You know that probably.

Requirements are coming, coming and coming.  There is no time to stop and think about them. There is no time to organize them. There is no time to analyze your backlog so you know which requirements should be developed next. Even more, many customers ask you about new functionality or defect fixes.

In our last training, we tried the Innovation Game approach to gather product requirements and break them down into manageable sizes.

The game is called Prune the Product Tree.

See more on the InnovationGames page.

Prune the Product Tree game

The principle of the game is simple. Draw a tree on a flipchart board that will represent your product. Then, ask either your customers, your product owner or the team to start to draw limbs.

Thick limbs will represent major areas of functionality.  These limbs will represent epics in your backlog.

Then draw thin limbs on thick limbs. These thin limbs will guide your teams to be more specific about the major functionality. Visibility of the tree and limbs will guide them to be structured. In agile terminology, these thin limbs may represent themes.

And, do not forget leaves. Leaves are small and without them, the tree will not survive. You need leaves, but maybe not all of them. Leaves represent stories.

Try to even use the distance as a visualization of necessity. The edge of the tree (outermost branches) are probably not so necessary, they will be developed in some next version.

Do not forget to check  ‘the weight’ of limbs. Are some limbs thin with few leaves only? Maybe they are not so necessary.

Is your tree well balanced? Maybe some features are less important, or they simply miss fundamental functionality.

What do you see observing your tree?

Prune the product treee