MPD

How to Right-Size Your Stories for Better Predictability

Do your senior leaders want more predictability about when your team can finish its work? Perfect prediction is impossible, and sometimes, even reasonable prediction is quite difficult (with apologies to Yogi Berra). However, agile teams have one specific “tool” to create better predictability: right-sizing their stories. When a team right-sizes their work, they can create …

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Consider Innovation and Personas When You Create Roadmaps, Part 5

We use product roadmaps to see where we want to go and the options we might take to get there. Yet, so many of our roadmaps offer only a single and certain destination. If we don’t see options, we reduce our innovation decision points—and possibly disappoint our customers. Worse, we create products that don’t fulfill …

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What Senior Managers Want & Need from Roadmaps: Predictability and Options, Part 4

In Part 1, I said that product roadmaps are not like car roadmaps. But even car roadmaps showed places of interest—options—for the driver and passengers. If I stretch that analogy a little, managers need to see where we are predictable for the next bit of time, and the options we see for the future. We …

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Help Your Customers React the Way You Want with These Roadmap Options, Part 3

In Part 1, I said that customers need a different kind of roadmap than teams do. Teams need the focusing details now and a way to look forward. But, depending on where your product is in the market, your customers might want or need different information. Let’s start there. One thing to remember: you might …

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What Does Your Culture Value: People “Efficiency” or Work Throughput?

A senior manager said, “We give our resources everything they could need: technology, tools, even some training. Why are they so slow?” I asked, “How many projects are they working on?” “Each resource has at least two projects so they stay productive and efficient.” These managers have created a resource efficiency culture, not a flow …

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Choose How to Visualize Your Product Roadmap for a Team’s Product Focus, Part 2

As I said in Part 1, teams use backlogs and roadmaps to know what’s now and what’s next. Teams use backlogs for the day-to-day tactical decisions. And when teams can see what’s next, they can keep the strategic decisions in mind. What do teams need to know about the product now to focus their work? …

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Why Car Roadmaps Are Not the Same as Product Roadmaps, Part 1

Several of my clients have various roadmap problems. They want a single product roadmap to serve all these purposes: Focus the team’s work for this specific product for the short term. That includes some look-ahead to see the next bit of upcoming work when the team has more capacity. Show customers where the company thinks …

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Remote Work: Ways to Think About “Fair” Compensation and Benefits

Before the pandemic, Jenny, the VP of Engineering, insisted that the engineering staff needed to work in the Boston area. She expected that people would mostly work in the office, and they did. However, during the pandemic, Jenny changed her mind. She said that as long as teams had sufficient hours of overlap, she didn’t …

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Use Deliveries to Offer New Decision Points for Tactics and Strategy

We often think that finishing a story from the backlog is “just” tactical. However, the more often we deliver in short feedback loops, the more often we can make strategic decisions. Finishing a story creates a new decision point, for both the product and the corporate strategy. The more often we iterate strategically, the more …

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Writing Secret 7: Write to Fool Your Imposter Syndrome

Writers have a problem product development teams don’t have: Imposter Syndrome. That’s when you think you’re a fraud. Even though you have experience and expertise. Fear drives Imposter Syndrome. Too often, writers let the fear win. You don’t have to succumb to that fear—you can fool that fear with writing. The more you write and …

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