Product Vision and Strategies for Envisioning Practice

Occasionally, it has become impossible and unrealistic to transform every aspect of a company onto a website. The process requires the designer to focus on any ambiguity or confusion to be eliminated before creating a first draft of the project outlines. The step of product envisioning is also quite essential. It is at this step that the designer will identify what the task is trying to achieve and what the result might look. Further, it involves developing a clear, shared and communicable vision of the product. “It is at this stage that the usability goals of the product are outlined, compromises to be identified and the methods of measuring success to be decided” (Akerele, Ramachandran, & Dixon, 2013)

Project Schedule

The product vision for the company is an E-commerce website that will be able to handle customer’s online transaction with the company. The website should be able to display the company products, with full products description, pricing, discounts offered order delivery and the location of the company stores. Also, the website will aim at showcasing the company working hours, tutorial videos on home improvements and how to place orders through the online platform. Not only will it handle customer transactions, but it will also track on customer preferences, collecting data on customers to provide information on customer needs and what is on demand for restocking purposes.

Several strategies can be employed in conducting the envisioning practice. For instance, two important strategies that can be used are the informational/communication strategy or the online/transactional strategy. In the informational/communication strategy, the website is not used to replace a company main business activities. Rather, it will act as a marketing platform whereby the company can market its products. On the other hand, Online/transactional strategy has the potential of integrating the business activities, including sales, inventory, and advertisements. Also, it creates brand awareness and image building model for the company. The best approach for the website to utilize is the Online/transactional strategy as it will encompass all the requirements and needs of the company.

Determine the main roles of the Agile project team and explain whether the product manager should be from the IT field or non-IT related field. 

A successful team building is created by unity while at the same time recognizing the individuality of each player. “The Agile team is a cross-functional group of people that have the authority and ability to define, build and test a project in a given time line” (Crowder, & Friess 2014).  The Agile project team includes the Product Owner, Scrum Master and the Scrum team, all who make the Agile project team. All the team players have different roles that interconnect and relate to each other.

  • The Product Owner shares the vision of the project and prioritizes the functionalities to be made. Also, the product Owner handles the key decisions to be made on behalf of the team. Further, they maintain the product backlog, acting as bridges between the developers, stakeholders and managing the end-users expectations and the budget.
  • Scrum master handles any problem that may arise while building the product. The Scrum Master facilitates team interactions, enforces the rules in the Scrum team, organizes meetings, and help push the agenda of the project.
  • Agile team members include developers and the testers of the project who might also be divided alongside team roles like system architect or technical writers and programmers.

Crowder, & Friess (2014) asserts that  the product manager should be well versed with the technological perspective of the product and the project as they act as the voice and bridge between the development team and other stakeholders like the customers. It is practical if the Product Manager can be able to define the product using technical jargon as well as interpret the customer’s questions in a way that a non-IT person can understand. Also, it will be to the advantage of the team if the Product manager can understand the needs of technical stuff that sponsors and fundraisers cannot relate. Hence, “the role of a product manager is well fitted for an IT-related person” (Crowder, & Friess 2014).

Explain how iteration works on this project. Support your rationale.

Iteration is a set timeframe in the development of a project where the project team converges for a discussion on what should be added or removed to a developing project (Shiohama, Washizaki, Kuboaki, Sakamoto & Fukazawa, 2012). Iteration is mostly set from the first to the fourth week of the development phase to help the product owner and other stakeholders to review and make changes to any information in the project.

For the development of the E-commerce website for the home improvement chain store, the best area for an iteration is on the second week. This is the optimal timeframe to be able to define, build and test many user stories to provide value to the business. The second week will have a complete and running prototype of the website, with all key functionalities and customer request up and running. The iteration will help the product owner to see whether the end product fulfil all the requirements of the project and whether any additional information should be added or removed from the website.

Further, “the iteration will help the developers and the test team to analyze further the product specifications, run test and bugs to minimize the risk of a breakdown during launching” (Fukazawa et al, 2012). Afterward, all added information and any other aspect that needs to be removed is then critically evaluated on how it will improve the system. It is at this Iteration that the development team commits to deliver certain scopes of business value within a specific time through coding and testing.

Take a position on whether stories are important in the Agile delivery framework and explain why or why not. Include at least two feature-story examples to support your explanation.

User stories are important for Agile delivery framework projects. “User stories are a high-level definition of requirements, made of just enough information so that developers can make a reasonable estimate of the time and effort to implement them” (Akerele et al, 2013). User stories are put in the short form, mainly short sentences in simple language depicting the desired outcome. User stories are created by the product Owner, with the project team picking on the full requirement. The aim of user stories is to deliver set values back to the customer.

“User stories are essential in Agile delivery framework as they are simple enough and can be written in few minutes, and the programming team can work on them immediately” (Akerele et al, 2013). Also, they can be used to describe a variety of requirements during the development period. Further, User stories help in scheduling and estimating the project timeline, inclusive of additional information or setback that may occur. Moreover, they can be tested before implementation.

Example 1

As a (USER ROLE), I can (TASK) so that (BUSINESS VALUE)

As a user I want to (Search for product, search for nearest store, compare prices) so that I can (evaluate which store to visit, product to buy, price to compare with my expenditure)

The above example will in turn prompt the development team to incorporate a search engine procedure for the customer criteria and request.

Example 2

As a (USER ROLE), I can (TASK) so that (BUSINESS VALUE)

As a web crawler, I need a URL dictionary without duplicates or dead links so that the crawling process is faster.

The above User story is an example of a User story with the system as the User.

References

Akerele, O., Ramachandran, M., & Dixon, M. (2013). System Dynamics Modeling of Agile Continuous Delivery Process. 2013 Agile Conference, 60-63. doi:10.1109/AGILE.2013.28

Crowder, J., & Friess, S. (2014). Understanding the Agile Team. Agile Project Management: Managing for Success, 27-41.

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