Johanna Rothman

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.


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Q2 2021 Writing Workshop to Free Your Inner Writer Open for Registration

Johanna Rothman

Do you want to develop a habit of writing? Or make writing easier? Or write to find and connect with your audience? I teach these principles in Q2 20201: Writing Workshop 1: Free Your Inner Writer. It took me a while to figure out how to organize the workshop so everyone (including me) could succeed.

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).

PROJECT TO PRODUCT: Building the Right Thing in the Right Way

Old and out-of-date project management principles are still very much in place in countless organizations. However, organizations are finding the solution to their problems, and the solution is Product Agility. Download this whitepaper to learn more!

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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Explore Modern Management on a Bonus Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast with Vasco

Johanna Rothman

Vasco and I had a wonderful discussion about the Modern Management Made Easy books on his Scrum Master podcast. Listen to BONUS: Modern Management trilogy by Johanna Rothman. We discussed why Scrum Masters and coaches might want to read these books. And how to use the information in the books.

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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.

Agile 86

A Contrarian’s Perspective on Agile Mindset, Behaviors, Culture

Johanna Rothman

We often hear that agile is a mindset. That we need to change our thinking to use agility. Is that correct? That you need to change how you think first, before anything else? I can think I change my mindset all day long. However, I don't change until I change my actions, my behaviors.

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Listen to Dan and Me on the AgileThought Podcast 116

Johanna Rothman

I had a lovely conversation with Dan Neumann on the AgileThought Podcast: 116: Modern Management Made Easy with Johanna Rothman. We had a lovely conversation about the Modern Management Made Easy books. The show page has key takeaways and links to many of the resources we mentioned in the podcast.

What is Contextual Analytics? The Next Evolution of Embedded Analytics

Download this white paper to learn what contextual analytics is, how BI platforms like Yellowfin revolutionize the way users discover insights from their data with native contextual analytics, and how it adds value to your software solution by elevating the user experience.

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.

Consultants: Clarify Engagements You Will and Will Not Take

Johanna Rothman

When you're starting off as a consultant, you might take the first one or two engagements a client offers. However, at some point, you'll see an engagement that is wrong. It's wrong for the client. It's wrong for you. No one will see the results either of you wants. What should you do?

Management Learning with the Agile Wire

Johanna Rothman

I had a terrific conversation with the two Jeffs at the Agile Wire. See Modern Management Made Easy with Johanna Rothman for our recording. We touched on many topics in the Modern Management Made Easy books: The system of work. How fast can managers learn?

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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 Measure DevSecOps Progress and Ensure Success

Speaker: Shannon Lietz, Director of DevSecOps Team, Intuit

The new DevSecOps team is up and running, and you feel ready to take on rising security threats while delivering quality software updates. But that leaves just one question: how do you monitor your new program as effectively and efficiently as possible? Join Shannon Lietz, Director of DevsecOps at Intuit, and award-winning innovator, to learn the answers to these questions so you can lead your DevSecOps team to the top!

Failure Is Always An Option

Johanna Rothman

I've been working with teams that feel a ton of pressure. On top of the pressure, a senior manager says these words: “Failure is not an option.” ” When managers say that, they ignore all the possibilities for success. They put their heads down, ignoring ways to manage risk.

Discussion of Modern Management Made Easy with Scott Hanselman

Johanna Rothman

I had a terrific time with Scott Hanselman on his podcast, Hanselminutes. Listen to our conversation on Modern Management Made Easy with Johanna Rothman. I started listening to Scott's podcast a couple of years ago. I regularly listen because he: Selects people I've never heard of before.

Writer’s Block: Don’t Allow Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt into Your Writing

Johanna Rothman

Every so often, someone asks me, “How do you write so much?” ” I don't feel as if I write that much. I have meeting-filled days, just as you do. However, I suspect there's something different about my days: I write for 15 minutes every day.

Why Very Few (If Any) People Are “10x” Developers—Or Managers

Johanna Rothman

Steve, a software development manager, thought John was a “10x” developer. He explained that John could: Coded faster than anyone else. Write and release full applications over a weekend. “Mind-meld” with the users. No one else in Steve's group could do this.

Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

Technical Women Are Software Managers

Johanna Rothman

One of my reviewers for the Modern Management Made Easy books asked a fascinating question: I've never seen this many women in management or in senior leadership positions. Do these stories reflect your experience? Yes, the stories reflect my experience. Let me offer a little history.

Wide-Ranging Conversation About Modern Management with Tom Cagley

Johanna Rothman

Do you listen to Tom Cagley's SPaMCAST? Software Process and Measurement CAST). Tom has interviewed me several times before. This time, in SPaMCAST 635 – Practical Ways to Manage, A Conversation with Johanna Rothman, we discuss the Modern Management Made Easy books.

