January 2016

Experiment First, Build Later: Leveraging Dual-Track Agile To Consistently Build The Right Product For Customers
Event Details

Abstract: For a software product team, the ultimate mission is to discover and deliver products that are valuable to customers and drive an impact to the business. When a team sets off to solve a set of customer problems, there is usually no shortage of ideas. Frequently though, these ideas are directly translated into product requirements – feeding the finely tuned Agile delivery machine.

However, every one of these ideas for the product is actually a collection of assumptions. If enough of these assumptions are actually false, the product may ultimately fail. It is critical for the team to test these underlying assumptions through a series of lightweight experiments in order to discover what product to actually build.

The shift to experimenting before building raises some key questions:

  • How do you optimize the day to day running of a team to ensure we are discovering what to build just in time to support delivery?
  • How can one collocated team support rapid discovery iterations at the same time they are constructing reliable and scalable software?

The Dual-Track Agile approach provides answers to these questions. Through the sharing of stories around Dual-Track implementations I have lived through, we will cover:

  • What is Dual Track Agile and why is it different than other flavors of Agile?
  • What key roles are involved?
  • What does a good implementation look like?
    • Tools and techniques for rapid discovery
    • Minimizing friction between discovery and delivery
    • What are some potential pitfalls to watch out for?

Eric Harrigan
Speaker: Eric Harrigan has over 19 years experience in the software development and product management fields. He is currently at CarMax leading a talented team of Product Management professionals that use Lean techniques to create products that customers love. In addition, he is focused on establishing a culture of innovation within a Fortune 500 company that has a historically strong operational culture.

Prior to joining CarMax, Eric was VP of Product and Engineering at Snagajob, America’s largest hourly employment network for job seekers and employers. In his roles at Snagajob that spanned Software Engineering, Product Management, and people leadership, Eric created and grew multiple successful products.


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