Key Areas of Focus for PMs

Consider the list below as a starting point to spark inspiration and keep your team focused on delivering its best work:

Team efficiency

  • How are the most important initiatives progressing?
  • Which inefficiencies or blockers need to be addressed?
  • Are we satisfied with team velocity?
  • Are there any capacity issues that need to be resolved?

Product usage

  • What product features are the most and least used?
  • Where are users getting stuck and abandoning our offering?
  • What percentage of trials convert to paid accounts?
  • How many accounts are growing vs. how many are shrinking?

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Why, Who, How and What

If “Why” is the goal you want to achieve along with a value metric to validate the business objective and the “Who” is the actor performing the act, you can identify “How” you can achieve this impact. Once the impact is identified, you can come up with “What” is needed. This is your deliverable. The resulting impact map allows you to compare the various options and measure the outcome.

Each deliverable in turn can be broken down into tangible Product Backlog items, in the form of user stories, for example. Given that the goal, the actor, and the deliverable are established, defining the Product Backlog items is more straightforward.

An Excerpt From:

“The Profesional Product Owner” – By Don McGreal and Rolph Jocham


Average Sprint Velocity


In an Agile software development environment, a part of the Scrum framework, Sprint is a time-boxed event for the scrum team to deliver a small product increment which is typically a releasable product. Usually, Sprints are one to four weeks long. Every sprint, the scrum team picks up a number of product backlog items and make a commitment to move them to a done state as per the definition of done. The size of each product back item is generally expressed in terms of story points. They are like units of user stories that can be addressed in a sprint. A number of story points completed at the end of each sprint provide a very good understanding of the team’s capacity or WIP (work-in-progress) limit. Depending on the complexity of sprint backlog items and level of productivity, the team can complete a varied number of story points at the end of each Sprint. In order to estimate the average velocity of the Sprint, the Product Owner simply uses the arithmetic average formula. See the below example.


Let’s say we have completed several sprints and we have a record of the number of story points completed in each sprint.

Sprint 1

Sprint Backlog Items = 5 

Total Story Points Targeted = 22

Total Story Points Completed = Sprint 1 Velocity = 18

Sprint 2

Sprint Backlog Items = 6 

Total Story Points Targeted = 24

Total Story Points Completed = Sprint 2 Velocity = 20

Sprint 3

Sprint Backlog Items = 7 

Total Story Points Targeted = 32

Total Story Points Completed = Sprint 3 Velocity = 24

Sprint 4

Sprint Backlog Items = 6 

Total Story Points Targeted = 26

Total Story Points Completed = Sprint 4 Velocity = 26

Average Sprint Velocity

Total Sprints = 4 

Average Sprint 4 Velocity = (Sprint 1 Velocity + Sprint 2 Velocity + Sprint 3 Velocity + Sprint 4 Velocity) / Total Sprints

Average Sprint 4 Velocity = (18+20+24+26)/4

Average Sprint 4 Velocity = 22 Story Points