Scrum Agile Project Management

Book Review: Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis

Discover to Deliver is a book written by Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman. It aims is to help you to deliver a product that will please your customer. To achieve this goal, the book proposes a toolbox of techniques that are taken from multiple disciplines, from business analysis to software testing or product delivery.

These practices are grouped in an agile and lean approach to product discovery and delivery. The main concepts of the book are to discover options that provide values to the product, to examine the seven product dimensions, to create partnerships with stakeholders, to use three levels of planning and structured conversations.

The book starts with a case study that explains how the book concepts can be implemented in practice. The concepts are then presented in a more structured fashion. The book is well written, with a very “lean” style in the conceptual sections that allows you to grasp quickly its content. It also has a “timeline” on the top of every page that will give the “position” of the current content in the global flow of the book.

I will naturally recommend this book to every product or project manager involved in the creation and delivery of software (and other) solutions, but other members of software development teams will find valuable content in this book. Its well-structured content makes it a good reference when you want to get guidance on a specific project activity.

Reference: Discover to Deliver – Agile Product Planning and Analysis, Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman, EBG Consulting, 271 pages, IBSN 978-0985787905


Discover to Deliver – Agile Product Planning and Analysis, Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman


A product Quality Attribute Dimension is sometimes neglected, forgotten, or delayed. Conversations about product options tend to focus more on functional dimensions such as Users, Actions, Data, and Controls. Some product teams struggle to converse about quality attributes with customer and business partners, because of the technical nature of the topic. Other teams struggle with identifying the possible an achievable levels of quality attributes without testing or experimenting with them. Yet it is often essential to satisfy quality attribute service levels if you are to achieve business value. If you don’t deliver acceptable quality attribute levels early on (performance, security, usability, and so on), your product success may be threatened.

To maintain a lean, healthy backlog and to minimize cycle time, store only the selected options in your product backlog or queue. Leftover product options – those not selected for the candidate solution – may be discarded. Some teams choose to record them or photograph walls that show them listed, along with the rationale for not choosing them. You may find this practice helpful if team turnover is high or you are working in a regulatory environment.

Virtually very project, product, and situation is unique, and teams need to make major or minor adaptations in their practices to accommodate their situation. The beauty of Agile / Lean is that it’s highly adaptable.