Lean Startup Conference – Lessons from the Turn the Battleship workshop

   Customer Experience

Last week at the Lean Startup Conference, I presented a workshop with Geoff Bishop on product planning for enterprise mobile applications, where we introduced our Product Kickstart process and the new print edition of our product planning workbook. This workshop outlined a 5 day process that results in a plan suitable for building a product, and gave participants insight on planning activities they could take home and work with their team on immediately.

Turn The Battleship presentation picture
Geoff Bishop and Richard Bullington-McGuire present at the Lean Startup Conference

Just getting there and presenting posed some challenges, due to weather-related flight delays and a reshuffling of our presenter lineup.  Geoff Bishop and I decided to go old school, using a socratic dialog explaining the origins of a filled-out example of our Product Kickstart Planning Guide, where he acted as the interviewer and I acted as the customer.

We got some good feedback on the presentation, including from someone who asked whether the kickstart workbook encompassed a full release planning exercise, where prioritized user stories get scheduled for development. It did in an early draft, but we cut that in the version of the planning guide. That exercise is better done with a spreadsheet; we’re prepping that artifact for publication as well.

We also heard that the planning guide could be useful for product development in industries beyond software, with some minor tweaks. We had some interesting conversations with people in biotech and clean energy technology, for example. We’re looking forward to revising and extending our guide and incorporating the feedback we’ve gotten about the workshop.

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