Product Roles, Part 1: Product Managers, Product Owners, Business Analysts

We have many words for people who shepherd the business value of a product. The many words aren’t a problem, as long as we can all agree on what these various people are and they take responsibility for. When we don’t agree, we run the risk of not managing our strategy, not thinking in terms …

Agile Milestone Criteria for Projects and Programs

You’ve got interdependencies across the organization for a given project or program to release a product. You can see demos. That’s not the problem. You need enough insight or prediction to start the marketing campaign or to create training videos or product documentation. You need some kind of milestone criteria so you know you can complete …

Alternatives for Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Part 7, Summary

Let me summarize what I’ve been talking about in these posts. The problem I’m seeing is that too many teams and organizations plan too much in too much detail too soon. Instead of architectural BDUF (Big Design Up Front), it’s project planning as BDUF. They expect one single person (a product manager or a product …

Alternatives for Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Part 6, Managers Want Commitments

You’ve started thinking in feature sets. Maybe you’ve experimented with  rolling wave plans inside one quarter, so you can change and replan as you need to support your project or program. You’ve discussed flow-based roadmapping as a way to create MVPs and MVEs, release smaller value more often so you can make better decisions. You …

Alternatives for Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Part 5, the Product Value Team

If you need to plan more often than once a quarter, how do you know how to replan? Instead of incurring the time and cost when you bring everyone together,  consider the Product Value Team. (In past writing and presentations, I’ve called this the Product Owner Value Team. I am trying to change my term …

Alternatives for Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Part 4, Resilience, Prediction, & Feedback

One of my clients was trying—valiantly—to make their quarterly planning sessions work. They prepared, getting the big hotel room. They had plenty of supplies. The planning even went well. However, within two weeks, their plan had no relation to reality. That meant that for the next ten weeks, the product owners were “on their own.” …

Alternatives for Agile and Lean Roadmapping: Part 3, Flow-Based Roadmapping

In Part 1, I wrote about thinking in feature sets so everyone could see smaller chunks of work. (If you can see them, you might be able to plan for smaller and deliver smaller.) In Part 2, I suggested smaller rolling waves than an entire quarter (two months, or preferably one month) so people could …