Help Managers Visualize Their Problems

I’ve been working with several managers at organizations large and small, who want to capitalize their software “earlier.” These managers have some strongly-held beliefs about the people: People are resources Resources can multitask on several projects at a time If “headquarters” does the difficult work, you can move the “grunt” work to lower wage areas …

Management Signals

I’m catching up on my podcasts and just listened to Seth Godin’s Akimbo episode about honest signals. (Do listen.) It’s about the signals we send that are honest or dishonest and why we might choose one, the other, or both. I started to think about the management signals we send, especially in an agile transformation. …

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.” …