Johanna Rothman

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.

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.


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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.

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?”

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.

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 #6: Give Credit as Often as Possible

Johanna Rothman

Your team finished something difficult. They released it. You celebrated the team's accomplishment with the team. Let's assume your name is Jim. Now, you're in a senior management meeting, where your boss says, “Thanks, Jim, for all that hard work.”

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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Podcast with Joe Krebs on Agile.FM

Johanna Rothman

I had a terrific time with Joe Krebs on his podcast. See Agile FM – Johanna Rothman. We spoke about a number of ideas from the Modern Management Made Easy books: How to recognize and avoid micromanagement. What it might mean to engage people at work. The kinds of workspaces we need.

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).

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?

Why Shared Services “Teams” Don’t Work with Agility

Johanna Rothman

One of my clients wants to use shared services “teams” as they start their agile transformation. Their developers work on a product for months and years at a time. However, the testers and UI people are part of pools of people.

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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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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.

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 87

Embedded Analytics Product Fit Guide - A Product Manager’s Handbook

Adding embedded analytics to your software doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. This guide is the perfect companion for SaaS product managers. It will walk you through the process of choosing the right analytics provider step by step.

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.

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.

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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Unfreeze the “Frozen Middle” of Management

Johanna Rothman

I had great fun with Cherie Silas and Alex Kudinov on their podcast, “Keeping Agile Non-Denominational.” ” Listen to Unfreezing the Frozen Middle. You've seen or heard about this problem: Senior leadership says, “Yes we need agility!”

Product Management: Guide to Thriving as a Product Manager

As more organizations move from project to product thinking, Product Managers are occupying increasingly crucial roles. Download this guide to learn tips and strategies that will help you grow into a strong Product Manager and thrive in the position.

Enlightening Conversation on the Badass Agile Podcast

Johanna Rothman

I had a terrific time with Chris Williams on his Badass Agile podcast. We discussed the Modern Management Made Easy books. Let me just say, I love the fact that I can now say I am a Badass. Hehehe.). We had a terrific discussion. Some of the topics we covered: Are managers born or made?

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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.

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.

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.

Re-Thinking Translation for Business Growth in a Digital-First World

Effective localization is critical to business expansion. But traditional translation processes can't keep pace with today's agile, omnichannel realities. Read our eBook to discover the limitless possibilities uncovered by agile translation management.

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.

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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The Focus of Every Agile Coach: Support How the Business Creates Value

Johanna Rothman

How should agile coaches work? I've heard several questions and problems around what agile coaches should and should not do. Should agile coaches focus on: How well the teams use their pre-determined agile framework. For example, how good is their Scrum?).

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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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Rightpoint Launches Cadillac's Reimagined In-Vehicle Experience

Every company is either an experience company today or will need to reinvent themselves to become one. Learn how Cadillac is using research, experience design and organizational change to deliver a next-generation user experience.

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.

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.

Travel 101

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.

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.

Making Software Pirates Pay: An E-Commerce Playbook

Vendors large and small have been using software intelligence to understand who is using unlicensed versions of their software so they can develop data-driven strategies to identify and convert unpaid users, generating new license revenue.

Managers: Are You Responsible “To” or “For” People?

Johanna Rothman

A manager said to me, “I'm responsible for this department of people.” ” I asked, “What does that mean?” ” He said, “I'm responsible for managing the people. I also define the products and what the people need to deliver.” ” I said, “That seems like a lot of work.” ” He nodded. “I'm exhausted. I work all the time and can't ever finish.” ” I asked, “Why not share the responsibilities? Why work alone?

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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Learn to Free Your Inner Writer to Write More, Faster, & Easier

Johanna Rothman

Would you like to write more—and faster? Would you like to build some ease into how you write now? If you have these problems or worries: It takes you forever to finish a piece. You wonder if you have anything useful to write about. You fear you might have writer's block. First, you're normal.

Define Agile Behaviors We Want to Reinforce in an Agile Career Ladder, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

Part 1 discussed a typical career ladder. I said that when we focus on individual achievements and deliverables, we ignore the agile system of work. Worse, when we reward individual achievements we prevent an agile culture. That's because agile teams learn together as they create the product.

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Leading Advertising and Analytics Company Outperforms With a Graph Database

Xandr, a division of AT&T, has built an identity graph that connects information on people, households, and more. The company is using this graph to provide advertisers an ability to deliver commercials more successfully than ever before. Learn more.