This is a common scenario in new startups.

You just completed a big launch that involved the whole design, engineering and product teams. The launch went well. Everyone is excited, but the development team is now asking - what’s next? What are we going to build? The product team was so busy preparing for launch they didn’t have the time to build a full backlog for v1.1.

This is a common symptom that highlights a few issues:

  • Product, design and development teams don’t have an established rhythm. This includes the common practices of planning and retrospectives. Once this exists it’s the default mode to fall back into after a major feature launch which can often result in spikes of work.
  • There probably isn’t a product discovery process going where product and design are working on validating concepts in search of the right product to build. If this exists it becomes the source of all work for the development team in the delivery track.
  • There may not be a shared understanding of users and their core problems. This understanding helps to guide decisions and fill in a lot of blanks. So even if there’s nothing in the backlog, a developer with a very good understanding of user problems will most likely improve the product vs. one that may just build something they think is right.

This is a common and solvable problem - sometimes with some very small changes.