Johanna Rothman

Estimates Anchor Expectations; Forecasts Include Uncertainty

Johanna Rothman

What happens when you use the word “estimate?” ” For many of my clients, “estimate”== guarantee. Which is not what those words mean. Even if you update the estimate based on data, too many managers still want to know, “When will it be done ?”

Three Ways to Stop Agile Death Marches

Johanna Rothman

Your team says they use Scrum in two-week iterations. And, in order to “finish” everything inside the timebox, you don't do any of these things: Refactor to simplify the code or the tests. Create automated tests.

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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.

What’s Your Organization’s Tolerance for Experiments?

Johanna Rothman

As I complete the Modern Management Made Easy books, I realize I need to explain how much tolerance an organization has for experiments. The more clients I have, the more I realize most organizations have a sweet spot for how much they can tolerate experiments or bets. Each person has an affinity for more or less change. And, most of us have some tolerance for experiments or bets. Most of us, in our non-work lives, flex more than our organizations do.

Social Collaborative Management: Harnessing the Power of the Many

Speaker: Peter Taylor, Speaker & Author of The Lazy Project Manager

Social Collaborative Management aims at delivering, at the enterprise level, a common goal for the business while harnessing the performance advantages of a collaborative community. This is a vital paradigm shift that many organisations are trying to understand right now - balancing traditional work and centralised leadership against the value of decentralised teams and trust. But the principles of harnessing collective power, collaboration, and community build an underlying ‘constant change’ capability that is critical in today’s new work environment.

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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Optimize for Respectful Remote Meetings

Johanna Rothman

I've had the pleasure—and displeasure—of many remote meetings over the past few weeks. The difficult meetings had a common root cause: the meeting leaders attempted to do a direct transfer of how they lead an in-person meeting to remote/WFH meetings.

We Won’t Return to Normal; We Will Discover Normal

Johanna Rothman

Many people talk about “going back to normal.” ” We aren't going to return to normal. That old normal is gone, at least for a year, if not longer. (I I suspect we will cycle between remote work and office work for the foreseeable future.). What we can do is discover a new normal.

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Three Tips for Managing Your Newly-Remote Day

Johanna Rothman

You're “working” from home. The kids are home, and you're supposed to lead their schooling. Your spouse is home. And, you're not supposed to go anywhere. Yeah, COVID-19 reality stinks. You CANNOT work the same way you did before.

Rework Online Training Part 6: My Guidelines

Johanna Rothman

I'm pretty sure that online training isn't going to go away even when some people return to the office. I have already evolved my workshops to several possibilities of “training”: Short-form webinar (20-60 minutes of me delivering content, minimum interaction).

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.

Beware of Scams for Writing and Otherwise

Johanna Rothman

While a pandemic might bring out the best and the worst of us, scams persist. I received an email this morning from a so-called “self-publishing” company. They are quite happy to help me get my book to traditional publishers.

Delegate Problems and Outcomes, Not Tasks

Johanna Rothman

I encourage managers to delegate work. When managers insert themselves into the middle of the work, these problems occur: Managers slow the team down. Managers prevent people from learning. Managers don't do their management work. That environment creates problems for everyone. Then I read Elisabeth Hendrickson's Delegation is Overrated. I realized two things: Some managers delegate tasks. The delegators don't define the outcomes they need.

Radical Remote Tip: No Standups

Johanna Rothman

I've worked with several managers and team leaders over the past few weeks as everyone is suddenly remote. Every single person in a leadership position struggles with (agile) team transparency. These leaders think the team members work alone. (I I think they're correct.)

Five Tips for Managers of Newly Dispersed Teams

Johanna Rothman

Are you a manager accustomed to Management by Walking Around and Listening (MBWAL) ? You can use MBWAL with collocated teams. MBWAL doesn't work for distributed or dispersed teams. Remember, working remote is Not Business as Usual. And won't be for a while.).

