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Introduction to legal design: Product & project management


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Guest lecture on product and project management in legal design, held on the course Introduction to Legal Design at Stanford University’s 2015-05-07.

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Introduction to legal design: Product & project management

  1. 1. LAW-761 Introduction to Legal Design ProCVct Management and Legal Design Stanford Law School/ 2015-05-07 Anna Ronkainen @ronkaine
  2. 2. Look who’s talking Anna Ronkainen -  a lawyer at least on paper (LL.M., U of Copenhagen); also studied EE/CS, linguistics; researcher in computational legal theory (U of Helsinki) -  Chief Scientist and co-founder, TrademarkNow Inc., head of product 2012–2015 -  just taught Intro to Legal Tech (U of Turku) -  worked in the software industry since the early 1990s, in project and product management roles since ~2000 -  serious design (especially typography) geek; occasional usability scholar as well
  3. 3. Today’s topic: two different things (that sound confusingly similar) Product management: figuring out the what Project management: figuring out the how (who, where, when), and making sure it gets done Different tasks, different skillsets, but still many things in common!
  4. 4. So, on Tuesday, this happened:
  5. 5. This is what legal design looks like from my perspective:
  6. 6. Product management – or how to succeed by saying no to (almost) everything
  7. 7. Any successful product manager’s most important day-to-day tool: “NO!” (Still, it *can* also be overdone: )
  8. 8. Why you should end up saying “no” to most things -  you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) do everything, product focus is crucial -  (most) end-users are not designers: their suggested “improvements” would usually make the product worse -  still, they are indicative of real problems and tell where you should dig deeper to find out what the actual problems are and how to best address them
  9. 9. End-users are not designers: You get this...
  10. 10. ...rather than this:
  11. 11. 12 arguments you should say no to 1.  But the data looks good 2.  But it’ll only take a few minutes 3.  But this customer is about to quit 4.  But we can just make it optional 5.  But my cousin’s neighbour said... 6.  But we’ve nothing else planned 7.  But we’re supposed to be allowed to work on whatever we want 8.  But 713,000 people want it 9.  But our competitors already have it 10.  But if we don’t build it, someone else will 11.  But the boss really wants it 12.  But this could be “the one” (from Intercom on Product Management)
  12. 12. Things to consider before saying yes to product features 1.  Does it fit your product vision? 2.  Will it still matter in 5 years? 3.  Will everyone benefit from it? 4.  Will it improve, complement or innovate on the existing workflow? 5.  Does it grow the business? 6.  Will it generate new meaningful engagement? 7.  If it succeeds, can we support and afford it? 8.  Can we design it so that reward is greater than effort? 9.  Can we do it well? 10. Can we scope it well? (from Intercom on Product Management)
  13. 13. Design thinking -  Peter Drucker: the job of designers is “converting need into demand” – figuring out what people want and giving it to them (i.e., innovating) -  Tim Brown of IDEO: The challenge for design thinkers is to “help people to articulate the latent needs they may not even know they have” -  desirable, viable, feasible
  14. 14. Design thinking tools -  insight: go out into the world and learn from the lives of others -  observation: watch what people do (and do not do) and listen to what they say (and do not say) -  empathy: stand in the shoes of others, connect with their emotions.
  15. 15. Concrete product design tools -  interviews -  questionnaires -  think-aloud -  personas -  user stories (“as a ____, I want to ____ in order to ____”) -  doing it yourself -  product roadmap -  (A/B tests)
  16. 16. Project management – getting sh*t done
  17. 17. Apparently legal project management is the next big thing -  legal industry finally catching up with every other industry -  e.g. seeing litigation as a project with a beginning, middle, and end, and considering it as a whole, and not just until the next deadline -  fair share of buzzwordism and other cargo cults
  18. 18. The waterfall model: a project management caricature
  19. 19. Minimal project management tasks -  planning, costing -  resource allocation -  progress tracking -  reviewing plans as the project proceeds -  delivery/acceptance -  evaluation/postmortem
  20. 20. Useful project management tools: Gantt chart
  21. 21. Useful project management tools: Kanban board Things to do In progress Done
  22. 22. Useful project management tools: Scrum -  team roles: product owner (≈ technical product manager), scrum master, team -  work organized into sprints (constant length, typically 1 week – 1 month) -  events in standard scrum development -  sprint planning -  daily scrum/stand-up meeting -  sprint review (what did we do) -  sprint retrospective (what did we learn)
  23. 23. The twain shall meet: agile development/ iterative design
  24. 24. Minimum viable cake
  25. 25. Be agile, don’t “do Agile®” -  in a larger project, have some sense of overall direction, but don’t think you can design everything at once -  plan for something a sprint, do it, get it out to users, evaluate and plan next iteration -  focus on doing things mindfully, use your common sense as well as your own domain expertise rather than just think following some methodology will solve everything
  26. 26. Questions? Thank you!