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Troy Marshall

08/09/2022, 12:25 AM
I am curious about how organizations have defined the mission of their platform team and the problem space for the platform itself. Has anyone started with user stories from a C-level perspective? I am particularly interested in high-level stories from CIO and product perspectives.
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Kashmira Patel

08/09/2022, 12:26 AM
Following
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Wayne Allan

08/09/2022, 6:50 AM
Hey I’m a group level manager for our platform group at 99designs. Do you mean user stories focused on internal staff e.g. “as a CIO, I want … , so that I….”
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Troy Marshall

08/09/2022, 1:07 PM
Yes, user stories for internal staff. I am specifically looking for stories at the C-level. I am very interested in how orgs are framing the problem statement that a platform solves at that level. What I am trying to do is frame the business need for a platform as user stories and am wondering how others have done so.
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George Hantzaras

08/09/2022, 7:21 PM
Hey Troy, that’s a really good question. I’m leading Cloud Platform Engineering in Citrix and I’ve seen in our backlogs stories coming both from internal and also external needs - in cases where the platform can enable something for the customer directly. An example for C-level asks I’ve seen both for us but also in other companies is observability (and SLO) features of the platform, i.e., as a Chief Customer Officer, I want to be able to view metrics of the user experience in terms availability and performance of critical user journeys/paths
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Kashmira Patel

08/09/2022, 8:25 PM
Think about what a CIO is interested in, right. They might want to see what infrastructure is being used in the org, how much is costs, what software is being developed, or 3rd party integrations brought in to achieve business goals, they might want to know what tech stacks different teams are using, they might want to see the overall spend for each team. how many engineers each team has, how much time they spend on support vs actual development
so like any customer, you can apply the “what job of the CIO can be done using my product”
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Wayne Allan

08/10/2022, 1:44 PM
I don’t know if this helps at all but I like to think of the C-suite in large organisations as investors. …In which case a user story might look like this:
As a CxO
I want to make sure every dollar spent in my area of expertise has a good return
So that I can create value for share holders (and maybe customers too)
Executives care whether an investment is returning value. When working with execs I prefer to lead with investment based rhetoric because it taps into a whole bunch of really valuable mental models they have which you can use to explain the benefits of platforms. Example: • Platforms are long term investments but unlike an index fund on the stock market - platforms don’t return monetary dividends. Instead platforms investments return an increase in productivity that customer facing teams can cash in to pursue a larger number of revenue generating opportunities. • Constantly changing the focus of platform teams is like cashing out early of a long term investment at a loss. If a team cost $1.2 million p.a. and they spend 6 months working on capability only to be diverted somewhere else before it’s completed you have essentially spent $600K with nothing to show.
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Keith

08/16/2022, 9:53 PM
while I largely agree with this 👆🏻, I don’t think user stories are the best way to frame. Problem Statements and Impact Maps tend to be a better fit at that altitude.
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Wayne Allan

08/17/2022, 4:16 AM
TBH I’m for whatever works in the context of your organisation to convince Execs to invest in the areas they need to achieve the company goals. 😄