Agile Product Development:

65+ Tools & Best Practices That Wow Your Customers

Every time your team creates a digital product, best practice is to:

  1. ๐Ÿ’ก Think if the product is worth building
  2. ๐Ÿ›  Build the smallest possible version
  3. ๐Ÿ“Š Ship it to 5 - 10% of your customers
  4. ๐Ÿ“ˆ Make it available for everyone and tweak

But creating a great experience for your customer is not so straight forward. For every starting point multiple approaches can work.

Below is a list of agile tools & best practices, grouped into Spotify's four stages of product development.

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PS: Donโ€™t have time to read the whole list? Just get the cheat sheet.

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Think it

Is your product worth building?

Lean Canvas

A one-page business plan
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Lightning Demos

Inspire your team with examples that you think can be used as inspiration for their concepts
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Build, Measure, Learn

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Cost of delay

Measure the impact of delayed projects
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Customer Journey

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Design Sprint

Solve big problems and test new ideas in 5 days
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Design Thinking

A 5-step process for creative problem solving
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Four-Step Sketch

An exercise that helps people to create well-formed concepts through a structured process
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Job to be done

Describe what your customer wants as outcomes
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Leading indicators

Metrics are used as a heads-up for a team to anticipate trends
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Lean Startup

Silicon Valley's popular way of starting viable new businesses
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North Star Metric

The one measurement that's most predictive of a company's long-term success
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Opportunity Cost

The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen
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Personas

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Product Vision Board

Canvas for defining the product's vision
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Prototype

An early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process
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Root Cause Analysis

Method to solve the cause of a problem (instead of the symptions)
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Value Stream Map

Lean technique to identify bottlenecks in processes
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๐Ÿ› 
Build it

What's the smallest valuable version you can build?

Continuous Deployment

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Continuous Integration

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Continuous delivery

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Continuous flow

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Example Mapping

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Extreme Programming

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Impact Mapping

A lightweight, collaborative planning technique for teams
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Kanban

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Limit Work in Progress (WIP)

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Low Code

Create applications with writing (or copy/paste) only simple code
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MVP

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Magic estimation

Estimate your complete project in 15 minutes
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Mob Programming

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Monotasking

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No Code

Create applications without writing any code
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Optimize flow

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Optimize resources

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Pair Programming

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Planning poker

Gamified technique for estimating relative effort
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Release Burnup chart

A chart that forecast when product features can be expected and tracks team progess
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Scrum

An agile framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products
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Shorten cycle time

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Sprint Burndown chart

A chart that shows the rate at which a team's work is completed and how much work remains to be done.
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Test Driven Development (TDD)

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User Stories

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User Story Map

A visual exercise that helps teams define the work that will create the most delightful user experience
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Visualise progress

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๐Ÿ“Š
Ship it

What does your data say?

A/B test

Comparing two versions of the same page, to see which one works best
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Beta Testing

An opportunity for real users to find problems with a product, so they can be fixed before a general release
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Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

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Lagging indicators

Metrics that tell you about what has already happened
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Outcome vs Output

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๐Ÿ“ˆ
Tweak it

How can you make your product better?

Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)

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Eliminate waste

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Exploration Days

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Feature toggles

Ability to switch features on or off for customers
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Refactoring

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Spike

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๐Ÿ’ช
Overall

What was hard to put in one of the four categories?

Icebreakers

An exercise, game, or event that helps to welcome and warm up the conversation among people in a workshop.
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Icebreaker definition

Icebreakers help to ensure that all participants are fully engaged towards the outcomes of a workshop. They help to break down barriers like hierarchy, organization chart, job titles, and past history.

Icebreaker examples

Icebreaker checklist

  • Make it fun. This helps to build trust and be more productive.
  • Change it up. Switching icebreakers will help improve the results.
  • Connect it to the workshop goal. Icebreakers can be a great warm-up to the real job-to-be-done.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

A collaborative goal-setting tool used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results.
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OKR definition

OKRs bring focus and clarity - people move together towards important goals, not small unimportant tasks. OKRs help to:
๐Ÿ—ป Maintain company vision
๐Ÿ”ฎ Give Complete transparencyย 
๐Ÿ“Š Record and track progress

OKR examples

OKR checklist

  • An objective helps to achieve the company goals and is inspiring (aim for 75%)โ€
  • Key results are measurable milestones on how to get there.
  • Usually a team has one Objective, with three to five Key Results.

Product Strategy

Make products your customers love by connecting your mission with your daily decisions
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Product Strategy Definition

Product strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve long-term or overall product goals. Good strategy is informed by new insights.

Product Strategy Examples

Product Strategy Checklist

  • Explain your Mission. A compelling why inspires others into action.
  • Create a Vision. Write it down on your Lean Canvas.
  • Set your Strategy.
  • Define a Roadmap.
  • Nail your Execution.

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Retrospectives

A look back at what worked well and what can be improved for events and results in the past.
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Retrospective Definition

A retrospective is an opportunity for a team to inspect itself and create concrete actions, with the goal of improving things in the future based on those learnings and conversations. Think big, start small.

Retrospective Examples

Retrospective Checklist

  • Set expectations before the Retrospective so that people can prepare.
  • Capture everything that is being said, but only share it "outside the room" if everyone agrees
  • If you run a meeting, make sure that you Work Together Alone. This way everyone can contribute.

5 dysfunctions of a team

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A3 Problem Statement

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Delegation Board

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Groan Zone

A difficult stage in workshops needed to get the best possible outcomes
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Management 3.0

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Moving motivators

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Playbook

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Timebox

A fixed time period within which an activity takes place
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Tuckman's stages

Forming, Storming, Norming, (Dorming), Performing, (Adjourning)
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Working together alone

Principle that combines deep thinking with group brainstorm
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X-functional teams

Winning teams are diverse and are great teamplayers
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