In this inspirational speech, Valerio will guide everyone through a thought-provoking conversation on the meaning of product outcomes. As product owners, we are tasked with building a product to satisfy our customers’ needs, but a product is just an output that we produce. Real outcomes are what matters to our customers and to our business, and also what motivates our team. Agility requires a shift of focus from outputs to outcomes.
Taking inspiration from real-life events, we will flip the traditional thinking on its head, changing our mindset about building products, and learning how best to deliver outcomes that really matter. This approach helps Product Owners focus on their priorities, decide what to build, and deliver products that customers love.
We will discuss work I have recently done with a large organization to help their product team do a similar mindset shift. This has helped them get unstuck from spending months in planning a gigantic software project, to breaking down the work in valuable increments that now the teams can deliver.
The reality is that in our daily life we organize our activities as a series of tasks, things that we need to do, whether at work, at home, or in our past-times. We bring this thinking into product planning, creating product backlogs that define a series of tasks, and things we need to do to build the next set of capabilities in our product. The product backlog becomes a list of outputs.
We rarely start by thinking about outcomes, why we do a specific activity, and what goal we are trying to achieve with it. We just do it because it needs to be done. When we stop a moment and think about outcomes, we move from the functional level to the emotional level, expanding our understanding and creating motivation in the work we do. Tasks become opportunities. Chores take on a different light. Priorities shape up in different forms. The product backlog evolves from a list of tasks, to a list of outcomes. And as a result, our product development effort becomes more focused and our team feels more empowered. We build great products.