 2010 is the place to be! Also, be sure to ping me in advance to set up a one-on-one. See you in Orlando!