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 …

Tactical Ideas for Agile Budgeting, Part 1

Too often, organizations want to budget for an entire year. The managers run around for two or three months in advance of that fiscal year, attempting to predict a ton of things: Estimates for not-well-defined projects or features, Capital equipment or tool needs, “Headcount” aka, people needed. Then, the organization doesn’t finalize the budget until …

Divide and Conquer Creates Need for Management Control

Several recent clients want help with these problems: Estimation isn’t accurate. Because the estimation isn’t accurate, management can’t predict when they can release anything. Managers can’t manage the capitalization (a way to move from expensing software to capitalizing it). Teams can’t seem to ever deliver a finished feature. The work in progress everywhere is quite large. …

Podcast about the Business of Writing and Consulting

Consultants and writers share a common problem: we are business owners. That means we manage our businesses. Yes, I manage my own product development and my business. The great Joanna Penn interviewed me and the podcast is now live: Strategy And Business Plans For Authors With Johanna Rothman. If you write and self-publish, you should listen …

Visualize Your Constraints

As I work with people to use agile approaches, I see many organizational constraints. I’ve been trying to find a visualization for what I see. I don’t know if I’ve got it yet, but here is my sum-of-the-parts image. The organization’s culture drives decisions (or not!)  about the strategy. Strategy, with any luck, creates clarity …

Frequent Releasing Can Lead to Short and Frequent Planning

Agile approaches can help a team release more often. When a team releases more often, the product people can replan the product roadmaps. The project portfolio people can replan the project portfolio. Not every team releases often enough to take advantage of replanning small and often. Everyone falls prey to “too much” thinking. The product …