Product Roles, Part 4: Product Orientation and the Role of Projects

Many people in the agile community promote a product orientation over a project orientation. That’s possible because an organization has product or feature teams. That works until you have more products than teams. That’s when you might still need projects to accomplish everything. If you keep teams together, you can still use projects in a …

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 …

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 …

Making Difficult Decisions: Choosing When to Lay Yourself Off

Steve Smith challenged me in a comment to the cowardly layoff/no feedback posting: “What would you have done if you were the manager who layed off these people?” I’ve written about layoffs in a previous Software Development column, but let me address the specific problem Steve described: The manager needs the paycheck. The manager (or …