Futurespective: Building Awesome Products

What if you need to deliver the best possible software products? High-quality products that do everything that your users need in a great way, products that your users will love? Here’s a futurespective exercise that you can use in your agile retrospectives if your teams want to build awesome products.

Futurespectives

A futurespective is an agile retrospective where you start from the goal to find ways how to get there.

Teams place themselves in the future by imagining that their goal has been reached.

Next, they will discuss their imaginary past and explore how they have gotten to their goals, by exploring the things that have helped them to get there and the things which made it hard to reach their goal.

Now teams go back to the present, and the results from exploring their imaginary past are used to agree how to work together to reach the goal.

Building an Awesome Product

Here’s how you can do a futurespective to explore ways to build an awesome product.

  • Imagine that it’s half a year from now and you just heard back from the users of your product that they are extremely happy with it. It’s the best quality software they ever had, it makes their work easier and saves them time. It’s easy to use, flawless, fast, flexible: Everything they expected, and more.
  • Take some time to celebrate this to get into the right mood. Be excited, do a team hug or high fives, give compliments to each other, grab a drink; whatever makes you happy.
  • Imagine what you have done to deliver high-quality software. Which practices did you use and how did you do them? How did you work together as a team, with your stakeholders, customers, and users? What have you tried that worked out well?
  • Also, imagine the problems that you had along the way and how you dealt with them.
  • Now go back to the present, and use the things that have come up to define your way of working.

The “awesome products” futurespective is one of the many retrospective exercises that you can use to spice up your agile retrospectives.

Driving Quality

Although retrospectives are mostly used to explore the current way of working, they can also be used to investigate quality issues or to agree upon actions that can improve the quality of the software that is delivered.

The awesome product exercise is described in the chapter Improve Software Quality with Retrospectives of my 2nd book What Drives Quality. In this book, I explore how quality plays a role in all of the software development activities. It takes a deep dive into quality by listing the relevant factors of development and management activities that drive the quality of software products. It provides a lean approach to quality by analyzing the full development chain from customer requests to delivering products to users.

Order your copy of What Drives Quality

Ben Linders

I help organizations with effective software development and management practices. Active member of several networks on Agile, Lean and Quality, and a frequent speaker and writer.

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