Stance 6: The Experimenter

I’ve come to realize the critical role that experimentation plays in driving innovation and solving problems. It’s all about finding creative solutions to real-world challenges. Experiments are the lifeblood of innovation. They are the sparks that ignite new ideas and drive progress. And why do we run experiments? Well, it’s simple: we want to solve problems and generate fresh innovations. But where do these innovations come from? 

One source of inspiration is collaboration. Talking to other people can spark new ideas and perspectives. Sometimes, it’s all about brainstorming with your Scrum Team, and other times, it involves running proof of concepts to see what sticks. Innovation can also come from unexpected places, like investing in new technology. Sometimes, it’s worth looking at what others are doing and considering if their solutions can benefit your project.  

Engaging with customers is another essential aspect. What do they like, and more importantly, what don’t they like about your product or service? This feedback can guide your innovation efforts. Market analysis is equally crucial. By studying the market, you can identify gaps and opportunities to innovate. It’s all about bringing these various inputs together and thinking about how to turn them into tangible innovations. 

Once you have your ideas, the next step is to assess whether the problem you’re solving is worth the effort. In Lean Startup thinking for instance, we call this problem-solution fit. If the problem exists, and it’s significant, it’s a green light to proceed. But how do you approach solving the problem? Is your approach the right one? These are questions that demand answers. In answering these questions, I often think about Constable’s truth curve, which illustrates the balance between investment and evidence. You don’t want to venture too far into the realm of wishful thinking. 

So, how do you validate your ideas? This is where MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) come into play. They help you test your hypotheses and gather valuable feedback. 

Ultimately being a product owner means being a good experimenter. It’s about continuously seeking solutions, testing hypotheses, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of innovation. Through experimentation, we push the boundaries of what’s possible and create products that truly address the needs of our customers. 

Experimentation is therefore the cornerstone of problem-solving and innovation. It’s about collaborating, listening to customers, analyzing the market, and validating your ideas through practical means like MVPs. As a product owner, embracing experimentation is not just a choice; it’s an essential skill that drives the growth and success of your product. So, keep experimenting, keep innovating, and keep solving those problems worth solving. 

If you want to learn more about the art of experimentation when working in Agile, get in touch with Ralph and he’ll lead the way!

About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all certified courses.

If you’re looking to invest in training that transforms and empowers teams to successfully adopt #scrum or #agile, and create high-performance #productdevelopment environments leveraging the agile values and principles, visit our Professional Scrum Training page.

If you would like to work with Ralph and company as an #agilecoach, #agileconsultant, or powerful change agent to get your team back on track and on the road to high-performance #agile #productdevelopment, connect with Ralph Jocham.

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