Johanna Rothman

Large Features and Long Deadlines Mean You Have a Gantt Chart, Not a Roadmap

Johanna Rothman

Several of my clients have internal struggles about how to internally see the future of the product. The teams want to use an agile approach so they can incorporate learning. The managers want rigid roadmaps. Because the managers want to “know” the teams will deliver it all.

Leadership Tip #11: Substitute the Word Trust for Empower

Johanna Rothman

We talk a lot about empowered or self-organizing teams in the agile community. However, I don't see too many self-organizing or empowered teams at my clients. Not because my clients are stupid—far from it. Everyone does the best job they know how to do.

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

Johanna Rothman

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.

Leadership Tip #10: Commit Coherent & Meaningful Work to a Team

Johanna Rothman

Many managers feel the need to get more and more done. They feel pressure from customers and salespeople for more features or products. Or the managers might feel the need for more revenue. So they start many projects. When teams have too many projects, teams take longer to finish.

The Digital Experience Insights Report

You don’t need to feel your way around in the dark anymore. Download this groundbreaking report to shine a light on the invisible opportunities your team is missing — and discover what they’re ultimately costing your business.

Writing Secret 1: Use the Growth Mindset to Write in 15-Minute Chunks

Johanna Rothman

Recently, several people have congratulated me on my “natural” writing. I thank them and try not to giggle. Because I am not a “natural” writer. I have written and published enough that I found my writer's voice. Instead of talent, I have persistence.

Fun Discussion with the Agile Uprising

Johanna Rothman

I had the pleasure of being on the Agile Uprising Podcast: Modern Management Made Easy with Johanna Rothman. We had a wide-ranging discussion, including: What the manager's job is (and is not). How servant leaders support people taking responsibility.

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Fun Discussing Management “Mobbing” on the Mob Mentality Show

Johanna Rothman

I had a terrific time with Chris and Austin on the Mob Mentality Show: Modern Management with Johanna Rothman. Is “mobbing” is the right word for management collaboration? Maybe. I'm not sure.

A Simple Way to Measure Work Satisfaction and See Trends

Johanna Rothman

I explained in Leadership Tip #8 that measuring happiness was a lost cause because happiness is a function of more than just work. I suggested we measure satisfaction. And I didn't tell you how. You didn't mind-meld with me, did you?) Here's how I've measured satisfaction with several teams.

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

Johanna Rothman

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.

How to Empower Your Users So You Can Create a Great Product

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Join Johanna Rothman, Author and Consultant, for her session that will discuss why instead of designing for the users, CTOs and their teams should collaborate with empowered users to create a great product together.

More Fun on the Troubleshooting Agile Podcast, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

Jeffrey, Squirrel, and I continued our conversation on the Troubleshooting Agile Podcast, with Part 2. We addressed more of the Modern Management Made Easy principles. Specifically, we discussed the ideas of empathy and value-based integrity.

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I’m in the 2021 Write Stuff Bundle!

Johanna Rothman

I like to read, as well as to write. You are not surprised.) Which means I discovered StoryBundle years ago. Most of the time, StoryBundle offers genre fiction. However, this time, it's nonfiction for writers—the 2021 Write Stuff Bundle.

Leadership Tip #1: Always Tell the Truth, Even When You’re Embarrassed

Johanna Rothman

You're a middle or senior manager in an organization trying to hold on in these crazy times. And you just discovered you're shipping the wrong version of the product. (Or Or your product doesn't work or it has some kind of horrible defect.) Your customers are angry.

Leadership Tip 8: Stop Focusing on Happiness & Measure Satisfaction Instead

Johanna Rothman

Do you or your managers want people to be happy at work? That's a laudable goal. And, in my experience, unrealistic. That's because happiness is an outcome of a person's current life context. Instead of happiness, let's consider satisfaction.

Insiders' Guide to Self-Service Analytics

Self-service analytics are vital for how your users interact and engage with your application. As you explore analytics solutions for your application, see why self-service analytics can prove critical to the adoption and stickiness of your application.

Want a Successful Agile Project? Start with Why Before How

Johanna Rothman

I've been speaking with several possible clients. They're having trouble with Scrum. The managers don't believe the teams need product owners, so the teams don't have POs. The managers think a Scrum Master can support at least four teams. The teams start a lot and finish very little.

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Leadership Tip #3: Use No As a Complete Sentence

Johanna Rothman

Have you ever noticed that other people want you to do “more” work? The work has risk—if you say yes to this work, you'll put every other deliverable at risk. What do you say? You can address this request with a simple sentence: No. That's it. It's a complete sentence.

Low Tech Way to Visualize Your Percentile Confidence for Forecasts

Johanna Rothman

Michael Mahlberg taught me something cool last week. We're writing an article together. Part of the article is about forecasts. I was ranting and raving about how to help people see their confidence levels. He pointed me to this slideshare: Lightweight Kanban Metrics (in German).

With Agile Approaches, No Need to “Meet” or “Enforce” Deadlines

Johanna Rothman

Several of my clients struggle with their deadlines. One of them, Brad, quoted Douglas Adams to me and frowned: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”. He thought agile approaches would work to “meet” and “enforce” deadlines.

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The Beauty and Brains of Actionable Data: How to Go From Concept to Reality

Speaker: Dr. Joe Perez, Senior Systems Analyst at NC Dept. of Health & Human Services, and Chief Technology Officer at SolonTek

Join Dr. Joe Perez, Senior Systems Analyst at NC DHHS, and Chief Technology Officer, SolonTek, to learn how you can capitalize on your ideas by blending internal with external while leveraging them into a cohesive strategy for both the short term and the long term.

Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Gregory Miller

Johanna Rothman

Gregory Miller and I discussed the ideas of behaviors vs mindset on his podcast. See Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Johanna Rothman. We spoke about the Modern Management Made Easy books.

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Leadership Tip #4: Admit When You Don’t Know

Johanna Rothman

Someone asks you for information and you don't know the answer. Maybe a senior manager asks, “When can the customers expect this particular feature?” ” Or your manager asks, “How does this specific architecture work for our product?”

Great Fun on the Troubleshooting Agile Podcast, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

I had a great time with Jeff and Squirrel on their podcast, Troubleshooting Agile. They focus on what our conversations can tell us about ourselves. We spoke about the Modern Management Made Easy books in Johanna Rothman on Modern Management Part 1.

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Why the Popular & Easy Career Ladder Prevents an Agile Culture, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

As I've been speaking about the Modern Management Made Easy books, people ask these questions: We're pretty good with our agile approach. It's time for performance reviews. How do we reward someone based on individual work when we want teams to work together? What do we do?

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3 Templates for Uncomplicating Your Product Management Process

In this workbook, you’ll find a comprehensive set of templates product development and cross-functional teams can adopt to better leverage your existing skills and your data.

Q3 Writing Workshop Open for Registration

Johanna Rothman

My Q3 writing workshop, Free Your Inner Writer, is now open for registration. It starts July 12, 2021, and ends on Aug. 23, 2021. The weekly debriefing calls are optional. I record them and provide transcripts.).

Healthy Organizational Cultures Focus on Humanity and Connection (Not Your Whole Self)

Johanna Rothman

You might have heard about the Basecamp culture changes last week. I’m sure you heard about Google’s culture problems several years ago. These problems are issues of culture: specifically what we can and cannot discuss.

This Is Not and Cannot Be “Business as Usual”

Johanna Rothman

Many organizations heeded the COVID-19 warnings and sent people home to work as remote teams. The managers want to proceed as if the people can work from home and have “business as usual.” ” They've made these requests to their staff: Work at home, as if you were at the office.

7 Tool Tips for Your Newly Distributed or Remote Team

Johanna Rothman

Yesterday, you worked in an office with everyone else. Today, you're supposed to work from home—and so is the rest of your team. And not just for the next few days, but for the next few weeks. What tools do you need?

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4 Approaches to Data Analytics

As the analytics landscape continues to evolve, application teams who need to embed dashboards, reports, and other analytics capabilities in their applications can choose from dozens of solutions. How do you differentiate one solution from the next?

Three Slightly Ranty Thoughts on “Back” to Normal

Johanna Rothman

All kinds of people are talking about “back” to normal. However, I see several problems: Many of those same people think there's a talent shortage. Management can't hire people for the same salaries they used to pay.).

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Use “Typical,” Not “Average” Durations to Manage Risk

Johanna Rothman

Many managers and teams talk about “average” durations for work. On average, how long does it take a team to finish a certain kind of work? However, average doesn't quite explain why our work takes different durations. Instead of average, consider the word, “typical.”

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 7, Lifecycle Summary

Johanna Rothman

What risks does your project have? Do you need feedback loops so you can: Cancel the project at any time (to manage schedule and cost risks. Assess technical risks so you can rework the architecture or design to manage feature set risks.

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Leadership Tip #5: Learn How to Ask for Help

Johanna Rothman

Are you wary of asking for help? You might feel weak. Or, you might worry your colleagues see you as weak or incompetent. You might not feel safe if you want to ask for help. However, very few of us know everything we need. Or can do everything we want to accomplish without asking for help.

Best Practices for Creating Long-Lasting and Continuous Discovery Habits

Speaker: Teresa Torres, Internationally Acclaimed Author, Speaker, and Coach at ProductTalk.org

Join internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and coach Teresa Torres as she explores the what, how, and why behind creating continuous discovery habits that give your team a clear benchmark to aspire to.

Managers Need to Work as Teams

Johanna Rothman

We hear about agile teams, in the form of product or feature teams. However, too many managers still work independently. That’s a problem when the teams have organizational problems a single manager can’t solve. Instead of managers working alone, what if we had teams of managers?

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Leadership Tip #7: Be Wary of Spending Time on Non-Promotable Tasks

Johanna Rothman

What do you appreciate about your office culture? Maybe someone circulates get-well or congratulations cards. Someone might bring cookies to work or arrange birthday celebrations. I know of people who arrange retirement/transition lunches. All these actions are nice things.

Conferences Speakers and “Making Room” for Other Voices

Johanna Rothman

I've spoken professionally at conferences for 25 years. I enjoy it. And, several people—all men, so far—have suggested I should “make room” for other voices. To me, that's a solution in search of a problem. I ask them what problems they want to solve.

Leadership Tip #2: Do the Right Thing, Even When it Feels Uncomfortable

Johanna Rothman

We all like to think we use our value-based integrity to decide and act. And I bet you've seen people who don't appear to use that kind of integrity. If you talk to them, they say they intend to do the right thing. However, they don't always act according to their intentions.

The SaaS Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Every SaaS business has a strategic responsibility to improve Conversion Rate Optimization across their product or site. Learn 7 detailed steps to infuse data into your process, surface customer drop-off points, and generate ideas to drive conversion.