How Healthy is Your Product? - Product Strategy Check

2018 12 01 head

You are developing your product using agile and lean approaches.

How can you check your approach and distill improvements?

Health check of your product and your development approach are certainly a good solution.

This post is the third of a set of articles identifying health checks with different focus. We will identify strengths, potential weaknesses and hopefully find room for improvement.

What is your product strategy? How do you involve your customers and stakeholders?


The patient solely decides if a health check shall be performed. The effort and depth of a health check is defined together with the patient. The findings are considered confidential.

A short check with a feedback workshop presenting the insights requires around two work days.

A deeper and more intensive check requests more effort, between one and four weeks. Upon completion, you can also hire a coach to implement selected findings and durably improve the health of your application. The findings are often clear and the measures are straightforward. The real work is to consistently implement the measures.

I have the same personal challenge when trying to lose weight or improve my running form. The long term implementation is the crux.

Product Strategy Checks

Vision of the product

You can communicate the vision on your product in an elevator pitch and have it hanging in the team workplace.

Roadmap of the product

You have a visible roadmap describing the major releases for the next 12 to 18 months. Define the right planning horizon for your article.

Release plan of the product

You have a release plan for the next 6 to 9 months.

Story map

You have a story map grouping the stories and epics to reflect your release plan.

Customer involvement

You have customer opportunity in every sprint. Not only during the review event, but also during the planning meeting and architecture discussion.

Review with customer involvement

Realized stories are discussed during the review and demonstration meeting, and timely feedback is provided to allow backlog refinement before the next planning meeting. A mature organization has acceptance criteria for each story and automated verification of the criteria at any time.

Early and regular delivery of a product increment

You get feedback on the delivered and installed product increment. This goal is only achievable if your organization has implemented a delivery pipeline.

Risk List

You have a documented risk lists with description of risks, probability of occurrence and cost per event, and mitigation measures,

Solution architecture

You have an emergent solution architecture with a prototype and support the team to refine the architecture proposal and to implement it in the solution. Do not forget an agile product needs an agile architecture. See also the LeSS approach for creating an agile architecture.

Non-functional requirements

You have identified your non-functional requirements and constraints and have fitness measures in place. The measures guarantee the continuous achievement of the constraints - often defined as -ility requirements -.

See the Delivery Pipeline Check to enable your organization to provide realtime feedback on how well the above constraints are correctly implemented in the product.

Posts in the Health Check Series