Three Ideas to Create Safety in Remote Retrospectives

Johanna Rothman

A Scrum Master asked, “How can I engage my team during a remote retrospective? People tell me things they think we could change. Then, we get into the retro and I know people are looking at their phones, not engaged. Got ideas?” ” I do. These ideas refer to safety.

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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Digital Trends Report 2020

As part of our goal to continue helping our community during these times, we wanted to share with you this critical data on the state of digital products across industries and provide context on how businesses are responding to the changing winds.

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.

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Decide When You Need to Meet, Workshop, or Write to Save Energy and Time

Johanna Rothman

You're a busy product person, a Product Owner. You have information the team needs, and you want to meet. A lot. You see the need for these meetings: Standups. Backlog refinement. Iteration planning. Strategic updates, so the team knows what's going on. Sounds reasonable.

Managers: See Your Cycle Time to Reduce Your Team’s Lead Time

Johanna Rothman

Do you have any idea how long it takes you to make decisions? Or, to clear impediments? Or to report to your team or your boss about your action items? Each of those items is a deliverable. That means we might be able to measure the cycle time for each of these deliverables.

Consultants: Get Better Clients with Better Fees

Johanna Rothman

I delivered a Modern Management Made Easy talk and ranted about 100% utilization. One of the questions in the chat was: “Don't consultants want 100% utilization? If you're not working, you're not billing.” ” Here's how consultants create utilization-based billing: By the hour.

Testing at Every Stage of Development

Up to 80% of new products fail. The reality is harsh and the reasons why are endless. Perhaps the new product couldn’t oust a customer favorite. Maybe it looked great but was too hard to use. Or, despite being a superior product, the go-to-market strategy failed. There’s always a risk when building a new product, but you can hedge your bets by understanding exactly what your customers' expectations truly are at every step of the development process.

Pros and Cons of OKRs

Johanna Rothman

Some organizations find OKRs help them create superior objectives and achieve some of them. OKRs are Objectives and Key Results.) The idea is that every quarter you use the company purpose to create audacious Objectives. Each objective then has 3-5 Key Results so you can measure how well you do.

Multiple Short Feedback Loops Support Innovation

Johanna Rothman

Strategy and Product Feedback Loops. Several of my clients have intertwined problems. Everyone agrees they want innovation: Which products and services the organization offers. The project portfolio). What features the product offers, or the problems the product solves. The product roadmap).

What Writers Can Do About Informal Plagiarism, Part 1

Johanna Rothman

I spoke with another writer, Sam, earlier this week. He’s pretty sure a colleague, John, is plagiarizing his blog posts. Not in writing, but in conversation. Yes, John is using Sam's original words and phrases and passing those words off as John's ideas.

If You’re On “Paid Time Off” Take it

Johanna Rothman

Are you on “Paid Time Off” (PTO) this and/or next week? Several of my clients claim they're on PTO. That's what their “away” email says. Yet, they've sent me emails, direct messages, all kinds of interactions. What gives? Several possibilities.

6 Ways to Secure (More Of) a Budget for Your Customer Education Program

Whether you’re looking to kickstart or expand your customer education program, you need access to a budget. Learn how you can demonstrate the positive ROI of customer training and make the case for securing a larger budget in our latest eBook!

Writing Workshop to Free Your Inner Writer Open for Registration

Johanna Rothman

I have finally opened my first writing workshop, Writing Workshop 1: Free Your Inner Writer again. It took me a while to figure out how to organize the workshop so everyone (including me) could succeed. I'm planning to offer the workshop once a quarter.

Why Minimize Management Decision Time

Johanna Rothman

I wrote Unearthing Your Project's Delays a couple of years ago. I told the story of Cliff, a manager who wanted to understand why the projects were so late. I gave several talks about that article. One eagle-eyed fellow asked me this question, “How long was the time from T0 to T1?”

Agile Maturity vs Ability to Change

Johanna Rothman

Several of my clients want to use some sort of maturity assessment for their agile transformations. Often, the maturity levels demand adherence to specific practices or processes. Some of those practices and processes work for my clients now. I'm not so sure about others.).

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How to Use Other People’s Words and Not Plagiarize, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

Many of us writers integrate other people's ideas. Or, we use those ideas as inspiration for our writing. Can we avoid plagiarism and still acknowledge other people's work the right way? And, if you can, get “credit” for your “thought leadership?”

The Connected Journey: Developing your Empathy to Strengthen Strategies for Customer Relations

Speaker: Esther Kieft, Delivery Manager (Group Technology) at Domino's Pizza Enterprises

It is well known that empathy is a key ingredient in creating lovable products, yet not all products offer the best customer experience. From meeting stringent deadlines to insufficient resources being available to carry out customer research, there is a range of reasons why customer empathy could be missing in product development. Join Esther Kieft, as she breaks down using empathy at a distance to evaluate the problems that customers are experiencing during this global health crisis.