Project Inceptions: Inspire, Understand, Prepare & Plan using Collaboration Frameworks

Inception should channel the excitement we feel about our future into workplans that, well, work! This workshop starts with the premise that we all have success in mind when launching new projects. Through the use of collaboration frameworks, we can channel energy and experience into products that delight customers and are fun to work on along the way.


What You Will Learn


Customer Understanding 

The customer is at the center of modern business practices

We all know that understanding what the customer is asking for and what the nature of the key problem is, can be difficult.  Learning how to elicit what your customer truly wants and effectively sharing this vision across your stakeholder community and development team sets your project on the right path.

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Uncover unspoken needs and breakthrough opportunities
  • Clarify exactly how and when customers will use your solution
  • Understand where your solution will fit into your customers' operations
  • Develop a shared vision and definition of success
  • Identify Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies from all stakeholders


Product Identification 

Collaboratively developing a product vision creates alignment

Once the customer need is understood, development team members, solution architects and business stakeholders need to collaborate in order to develop a product vision and road map that aligns the business and engineering.  Alignment and buy-in are essential components allowing teams to eventually prioritize work and agree upon release one (MVP, version 1.0 etc.)

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Create personas 
  • Develop Journey maps and user stories (story-storming)
  • Maintain understanding of Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies
  • Prioritize features
  • Visualize product growth over time


Technical Architecture 

Understanding potential architecture accounting for existing infrastructure and future needs aligns engineering and business

While the development and maintenance of the technical infrastructure is primarily the domain of systems architects and engineers, the impact of architecture (new choices and existing constraints) is relevant to a broader stakeholder group.  Business leaders make better portfolio and funding decisions when they understand constraints, technical debt and other dependencies that a new project must navigate.

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Reach a shared understanding of existing technical architecture (Visible Architecture etc.)
  • Reach a shared understanding of how architecture will develop/change for features and releases
  • Reach shared understanding of development practices including Agile practices 


Planning & Estimation 

Understanding and agreement around Release 1 capability sets the engineering teams up for success

Prioritizing work challenges all organizations as we are always faced with more opportunity than resources.  Gaining alignment and buy-in around what will be delivered in the next 3 - 5 sprints (or what will version 1 include and exclude) is essential.

In this module, you will learn how to:

  • Prioritize User Stories
  • Use relative sizing and other collaborative frameworks to support estimation 
  • Collaboratively prioritize features using a frameworks like Buy a Feature and 20/20 Vision
  • Gain agreement on MVP or next release (or next set of sprints)
  • Communicate a solution road-map to all stakeholders in a way that creates understanding of near term functionality, mid term goals and long term vision with the appropriate level of flexibility visible for each time horizon


Who Should Attend


Anyone who wishes to create more successful product and service offerings. Possible job titles include:

  • Product Managers / Directors
  • Portfolio / Product Management Professionals
  • Software Engineers / Developers / Architects
  • Agile Coaches / Team Leads
  • Executive Management
  • Strategy Facilitators