Johanna Rothman

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.

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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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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

The 5 Levels of Analytics Maturity

Basic dashboards used to be enough to thrill end users. But over time, modern capabilities have emerged—and bare-minimum features are no longer cutting it. How have analytics changed? And where do your BI offerings fall? Find out sophisticated ways to future-proof your application. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Manage Your Intellectual Property

Johanna Rothman

When we manage product development for organizations, we work for hire. The company hires you, pays you a wage, and in return, your intellectual property belongs to them. When you’re creating a product larger than one person can create, this is an excellent proposition. While “one person” may have had the original idea, we need many people to refine the idea and bring that product to market. Books and consulting are all different beasts. You can write a book by yourself.

Future of Agile Podcast with Agile Uprising

Johanna Rothman

I had a wonderful time on the Agile Uprising podcast The Future of Agile. I had such a blast. Listen for the “expletive deleted” phrases. Yes, I actually said the words, “expletive deleted.” ” I said many other things that might feel contrarian to you. I thank Georgina Hughes , David Sabine for our discussion and Jay Hrcsko for his facilitation. Enjoy! The post Future of Agile Podcast with Agile Uprising appeared first on Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant.

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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.

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?

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.

Monetizing Analytics Features: Why Data Visualizations Will Never Be Enough

Think your customers will pay more for data visualizations in your application? Five years ago they may have. But today, dashboards and visualizations have become table stakes. Discover which features will differentiate your application and maximize the ROI of your embedded analytics. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

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.

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.

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.

5 Early Indicators Your Embedded Analytics Will Fail

Many application teams leave embedded analytics to languish until something—an unhappy customer, plummeting revenue, a spike in customer churn—demands change. But by then, it may be too late. In this White Paper, Logi Analytics has identified 5 tell-tale signs your project is moving from “nice to have” to “needed yesterday.". Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Online Writing Workshops Return!

Johanna Rothman

I have revamped my writing workshops (finally). The Q1 workshops are now available. Writing Non-Fiction Workshop 1: Free Your Inner Writer (Q1 session starts Jan 1, 2019). Writing Non-Fiction Workshop 2: Secrets of Successful Non-Fiction Writers (Q1 Session starts Jan 2, 2019). If you are ready to learn to write better and faster, take Writing Workshop 1. If you are happy with your speed and want to publish more, take Writing Workshop 2.

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.

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

Johanna Rothman

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 roles. Moving to a product-based organization means we change the way we view and reward managers. Measure Managers Differently.

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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Why “Build or Buy?” Is the Wrong Question for Analytics

Every time an application team gets caught up in the “build vs buy” debate, it stalls projects and delays time to revenue. There is a third option. Partnering with an analytics development platform gives you the freedom to customize a solution without the risks and long-term costs of building your own. Learn when and why it makes sense to build, buy, or take a combined approach to embedded BI. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Time You Spend in Agile Meetings

Johanna Rothman

Whenever I teach agile approaches, I discuss the possible meetings a team might choose. Some people turn to me in dismay. They start adding up all the meeting time and say, “That’s a lot of meetings.” ” Could be. Especially if you use iterations.

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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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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.

Product Orientation Requires Technical Excellence

Johanna Rothman

One of the big problems I see with a product orientation (as opposed to a project) is in preparing for ongoing work. You might not start the next project for this product after you complete this project. You might have to round-robin projects for various products because you don’t have enough people to do all the projects at the same time. However, if you want to develop a product orientation, you’ll need to consider the future.

New Study: 2018 State of Embedded Analytics Report

Why do some embedded analytics projects succeed while others fail? We surveyed 500+ application teams embedding analytics to find out which analytics features actually move the needle. Read the 6th annual State of Embedded Analytics Report to discover new best practices. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Accelerating Your Agile Journey Podcast

Johanna Rothman

I had the chance to talk with Andy Kaufman on his podcast, Accelerating Your Agile Journey, PPP 2017. We’ve had the chance to speak informally and more formally on his podcast. This time, we had a wide-ranging discussion.

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The Manager’s Role in an Agile Transformation

Johanna Rothman

Agile transformations are tough. That’s because wherever you start, the agile transformation creates culture clashes. Often, teams start with agile approaches. Teams discover the agile approach and practices that work for that team.

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Free Your Agile Team Video Posted (Includes Q&A)

Johanna Rothman

A couple of weeks ago, I delivered the first version of my Free Your Agile Team talk at Agile New England. Here’s a direct link to the video. I spoke about the problem of a framework-first approach to transforming to an agile culture. I also spoke about the plethora of team-based coaches and the insufficiency of management coaching. (I I based the talk on Create Your Successful Agile Project , but I didn’t stop there.). Successful agile organizations change their culture.

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Agile Transformation: Possible Organizational Measurements, Part 4

Johanna Rothman

“What should I measure???” ” is one of the questions I see when I work with people going through an agile transformation. Too often, managers measure people as individuals. Traditional measurements focus on resource efficiency instead of flow efficiency.)

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5 Product Traps - And Better Paths

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Is your agile team overloaded with feature requests, with no time for discovery? Do your roadmaps read like impossible wish lists? Well, you’re not alone. It may seem impossible now, but what if we said that with a few changes, you could be meeting deadlines with the ability to predict progress with accuracy, be happy with your progress against the roadmap, and be making time for near-continuous discovery? Johanna Rothman has seen this all too often across many different organizations. She will take us through five common traps that agile product teams fall into – and likely you are in several of those traps right now. And good news - she has ways to avoid them!

Apply “How Little” Thinking to Agile Management Control

Johanna Rothman

Most managers I meet want to do a good job. They want to provide the vision for the people doing the work. They want to provide coaching if people need it. They want to know that people can deliver the outcomes the organization needs and the managers want.

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Take Advantage of Project Advances

Johanna Rothman

Project advances might be rare. However, you can take advantage of seeing the conditions to create your advance. I’m at the Agile 2018 conference this week. Yesterday, I was scheduled to deliver my Agile and Lean Roadmapping talk at 10:45 am. However, the room was full 15 minutes in advance.

Agile Transformation When Failure Is “Not” an Option

Johanna Rothman

One of my clients has many reasons for wanting an agile transformation. Their old products are at the end of their lives. They need agile approaches so they can get feedback from customers as they develop the new products. They need to deliver to their customers more often.

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Updated Distributed Agile Teams Book Available

Johanna Rothman

You might remember I’m working on a book with Mark Kilby. It’s From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver. We just published a new version of the book. We rearranged the entire book.

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5 Key Considerations for Top-Notch Product Dashboards

Speaker: Miles Robinson, Agile and Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker

So you want to set your product apart with the latest analytics, but you’re not sure where to start. How do you know what your customers want? And how can you make sure that you’re solving their problems? And wait a second, is it even feasible for your team to take this on right now? Join Miles Robinson, Agile and Management Consultant, as he covers five key considerations for you to keep in mind when you’re updating your software or app to offer the latest in embedded dashboards. You’ll leave with a better understanding of where to begin on creating actionable, insightful dashboards.