1 - Orienting

Outcomes and Questions

A little while ago, I went through an exercise thinking about principles and systems of work. I used this explore my thoughts a bit about how to talk more generically about all the topics that come up when coaching in the Product / Lean / Agile space.

As a part of this, I asked myself, “Ok, what would be really important for a team to focus on if they wanted to know if they were doing well? What kind of things would I want to know about how their working to get oriented and see what’s important to them?” trying to approach this Lean and Agile principles in mind.

Through some thinking about my experiences and and exploration of how others approached this, I narrowed down to a set of outcomes and questions that would help with orientation and understanding.

Here’s what I landed on after a couple refinements:


  • Working as a team

  • Delivering value regularly

  • Focusing on a limited number of work items in progress

  • Learning from customers / users

  • Solving problems/improving the system of work


  • How do you determine value?

  • How do you prioritize?

  • How do you size your work?

  • How often do you deliver?

  • How do you measure success?

  • How do you get feedback?

  • How do you improve your process?

  • How do you make the team’s life better?

There’s a lot baked into this list of outcomes and questions. They can be applied to various types of teams because the I kept the language fairly agnostic.

It’s a list that could be gone through initially in a relatively short period of time, maybe an hour or so, and the answers to the questions will help orient toward the outcomes. And it can be used periodically to check in on progress the team is making, seeing the answers to the questions change over time with improvements.

What else could be asked? What seems to be missing?