product management

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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Large Features and Long Deadlines Mean You Have a Gantt Chart, Not a Roadmap

Several of my clients have internal struggles about how to internally see the future of the product. The teams want to use an agile approach so they can incorporate learning. The managers want rigid roadmaps. Why? Because the managers want to “know” the teams will deliver it all. However, the managers create a roadmap similar …

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Capitalizing Software During an Agile Transformation

A client wants to know how best to calculate their software capitalization. They had a “standard” approach when they used waterfall. They no longer have all waterfall projects. They’ve started to use agile approaches. And, the projects don’t all look the same. Being somewhere in the middle means they’re having trouble reasoning about capitalization. Why …

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Customers, Internal Delivery, and Trust

Your customers can’t take your product more often than once or twice a year. Because the product doesn’t need to leave the building, the teams don’t release internally. Nor do the teams demo on a regular basis. The teams miss the feedback loops so critical for an agile approach. Their agile transformation falls apart. Rethink Your Definition …

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Balance Innovation, Commitment, & Feedback Loops: Part 1: High Innovation Products

Many of my clients are trying to use short feedback loops in agile approaches. That desire bumps up against their management’s desires for longer commitments. This continuum might help them think through their needs for commitment and innovation. High Need for Product Innovation and Change The more need for product innovation and change, the shorter the feedback loops need …

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Balance Innovation, Commitment, & Feedback Loops: Summary

Is it possible to balance the product innovation and feedback we need, with the commitment our management wants? Maybe. I tried to show my thinking for these questions in this series: When does it make sense to ask for or offer estimation and commitments? When does it make sense to ask for more feedback instead? …

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Balance Innovation, Commitment, & Feedback Loops: Part 3: Low Innovation Products

What if you don’t need to experiment to reduce risks? You may have technical risks in terms of getting it “all” done. Especially for a given release date. In that case, you have a low need for product innovation. Your planning feedback loops can be longer. I’ve seen this occur in some of these circumstances: A …

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Balance Innovation, Commitment, & Feedback Loops: Part 2: Moderate Innovation Products

What if you can plan for a few weeks or even a month-plus at a time? You don’t need the extremely short feedback cycles (hours to a day) because you’re not doing high innovation. You don’t need to change what the team does every few days. You can estimate and commit to maybe a month’s …

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