Product Discovery

Product Discovery

Sep 6, 2023

Elevate Your Backlog: Ditch Guesswork, Embrace Video Evidence



Ronny Röller

"Leverage user evidence for a more effective product backlog"

In the symphony of product management, the user's voice should play the lead melody. Their needs, aspirations, and pain points form the backbone of our product roadmap. Yet, how often do we find ourselves charting territories based more on intuition than real user feedback?

Introducing evidence-based stories.

An emerging practice among astute product owners is to label stories that carry direct user evidence. Whether it's Jira, Github, or any other issue tracker, this seemingly minor addition can revolutionize your product management strategy. Here's a step-by-step guide to weaving the user voice into the very fabric of your roadmap:

  • Make Evidence visible: Whenever a story presents tangible user feedback, like video clips or direct quotes, label it distinctly. Tags such as "User-Evidenced" or "Direct Feedback" can instantly spotlight these invaluable insights.

  • Rank the Real: As you groom your backlog or shape your sprints, let these evidence-backed stories take precedence. They are the real-world pleas of your users, pinpointing urgent needs or pivotal enhancements.

  • Aim for Authenticity: Champion the voice of the user by setting clear benchmarks. For instance, ensure that a minimum of 30% of stories in every sprint are fortified with the "User-Evidenced" label. This not only prioritizes genuine user sentiment but fosters a culture of relentless feedback collection.

  • Reflect & Refine: Post-sprint or at a product cycle’s conclusion, evaluate the impact of these evidence-driven stories. Did the insights ring true? Were the devised solutions in sync with user expectations? Use this introspection to sharpen your strategy, making the user’s voice a consistent compass.

Incorporating direct user evidence into your product management process transforms abstract tasks into human-centered missions. It's a rallying point for the team, a testament to the users you serve, and, most importantly, a path towards creating products that truly resonate.

Photo: Lisa R. Howeler