March 14, 2023

The Missing Half of Agile: How to Infuse Continuous Discovery Into Product Development, with Teresa Torres

Episode 196 of The Innovation Engine podcast.

This podcast is part of the Masters of Innovation.

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Teresa Torres, an internationally recognized author, speaker, and product coach, joins us on this episode of The Innovation Engine podcast to share battle-tested advice on how product teams can build more impactful products for all parties involved by infusing their development process with a steady stream of customer insights.

With a focus on utilizing continuous discovery habits, Teresa has coached hundreds of product teams of all sizes and across a range of industries on a structured approach to using customer input to guide their daily product decisions.

Teresa’s expertise has helped product teams move away from simply focusing on Agile execution and how they build products towards a more holistic approach to product development where teams place an equal focus on making sure what they build delivers value to the customer and the business. 

We dive deep into the key concepts of Teresa’s book, Continuous Discovery Habits, in which she introduces a framework for product teams to think about customer discovery. We explore the importance of an outcome mindset, getting good at interviewing to discover unmet customer needs, pain points, and desires, and assumption testing to help evaluate solutions.

We also pose a question from ChatGPT to Teresa and close the episode out with our normal speed round of questions, including whether she’d be interested in helping Elon Musk right the product ship at Twitter if called upon.

Tune in to the full episode directly below, or via the YouTube embed at the end of the post. 

Episode Highlights:

  • How product teams can learn to focus on executing on the right things, not just executing in the right way
  • The most vital habits that teams should employ for continuous discovery
  • Why following Teresa’s collaborative “product trio” model, where a Product Manager, Design Lead, and Tech Lead all work closely together from the start, leads to far less waste than the traditional product development model and process  
  • How embracing the creative tension of bringing multiple disciplines together yields better results than the top-down style of decision-making prevalent in many organizations
  • The 2 different kinds of product instrumentation — optimization and value creation — and examples of both
  • Which companies are positive examples of continuous discovery in action (hint: not many!)


Watch the Full Episode

You can watch our full conversation with Teresa Torres, as well as a clip where Teresa highlights the 3 key continuous discovery habits, via the YouTube embeds below.


About The Innovation Engine

Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on Apple Podcasts. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Spotify to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.