Agile Organization

The Value of Creating a Product Wall

For all the talk about transparency in agile, it is often the case that departments like sales and marketing have barely a clue what is going on in product development. Each organization has to overcome these communication issues in its own way. In a post at Noteworthy, Teem Director of Product C. Kyle Jacobsen talks about why building a product wall might be a good solution.

The Walled Garden

The product wall literally goes on the wall for everyone to see, made of sticky notes and maybe some tape. Jacobsen’s wall has Research, Build, Beta, and Release sections, and its purpose is to convey many additional things as well: company strategy, product strategy, personas, and a roadmap. Accompanying the product wall is also an idea wall, to which people are encouraged to contribute ideas. The product team then goes through these ideas and migrates all of the good ones to the product wall.

This approach offers many benefits, chiefly including greater transparency, of course. But it also offers discipline, fosters more communication, and builds readiness. Jacobsen says this about the value of readiness:

This is the best part about it. As projects progress through product development, everyone else can anticipate what is coming. Development can anticipate work coming from the Product team. Support can expect changes as Development gets closer to Beta. Marketing and Sales can get ready as items near production.

In the full post, Jacobsen shares a multitude of photos documenting the process of how they established their product wall. Check it out and see if it inspires you to build your own:

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