Weekly Product Review Meeting
Product review meetings are a weekly meeting to review plans and works in progress. The purpose is to inform, discuss and decide on a range of initiatives in different stages, with the goal towards keeping each other informed, gathering feedback and building consensus on next steps. This is the meeting where Feature Briefs
, critical updates that cause roadmap changes, designs, and demos are reviewed (along with a variety of other points of interest).
Stakeholders should consider product review meetings their primary source of product information and their primary opportunity to provide feedback on product direction and functional design. Product should make this opportunity a priority. It is vital that relevant stakeholders outside of the tech org are involved as early as possible. With that said, if a stakeholder chooses not to attend a meeting or engage in the process, they forfeit their input.
Major Initiative Kickoff Meeting
The major initiative kickoff meeting happens once as a squad begins to design and scope a Major Initiative. It is where a Feature Brief, that has been given the go-ahead to continue exploration after a product review meeting, is broken down into design, analysis, and engineering tasks resulting in artifacts such as wireframes, EPQs, and/or user research studies. Tasks identified in designing and scoping the initiative are assigned during this meeting.
A squad’s lead PM, lead engineer, lead analyst, and lead designer are required to attend this meeting while optionally inviting stakeholders and other key designers/engineers/analysts who are likely to be significantly impacted by the Major Initiative or take on tasks coming from the Feature Brief. If a stakeholder chooses not to attend a meeting, they forfeit their input.
Design Review Meeting
Design review meetings have 3 possible subjects: visual/UX design review, user research review or technical design review.
Invitees should include all squad leads (engineering, product & design) or their chosen proxies, and all stakeholders likely to be impacted or interested. Lead Product Managers, Engineers, & Designers have the responsibility of encouraging stakeholders who are likely to be interested to attend.
Regardless of the format, the purpose of the review should be made clear by the Lead Product Designer. The designer should also make it clear what kind of feedback they need for from the group.
The feedback gathered may lead to additional design and/or research tasks to be created. The Lead Product Manager should work with the Designer and/or Researcher to estimate the level of effort (LOE), and plan the next review accordingly.
The design review meeting can happen any number of times between the major initiative kickoff and feature planning meetings. The number of times this meeting happens is at the discretion of the lead PM based on his or her judgment of when the squad is prepared to begin work on any part of a major initiative.
The lead PM is responsible for clearly communicating, to all interested parties, when a scheduled design review meeting will involve making a decision on design finalization.
Feature Planning Meeting
The major initiative planning meeting is where Stories in a technical design and/or UX specs are translated into Tasks and estimated using Story Points. This meeting is scheduled on an ad hoc basis, and typically should happen once for a Major Initiative, and usually covers several weeks of work for an entire team.
Feature Planning is led by a PM and involves an engineering lead and the engineer(s) who will own at least one task from the technical and/or UX designs. An effective practice is to have a PM walk through UX Designs and prompt engineers to break down each part of the design that requires a Task, or the lead engineer talks through the technical design to prompt the PM to create tasks for each component of architecture, logic and/or implementation.
Sprints are 2 weeks periods in which all tactical work for major initiatives and features is completed.