MPD

When HiPPOs Use Their Power to Decide for Other People

Many agile teams and product leaders assume they can make many product decisions on their own. They do have some constraints, such as “this kind of customer” and “these kinds of problems.” However, as the teams work together and explore the product, they assume they can decide on the designs and architecture. Product leaders assume …

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One Quick Way to Start to Manage Your Project Portfolio

A project portfolio manager contacted me via LinkedIn. The question: How can this portfolio team start to manage the project portfolio when the organization has 600 projects? Right now, the portfolio team is supposed to read the status decks for each of those 600, to understand each project’s status. How to start? That’s an impossible …

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How Business Cases as Experiments Change the Project Portfolio Decisions

My clients all have too much work to do. So they ask the product or project leaders to write a business case for each effort. The clients claim this information helps them decide which work to do and not do. However, everyone knows each business case is at least partially fiction. That’s because the writer …

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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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