Purpose vs. Product: Differentiate Your Strategy from Tactics (Portfolio & Roadmaps)

I’m struggling to write several posts and I realized I need to define my terms. I keep seeing managers confuse the strategic and tactical. That leads to large and unchangeable roadmaps and a lot of emphasis on predictability. I don’t know how to offer the level of predictability they want for large and unchanging work. …

Feedback Loops Help When to Centralize or Decentralize Product-Based Decisions

When I think about agile approaches to work, I think about how fast we can change and the cost of those changes. We can change the next decisions about the work because we finish the current work and release it. Multiple deliverables allow us to change what we do and what we plan next. That’s …

Three Ways to Manage “Extra” Work in an Iteration

Many of my clients use an iteration-based agile approach. And, they have these problems: They “push” too much into an iteration. They use velocity, not cycle time to estimate.  They rarely finish everything before the iteration ends. They have to manage extra work—work they had not estimated—in the form of an emergency or production support. …

Clean Your Backlogs

I’ve been working at the intersection of the project portfolio and the product roadmaps. (You can tell because of the various posts about information persistence.) Here’s what I find when I work with my clients: They have years worth of projects in the project portfolio. They have years worth of ideas in various states of description in …

Product Roles, Part 8: Summary: Collaborate at All Levels for the Product

Too many teams have overloaded Product Owners. The teams and PO have trouble connecting the organization’s strategy to what the teams deliver. The teams, PO, management, all think they need big planning. Too often, the POs don’t do small-enough replanning. They’re not living the principles of the agile manifesto. That insufficient collaboration means the PO …

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 …