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. …

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. …

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 …

Defining the Manager’s Role for a Product Approach, Part 3

This series is about how you might move to a product-based organization. Part 1 was about how when we organize by function, the recognition and rewards might prevent a successful agile transformation. Part 2 was about one possibility for moving to a product-based organization. Before we get to who moves where, we need to consider the manager …

Designing an Organization for a Product Approach, Part 1

If you’re thinking about an agile transformation, you already know about feature teams. You might even call them/use them as product teams. You might wonder about organizing all the work as product work. See Your Current Organization Many organizations use functions to organize people. The “Typical Product Development Organization” shows the kind of organization I …

Designing an Organization for a Product Approach, Part 2

In Part 1, I suggested that when we organize by function, the recognition and rewards might prevent a successful agile transformation. In this part, I’ll discuss an option for a product-oriented organization. Consider a Product-Oriented Organization Instead of organizing by function, consider a product-oriented organization. Again, I am not saying this is the only way …