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PMP Q #18 – User Feedback

Q18. User testing on the last product release revealed low user interest in specific features requiring significant development effort.

What can the agile team do to prevent this disparity in the future? (Select Two)

A. Track Burndown chart regularly.
B. Improve Backlog Refinement Process
C. Use Work in Progress (WIP) limits for user testing.
D. Do frequent incremental releases to validate value delivery.

Let’s see each option one by one – 

Option A – “Track Burndown chart regularly” –  A burndown chart is an information radiator. It tracks the total work remaining, and the team manages progress by tracking the remaining work throughout the iteration and releases. But, ensuring that team is working as per the plan for delivering the deliverables may not ensure that team is delivering something which will get liked by the end-users. So yes, the burndown chart helps to see how work is trending on committed deliverables. But it can’t help in validating that end-users will like this work. So there are better options than this one.

Option B – “Improve Backlog Refinement Process” –   The product backlog refinement process ensures that the upcoming iteration receives top product backlog items with appropriate and enough details to start work on them. It keeps the product backlog clean and orderly so that it may include the following –

  • It can add a new user story to the backlog in response to new requirements and discoveries.
  • It can remove some user stories from the backlog that is no longer relevant.
  • It can re-assign relative priorities of user stories
  • It can split high-priority epics that are ready to select in the upcoming iteration
  • It can add newly identified acceptance criteria to a user story
  • It can remove an acceptance criterion from a user story that is no longer needed 

This backlog refinement includes the involvement of the right people. If you have released a couple of times, it may give learnings from past releases. These learnings improve the product based on user needs. So, regular backlog refinement is essential to ensure learnings from past releases go into upcoming iterations. If regular backlog refinement is the issue, improving the backlog refinement process may help. In this way, it is one of the correct options.

Option C – Use Work in Progress (WIP) limits for user testing.” – WIP defines the maximum amount of work you can place in each workflow stage. Limiting work in progress ensures the team has fewer items to finish at a particular time and helps them prioritise finishing work items. In addition, it makes the system flow faster, resulting in a fast learning cycle. In this way, it could be a possible correct option. However, let’s see the last option before making any conclusion.

Option D – “Do frequent incremental releases to validate value delivery” – If you release frequently, you will learn faster what users like and what not. Based on these learnings, you can improve the backlog refinement process.

It seems the better option than option C – “Use Work in Progress (WIP) limits for user testing. Because even if you make the testing process faster, if releases are infrequently happening, it will not help in learning about user likes and dislikes. 

To release frequently, it is a good idea to learn from an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then do frequent MBI (Minimum Business Increment) releases. These frequent MBI releases help understand what adds value to users or customer base. 

Option D looks best. So let’s go with option B and option D.

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