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Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis Paperback – 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: EBG Consulting, Inc.; 1ST edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985787902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985787905
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The conversational style makes it easy to read.
Linda
The book covers concepts, methods, people, techniques and tools needed to conduct product planning and analysis.
Amazon Customer
And they appear throughout the book, not just as an occasional distraction from the text.
Naomi Karten

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Crispin on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
During the past thirteen years, I've been lucky enough to work on some really rockin' agile development teams. We mastered test-driven development, ATDD or Specification by Example, and delivered solid, robust code supported by automated tests at all levels. Yet, like so many teams I've met, we were plagued with a continual dilemma: the software we delivered was not quite what our customers really wanted. Yes, our Product Owner worked with other stakeholders to present a shared vision for each user story. But too often, we'd endure a lot of "requirements churn" during each iteration. As we showed customers what we were coding, they said, "Oh, sorry, what I really want is this other thing." We'd often start coding without knowing all the business rules. This was incredibly frustrating!

Having identified "requirements" as a problem area in retrospective after retrospective, we tried to think of experiments to better understand stakeholders' desires before we started coding. My own teammates started thinking, "Maybe what we need is a business analyst?" We learned about techniques such as Story Mapping, and realized there was a range of skills around understanding what our customers need in their software product. We started learning from Ellen's and Mary's work on Agile BA. We formed a Requirements Community of Practice to experiment with the 7 product dimensions and structured conversations.

And now we have Discover to Deliver as a resource! The book lays out useful techniques such as structured conversations, and explores key problem areas such as data. The authors illustrate many useful practices via real-world case studies and examples. Graphics help convey the concepts behind the many useful ideas.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Any analyst who has ever strived to create just enough documentation will find in Discover to Deliver a framework from which to lead the analysis process. This is an important book that provides a new language for us to use when discussing how to create alignment and clarity in our projects and about our products without over-investing in conversations, analysis, or documentation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Yourdon on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
One of the pleasures of having worked in the computer field for such a long time has been watching new ideas emerge and initially cause confusion and controversy, before eventually becoming understood, accepted, and practiced widely. But the process can take a long time: even now, more than 10 years after the publication of the Agile Manifesto, it’s surprising to see how many IT project teams are still using the waterfall development approach.

One reason for the slow acceptance is that many new ideas are initially presented as abstract concepts — abstractions that sound good, but are difficult to put into practice. In the case of agile development, for example, my colleagues and I began preaching the benefits of iterative, incremental development as early as the mid-1970s; but we didn’t have a book like "Discover to Deliver" that would provide project teams with detailed guidelines and essential practices that they could use every day in the real world.

The authors of this wonderful new book, Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman, may well have had the same abstract ideas back in the mid-1970s — though I will diplomatically suggest that they couldn’t possibly be as ancient as me. In any case, it’s evident that they’ve implemented their ideas, with hands-on project work and consulting assistance, rather than just lecturing and writing about them. They’ve observed the collaboration that takes place between stakeholders, product champions, partners, and advisors in successful projects, and they’ve organized and documented those observations in a form that virtually any project team member will recognize as both common sense, and also essential to the project’s success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George Shreck on June 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
The core focus of "Discover to Deliver" is to assist readers with their problem...the "problem" being how to deliver a product that provides value both to business and to customers. The recommended solution is the authors' planned approach for structured conversations using a visual language. Using this approach, all stakeholders can visualize and understand the objectives of the product to be delivered. The product may be software, a system, a device containing software, a business process or a combination of any of these.

The book begins with a case study of a fictitious company. This case study is a fairly realistic demonstration of the collaborative environment necessary among business, customer and technology partners to determine and prioritize business needs, consider various candidate solutions and define delivery cycles in an efficient manner. The authors emphasize that continuous interaction is required to discover and deliver value. Further, as structured conversations evolve, partners navigate among the 3 views of the product: the Big-View (e.g., wants, the high-level vision, the long term), the Pre-View (e.g., needs, release planning, the short term) and the Now-View (e.g., detailed requirements, the shortest delivery cycle).

Everything comes down to value. This principle is summed up very nicely in the following quote: "Value is the end, and the product options are the means, to obtain this value."

Once the general framework has been introduced, the meat of the book is in the Conversation and the Tools & Techniques sections. Collaboration is essential and promoted through structured conversations using the 7 Product Dimensions, which consist of the User, Interface, Action, Data, Control, Environment and Quality Attribute dimensions.
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