Voted off the Island: Deciding which projects make the grade

Our June 2013 meeting of the St. Louis Product Management Group was Monday, June 24, 2013:

Voted off the Island: Deciding which projects make the grade

Meeting are open to everyone — there is no charge to attend. RSVPs were requested on our LinkedIn page.

Slides and more information are available on Ashley Eckhoff’s web site

Overview: How can you tell that project A is more important than project B?  Project C might have been important in the last release, but how do you know it’s still important now?  How do you convince management that these are the right projects to work on this development cycle?

Deciding which projects to attempt in a particular release of a product is sometimes approached as more art than science.  However, there are methods companies use to inject more science into the decision making process.  Having an established method for ranking projects helps everyone in your organization be on the same page when it comes to deciding what projects to attempt and just as importantly, which projects not to attempt.

This encore presentation of a session from the recent Product Camp conference attempts to address that need.  For the first 20 minutes, Ashley will present a simple method for ranking possible projects that gives you the ability to apply mathematical formulas instead of “thumb in the air” gut feelings to decide what is important to do in a particular release.

However, this session is intended to be an open discussion, so for those of you who already have a set method of ranking projects for development, please feel free to attend as well.  The latter half of the session will be used to discuss the method presented and for other attendees to share how your company decides which projects you’re going to “vote off the island”.

About the presenter, Ashley Eckhoff: Ashley has worked as a Product Manager at Siemens PLM Software for the last 9 years.  In that time he’s managed 4 different product lines, proposed countless projects to his management, and had to decide over and over which ones won’t make the grade.  Every year his hope springs eternal that he’ll get unlimited resources to do every project on his list, but that hasn’t happened yet.  He hasn’t won Powerball yet either.

Here’s the details:

  • 5:30pm: Informal networking and refreshments
  • 6:00pm: Meeting begins
  • 7:00pm-ish: Meeting adjourns
  • Location: SAVVIS; 1 SAVVIS Parkway, Chesterfield, MO, 63017. (Google map of SAVVIS)
  • Directions from the West:
    • Take 64/40 East to Woods Mill / Highway 141 (Exit 22)
    • At the end of the exit ramp, go straight (parallel to 64/40)
    • Move to the right, following signs for South Outer Forty
    • The SAVVIS building will be on your right; turn right after you pass it and park in the main parking lot on the South side of the building
    • Follow signs in through the main entrance
  • Directions from the East:
    • Take 64/40 West to Woods Mill / Highway 141 (Exit 22)
    • Move to the right and follow signs for South Outer Forty
    • You will make a U-turn under the highway, and then move to the right, following signs for South Outer Forty
    • The SAVVIS building will be on your right; turn right after you pass it and park in the main parking lot on the South side of the building
    • Follow signs in through the main entrance
  • Thanks to SAVVIS for providing the facilities for this meeting!

RSVPs were requested on our LinkedIn page.

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