Johanna Rothman

Product Roles, Part 1: Product Managers, Product Owners, Business Analysts

Johanna Rothman

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.

Product Roles, Part 3: Product or Feature Teams vs Project Teams

Johanna Rothman

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.

Agile Milestone Criteria for Projects and Programs

Johanna Rothman

You've got interdependencies across the organization for a given project or program to release a product. You can see demos. That's not the problem. You need enough insight or prediction to start the marketing campaign or to create training videos or product documentation.

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“Agile Coaching” Is Not the Goal

Johanna Rothman

I've met a number of agile coaches recently. They tell me they're hired as Scrum coaches or as Scrum Masters. They see their job as “better Scrum.” ” It would be lovely if that was their one and only job.

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The Ultimate Embedded Analytics Guide

In today’s ambitious business environment, many companies are taking an embedded analytics approach to capitalizing on the value of their information. Learn all about embedded analytics in this guide by Sisense, including a general overview of embedded analytics, the different approaches to embedding BI and analytics, and the benefits and challenges of the most popular BI solution technologies.

Product Roles, Part 2: The Product Value Team

Johanna Rothman

In an ideal agile world, the team would work directly with a customer. When you have a small product that serves maybe three types of customer (new, expert, admin for example), and that customer is down the figurative hall, you might not need any product people.

Help Managers Visualize Their Problems

Johanna Rothman

I've been working with several managers at organizations large and small, who want to capitalize their software “earlier.” ” These managers have some strongly-held beliefs about the people: People are resources. Resources can multitask on several projects at a time.

Cost vs Value Measurements for Agile Approaches

Johanna Rothman

Some of my clients have struggled with their project governance as they move to agile approaches. In the past, they've asked for estimates and costs—by requirement—and then tracked the variance for those estimates and costs. The governance people do not record assumptions. They only record estimates and actuals. They want to “measure” the project success by adherence to estimates of date and costs, not by when the project creates which kind of value.

Successful Geographically Distributed Agile Teams Book Milestone

Johanna Rothman

I’ve been pair-writing a book with Mark Kilby , From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver. We hit a big milestone today: We published the first complete draft today. We’ve been working on this book for a year.

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Feedback and Feedforward for Continuous Improvement Posted

Johanna Rothman

I’m a monthly contributor to the Gurock blog. This month’s article is Feedback & Feedforward for Continuous Improvement : Using Double-Loop Learning Challenges Our Assumptions. Single-loop learning is when you “Plan the work and work the plan.”

6 Styles of Data Analysis and Visualizations

Get inspiration for your next dashboard update in this guide to the six styles of analytics and data visualizations.

How Little Can You Do (& Still be Effective)

Johanna Rothman

Back in Manage It!, I suggested that for requirements, the questions should be, “How little can we do?” ” and still have a great product. My argument was this: the longer the project (regardless of approach), the more risk there is. Can you reduce risk by reducing the requirements? That would allow you to release earlier with less risk. Not to release a bad product. No, to release a smaller product.

How I Make My Decisions to Speak at Conferences

Johanna Rothman

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash. Consultants who make money speak at conferences. I love to speak. Give me a microphone—I am a happy person. I keep having to turn down speaking requests, both domestic and overseas. I would love to go, to learn and to meet people.

Designing an Organization for a Product Approach, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

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.

Why Managers Believe Multitasking Works: Long Decision Wait Times

Johanna Rothman

When I teach any sort of product/project/portfolio management, I ask, “Who believes multitasking works?” ” Always, at least several managers raise their hands. They believe multitasking works because they multitask all the time.

Embedded BI and Analytics: Best Practices to Monetize Your Data

Speaker: Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst

By creating innovative analytics products and expanding into new markets, more and more companies are discovering new potential revenue streams. Join Azmat Tanauli, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Birst, as he walks you through how data that you're likely already collecting can be transformed into revenue!

Management Signals

Johanna Rothman

I’m catching up on my podcasts and just listened to Seth Godin’s Akimbo episode about honest signals. (Do Do listen.) It’s about the signals we send that are honest or dishonest and why we might choose one, the other, or both.

Agile Transformation Secrets Series Posted

Johanna Rothman

I just finished a series for my Pragmatic Manager newsletter about Agile Transformation Secrets: Part 1: Manage for Change. Part 2: Emphasize Collaboration. Part 3: Principles Over Practices. I wrote this series because I find that many people get a little confused about an agile transformation. They think an agile approach will work because they can predict and commit better. They don't realize encouraging change is a better approach. They think an agile approach will help with full utilization.

