The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Product Management Certification Program.
Optimization practices are needed in every developing product and even in a complete and ready-to-use product.
The meaning of optimization in this context is changing. It can be understood as either adding new or removing existing parts of the product. In most cases, this usually means that the entire product development process requires more work and resources.
The product optimization practices in the context of the BVOP are:
- Pre-release optimization practices
- Post-release optimization practices
Pre-release optimization practices
During the development process, the entire product or its parts may be tested, validated, and agreed to be produced based on the users' and different stakeholders' feedback.
Depending on the general practices and goals of the BVOPDM office, repetitive analysis of the end-results may be applied.
The BVOP advocates that the users' feedback is not always correct or entirely valid. Human factors, cognitive biases, and other typical and natural occurrences may often come up during sessions of validations, testing, and providing feedback.
Careful users observations can be a tool to differentiate between the users’ feedback and their real actions to gather more realistic data.
Misalignments between users' feedback and their actual behavior should be recorded and may be used for future optimization.
Typical misalignments between users feedback and their behavior may include:
- Users request important features, but they are not used or barely used.
- The defined and validated at early stages tasks and needs of the user do not provide a satisfying outcome.
- Users provide positive feedback on product usability values when in reality, they experience difficulties.
Before an optimization action takes place, the BVOPDM office discusses the misalignments with the users who provided the feedback to find common points with their feedback and the observations.
If the communication is not possible, the optimization actions should be taken with high caution, so wastes and product degradations are avoided.
Post-release optimization practices
Once a product is in a real-world environment, expeditious statistics and feedback gathering are very important, so everything planned during the development stages can be matched against a real-world situation where significant access to real users is available.
If pre-release optimization actions take place and the product or some parts of it are improved and defined as satisfying, the real-world environment provides fast, and extensive knowledge about the way users use the product. Misalignments between the prognosis and the real usage may get identified.
The Business Value-Oriented Product Management (BVOPDM) office may plan and execute post-release optimizations if the noted misalignments get evaluated as harmful for the product, the users, the organization, the profits, or for other third parties.
Typical post-release optimizations may be implemented based on the following major reasons:
- User tasks and needs defined and validated before the product release don’t provide a satisfying outcome.
- Users are experiencing difficulties using the product.
- Harmful users' actions.
- The product is consuming too many resources.
Decisions making for optimization activities
Both pre and post optimizations may be applied if the Business Value-Oriented Product Management (BVOPDM) office decides that they are needed, and they do not damage any dimension of the BVOP.
Every decision for applying optimizations should always be based on predefined values.
All BVOPDM office members have to agree with the optimization but an acceptable rate of misalignments is always considered.