Johanna Rothman

How To Understand Your Team Type: Collocated, Satellite, Cluster, Nebula

Johanna Rothman

I've been hearing people talk about “hybrid” remote teams. So far, every person I've talked to means something different.

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.

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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.

Leadership Tip #13: For Innovation, Remove at Least One Policy or Procedure a Week

Johanna Rothman

Some managers wanted to prevent Bad Things from happening in the organization, so they added policies or procedures. Now, these same managers want business agility. However, the policies and procedures increase friction and make it harder to get the Right Things done.

Monitoring AWS Container Environments at Scale

In this eBook, learn how to monitor AWS container environments at scale with Datadog and which key metrics to monitor when leveraging two container orchestration systems (ECS and EKS).

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 12: Focus on Effectiveness, Not Efficiency

Johanna Rothman

Many of us focus on how efficient we can be. Many of our organizations want to maximize our output for every minute and hour of work. However, if we focus on effectiveness first, we create better outcomes for everyone. We don't waste time working on things that don't matter.

Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 3

Johanna Rothman

In Part 1 and 2 of this series, I wrote about how an agile approach might offer strategic benefits. And because an agile approach changes your culture, I said the agile approach was part of your strategy.

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

A number of my clients confuse their strategic ideas with tactical work. They think that the agile tools they use, such as boards, offer a strategic advantage. So they build or customize their tools. However, they adopt or “install” an agile framework or process without customization.

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

So when does it make sense to customize your agile approach to gain a strategic advantage? Whenever you have a unique problem to solve that's strategic to your business. Let's start with a couple of examples. Example 1: Startup/Small Organization with Few Products.

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Feedback: The Secret to Innovating Your Product Development Process

Speaker: Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad

Join Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad as she details how product feedback can improve your product development process while mitigating stakeholder conflict, constant feature requests, failed launches, unexpected outcomes, unhappy users, and complexity.

How to See Business Agility: Adaptable and Resilient Management Actions

Johanna Rothman

More of my clients say they want business agility. That's a good thing.) Yet, we don't share a common definition of business agility. My clients mostly discuss their mindset. Mindset might help people, but it's not sufficient.

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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.

Leadership Tip 14: Reduce Other People’s Dependence on Your Decisions

Johanna Rothman

You're a leader in the organization. And you're supposed to be at another meeting, that started 15 minutes ago. Your previous meeting ran long, so now you're late. But the conversation you just had? That conversation prevented a bad product decision. (Or, Or, it prevented a customer meltdown.

How to Create Your Own Team Board Without Spending a Ton of Time or Money

Johanna Rothman

Are you frustrated with your board? Maybe three columns don't offer you enough information. Or maybe you agree with me that teams need to create their own boards. See the Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics series.)

How a Strong Customer Engagement Strategy Can Improve the Usability of Your Product

Speaker: Hannah Chaplin, Director, Product Marketing at Pendo and Esther Edel, Product Operations Analyst at Pendo

Join Mobile expert Hannah Chaplin as she shares best practices and real examples to help you improve your mobile apps with in-app guides.

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.).

Clarify the Difference Between Outputs, Outcomes, and Benefits

Johanna Rothman

When I sent my newsletter last month, Modern Management: Want Valuable Outcomes? Create Overarching Goals , several readers asked me questions. Why did I differentiate between outputs, outcomes, and benefits? I decided that was worth a blog post. Here's how I define and use the terms. Outputs.

Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 4

Johanna Rothman

I started this series with observations that my clients appear to confuse strategy and tactics. They think agile approaches are tactics and agile tools are part of their strategy. That's why they want to Buy an agile approach. And that's why they want to Customize and then standardize on tools.

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Writing Secret 3: Choose When to Use Passive Voice

Johanna Rothman

Most of us writers start with bad advice, to write “formally.” ” We're not supposed to talk to the reader. Or, we're supposed to avoid stories. Worse, we're supposed to use passive voice. That leads us to write like this: <A person> will be missed. Your work is appreciated.

Assess and Advance Your Organization’s DevSecOps Practices

In this white paper, a DevSecOps maturity model is laid out for technical leaders to use to enable their organizations to stay competitive in the digital economy.

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.

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.”

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.

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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Address the Challenges of Siloed Monitoring Tools

Companies frequently experience monitoring tool sprawl. Find out why monitoring tool sprawl occurs, why it’s a problem for businesses, and the positive business impacts of monitoring tool consolidation.

Perfection Rules in Writing? You Might Be Micromanaging Yourself

Johanna Rothman

Do you ever encounter perfection rules when you write (or create in any way)? Maybe you've heard these statements—or you've said them to yourself: We must spend a lot of time “polishing” to create perfect writing. We must not publish until the work is perfect.

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.

Q4 2021 Writing Workshop (Free Your Inner Writer) Open for Registration

Johanna Rothman

Thinking about bringing your writing skills to the next level? Want to write and finish ? Enroll in my Writing Workshop 1: Free Your Inner Writer & Sell Your Nonfiction Ideas. You'll learn to build your writing system and habit. Please join me.

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.

Cloud-Scale Monitoring With AWS and Datadog

In this eBook, find out the benefits and complexities of migrating workloads to AWS, and services that AWS offers for containers and serverless computing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What E-Commerce Performance Metrics Are CTOs Monitoring?

In this eBook, Danny Miles, CTO of Dollar Shave Club, reveals an efficient framework for thinking about and prioritizing the performance metrics that matter most to him, providing a blueprint for fellow e-commerce CTOs to follow as they evaluate their own business.

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.

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.

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).

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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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Embedded Analytics – 4 Mission-Critical Steps to Take on Your Analytics Journey

The right analytics capabilities will turn data into valuable insights for your end users. This research-based guide, derived from insights of industry professionals, will allow you to create an optimal strategy for acquiring those capabilities.