Product Roles, Part 3: Product or Feature Teams vs Project Teams

An agile approach requires a cross-functional team. That means that everyone on the team focuses on the same intent. That intent might be an entire product. It might be a feature set as part of a larger program. But, the team focuses as a team. That cross-functional team is a product team or a feature …

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 …

Cost vs Value Measurements for Agile Approaches

Some of my clients have struggled with their project governance as they move to agile approaches. In the past, they’ve asked for estimates and costs—by requirement—and then tracked the variance for those estimates and costs. The governance people do not record assumptions. They only record estimates and actuals. They want to “measure” the project success …

Successful Geographically Distributed Agile Teams Book Milestone

I’ve been pair-writing a book with Mark Kilby, From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver. We hit a big milestone today: We published the first complete draft today. We’ve been working on this book for a year. It’s much better because of our collaboration. We reflected a little on our success to …

Starting a Product Organization Transformation, Part 6

I’ve been thinking about my clients who’ve had success moving from a project-based/resource-efficiency organization to a product-based/flow efficiency organization. They had these things in common: A senior person made it safe for the managers to create experiments. They created very small experiments (either managers or teams, or together). The senior manager often asked a question …

Possible Organization Changes for a Product Approach, Part 5

How do we move from a project-based organization towards a product organization? There are at least two systems of work we need to change: The management system and the culture of management How the teams work and their team culture. I’m not sure it’s that simple to explain. There might be more systems I don’t …

Possible Changes for a Product Approach, Part 4

How could we organize if we want flow efficiency? We would reward managers by their span of service instead of control, part 3, stop organizing by function, and move to something that looks like a product-based organization? My transforming idea for this question was to think about the organization as legacy code. We understand how to …