How to break up epics

When I joined Jana a few years ago, I knew next to nothing about being a good product manager. Fortunately, that sort of thing never lasts long at startups. As our only PM at the time, I was forced to figure it out fast and, in the process, I learned a lot while making a ton of mistakes.

This was particularly true for managing “epics”, or large features that are too big to implement at once. I started off making all of the classic mistakes – trying to get the whole thing done at once, breaking up by product component, and starting with something too minimal to be an MVP. These weren’t fatal mistakes, but they definitely slowed us down.

Fortunately, after those early struggles, I’ve figured out a way of approaching epics that has worked well for my teams since. I shared my thoughts with Jana’s product team a few weeks ago. Some of the details are Jana-specific, but hopefully some of you find it useful as well. Enjoy, and let me know if I got anything wrong!


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