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Designing an Organization for a Product Approach, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

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.

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Project Work vs Product Work

Johanna Rothman

We hear a lot these days about project-based organizations vs. product-based organizations. Much of what we do in software is in service of products. Products tend to evolve over time. When we work on projects, we learn from the experience.

Buyer’s Guide for Embedded Analytics

Selecting the right embedded analytics technology in a crowded market filled with sub-categories can be a daunting task. This eBook discusses the top evaluation criteria buyers of embedded analytics need to consider.

Writing Advice for Conference Proposals

Johanna Rothman

I'm a shepherd for the XP2019 and Agile2019 conferences. I read the proposals, offer feedback, and then shepherd the papers through to completion once we accept the proposals. I love reading experiences. I'm a total sucker for them.

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Boost Your Agile Transformation with the Influential Agile Leader, April 24-25, Toronto

Johanna Rothman

Most of my clients struggle with their agile transformation. The teams love agile approaches because they can work on their release frequency and technical excellence. The senior managers love the agile promise because they can see how agile approaches help the teams release a more constant flow of value. They can see the benefits of attracting new customers and retaining current customers. The senior managers love the increased revenue and decreased costs of development.

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Divide and Conquer Creates Need for Management Control

Johanna Rothman

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).

Starting a Product Organization Transformation, Part 6

Johanna Rothman

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.

Nine companies share 30+ best practices for creating embedded analytics products

Visualize Work to Reduce Agile Meetings

Johanna Rothman

Many new-to-agile teams use some form of iteration-based agile approach. Often, in the form of Scrum. Back in Time You Spend in Agile Meetings (near the bottom of the post), I enumerated all the possible meetings.

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Objectives & Accountability vs Responsibility & Autonomy, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

I explained about objectives and the differences between MBOs and OKRs in Part 1. I’m tackling the issues of “accountability” in this part. Examine Accountability. What does accountability mean to you? I’m serious about that question.

Individual Contributor vs. Team Member

Johanna Rothman

Many people draw distinctions between people who do management-kind of work and people who do “individual contributor” kind of work. I’ve been asking if they mean individual work or team member work. Sometimes, they do mean individual work. More often, they mean team member.

Visualize Your Constraints

Johanna Rothman

As I work with people to use agile approaches, I see many organizational constraints. Organizational constraints: Culture, Product/Portfolio, Project. 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.

Assessing the Five Styles of Enterprise Business Intelligence

The world of BI and analytics has evolved. Discover the five styles of reporting and analysis, and learn the pros and cons of each in an enterprise scenario.

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

Johanna Rothman

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 port from one platform to another. We know what we have to do. The technical risks are not in the knowing, but in how things work or will work on the new platform.

Possible Organization Changes for a Product Approach, Part 5

Johanna Rothman

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.

When OKRs Become MBOs and Accountability, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

I have personal and professional goals. Sometimes, I state them as objectives: complete this book, learn that thing. Those are personal objectives. My personal objectives look like MBOs, Management By Objectives.

Agile Transformation is a Journey, Part 6

Johanna Rothman

Part of what makes an agile transformation difficult is the cultural change required. That’s what makes an agile transformation a journey. A client said to me, “I want the agile. The agile is good stuff: faster delivery of smaller stuff that we can get revenue for. I want it now.

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Top 10 industries for monetizing data: Is yours one of them?

Find out which industries, use cases, and business applications are the best opportunities for data monetization. Understand what data is being monetized, who wants it, and why. Use data you already own to create new revenue sources. Download the eBook today!

Possible Changes for a Product Approach, Part 4

Johanna Rothman

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?

Frequent Releasing Can Lead to Short and Frequent Planning

Johanna Rothman

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.

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Leaders Manage Uncertainty

Johanna Rothman

One of the problems I see in projects and organizations is when people wish for certainty. Too many agile project managers and Scrum Masters want a known velocity. They don’t realize that velocity is a relative capacity measurement , not a guarantee.

Shorter Feedback Loops Help Us Learn Faster

Johanna Rothman

I’m working on my roadmapping talk for Agile 2018. I finally had the transforming idea about how to position the talk: Roadmapping and product planning are about feedback loops. The shorter the feedback loop, the faster and more often we can learn.

Top 5 Analytics Features to Reach More Users with Valuable Data Insights

Ready to expand the benefits of your BI and analytics? This eBook describes the key capabilities that product, IT, and business owners must consider when charting a plan to scale up business benefits from data and analytics.