Cadence is king

I want to write about a topic that I’ve mentioned in my podcast and in various discussions with other product folks.

I recently did a presentation on the Confluence Cloud mobile app to my fellow product manager’s in the Confluence team. I was giving a presentation about a decision we were making to get feedback. I got to the meeting early about 5 minutes before everyone else. So to give them some context, I drew a timeline. It was a straight line to represent the whole year, with horizontal marks for each month from January to December.

Then I did a review of the past year, writing on each month the release we had shipped in 1- 2 words. It looked like this:

* January – launch
* Feb – search
* March – notifications tab
And so on for each month.

In total, we have shipped 12 releases during the year from major feature releases to point releases with bug fixes.

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How the agile method improves product management


Daily stand up meeting. Photo by Klean Denmark, CC BY-SA 2.0

Highlights of interview with Alwin Chin – This Mobile Life (S01 E09)

Hey everyone, Matt here! I promised over at my episode 9 podcast that I will post highlights on “Agile Toolkit For Product Teams”.

I interviewed Alwin Chin, and he shared some background about Agile and how he uses it to work with his development teams. Alwin has many years of experience in web tech and eCommerce app development. He is the founder of Stampii (a universal rewards card program). He has also worked at Macquarie Bank, NBN and Transport NSW.

Alwin emphasises that we can choose whatever development management tools & practices we want as long as it helps ship the best product to customers as soon as possible, at the lowest cost possible. For him, Agile has been the most effective tool that has helped him and his teams, and maybe it will be for you too. Read on how he does it.

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Create a blueprint with wireframes – interview with Jenny Hsu

Here are the highlights of my discussion with Jenny Hsu, Business Analyst at GPY&R, about wireframes. A wireframe for apps is like the blueprint to building a house. In this interview, Jenny walks us through the process of starting a product, then creating its blueprint through wireframing.

This interview also showed a good comparison of working with the waterfall model versus working with the Agile method as mentioned in our last podcast, episode 9*.

Jenny and I worked at the same time for Asia Pacific Digital Group (formerly called Next Digital). She has been instrumental in the development of many products, including OfficeMax, Jenny Craig and White Lady Funerals.
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Making Products Useful With Jobs To Be Done

One of the usual ways to design a product is by looking at the average characteristics of the target users using personas. This approach to make products useful has been around for many years. It the standard used by product makers and marketers.

Clayton Christensen, who popularized the Jobs to be Done approach, argued that people with very different characteristics use a product generally the same way. A highly educated grandfather in the suburbs will use the radio the same way a young girl from a remote settlement area would. If we were to base product design on characteristics then, we are sure to fall short. There has to be other ways that will help determine if a product is just right, or needs more work. Continue reading

Restraint Makes Better Apps – This Mobile Life S01E06 Show Notes

Restraint Makes Better Apps_S1E6 Notes

In episode 6 of This Mobile Life podcast, I discuss how the exercise of restraint makes better apps. It is one of those things that makers of digital products tend to overlook. This is not usually included in the checklist of priorities. In fact, we’re trying to cram as many features as possible into a product!

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SQL – the data awakens

Yesterday I finished “Intro to SQL – Querying And Managing Data” course on Khan Academy. Overall, it was a pretty good course. I wanted to make some notes on what I have learned in the past few days. I really like their method of teaching where they have a 5 minute video lecture and then interactive exercises. You can learn at your own pace. If you don’t understand something, you can pause, rewind and watch that section again.

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Learn SQL on Khan Academy

I was browsing around on the Khan Academy website looking for some coding courses to do in the holidays. It was recently the “hour of code” challenge and Khan Academy has a number of free online courses. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the “Hour of code” is designed to introduce computer science to students during Computer Science Education week in the U.S. It is organised by the organisation in Seattle, and it is a movement that has spread around the world. My friends Michael & Chris will also be the first to tell you that SQL is not coding. Nevertheless, the Khan Academy course was a fun introduction for me to learn SQL.

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API First Approach with Raymond Ho – This Mobile Life [Episode 4]

I really enjoyed this podcast interview with Raymond Ho, my brother who’s a web/mobile developer. You’ll get a sense for what we talk about at the dinner table 🙂

With my podcast, I’ve wanted to capture these conversations I have with people – friends, family, people in the industry and expose that to the world. This is the stuff we talk about all the time!

This Mobile Life, Episode 4, API First Approach

This Mobile Life, Episode 4, API First Approach

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