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The North Star Playbook

Every product needs a North Star. In this guide, we will show you the metrics product managers need to tie product improvements to revenue impact. If you are looking for a more-focused, less-reactive way to work, this guide is for you.

Collection of My Rapidly Remote and Managing in Uncertainty Writing

Johanna Rothman

I wrote a number of posts and newsletters over the past few weeks to help you see alternatives in this age of uncertainty. I hope you use these ideas to generate other ideas or ask more questions and create more experiments.

Team Improvement: Management Desires vs Team Reality

Johanna Rothman

Several years ago, a client, Alex, asked me, “What's wrong with this team? They don't want to learn anything.” ” I was surprised. I asked him for more information. “Well, when I ask them to use TDD, they don't want to even learn about it.

Modern Management Made Easy Principles—Again

Johanna Rothman

Several weeks ago, I posted my innovation principles , based on Modern Management Made Easy , book 3. I developed them because I was discovering the user journey through the book. I needed a way to link the ideas together.

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Managers Make the Real Product Quality Decisions

Johanna Rothman

In a conversation about product quality, the product owner said, “If the testers found the problems faster, we would be done faster.” ” The tester said, “If the developers didn't put so many problems in, we'd be done by now.”

How to Choose the Best Embedded Analytics Solution to Modernize Your Application

If you are looking to modernize your application to improve competitiveness, then one of the quickest wins you can have is to embed sophisticated analytics that will wow your existing and prospective customers.

Checklists for Hiring Remote People

Johanna Rothman

As we move to more remote work, especially in these pandemic times, how do we integrate people so they can succeed? See Hiring Geeks That Fit for all the new employee checklists and how to use them. Want to preview the checklists and templates?

Teams Need to See Each Other—Eventually

Johanna Rothman

We've all heard of big organizations where the top management said, “No need to ever be back in the office. Work from home, as long as you want.”

Five Meeting Tips for Newly-Remote Teams

Johanna Rothman

You probably went from the office to remote so fast, you're still recovering from the whiplash of working from home. I found the biggest change when I started to work remotely was how meetings changed. I've learned these tips over the years. You might find them helpful. Tip 1: Start With Cameras On.

Rework Online Training Part 1: What Training Is

Johanna Rothman

I bet you've been in a class or a workshop over the past few weeks. You were a “participant” in a class that ranged from 20-2000 people. You didn't find the class organization helpful. First, the trainer/leader lectured at you for an hour or more.

The Rise of Embedded Self-Service Analytics

Speaker: Chris Von Simson & Nat Venkataraman

Can your users get the data and analytics they need without leaving your application? Watch this webinar with Chris von Simson of Dresner Advisory Services as he shares why user enablement has emerged as the theme in today’s embedded analytics landscape.

Rework Online Training Part 3: Design the Webinar Experience

Johanna Rothman

When I think of a training experience, I separate the training into these parts: The content I hope people will learn. This includes setting the context. The various interactions that will illuminate and reinforce the learning. How to wrap the experience so people get the most of it.

Build Team Resilience: Work Together (Part 1)

Johanna Rothman

I've been working with clients who have brittle environments. Their brittleness doesn't show up all the time. When everything is good, they're able to finish work and deliver. But, someone checks in code that breaks something “over there.”

How Well Do Your Policies Create Desired Outcomes and Trust?

Johanna Rothman

Every organization has policies of some sort. The smaller the organization, the fewer policies you might have. And, the larger the organization, the more policies you might think you need. I keep encountering policies that prevent people from delivering the outcomes the organization wants.

Rework Online Training Part 5: Design for Online Interaction

Johanna Rothman

I suggested that I see three kinds of people in online “workshops:” attendee, student, or participant. I want to design for the outcomes these people can expect. I first start with this question: Who does the teaching? Who Teaches Whom?

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!

Process Agility: An Impossibility?

Johanna Rothman

I've seen several cases of process standardization recently. Those processes don't translate to the current context. The processes don't have sufficient agility to deliver the necessary results. Yet, people who want to use agile approaches don't want to apply agile thinking to their processes.

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Want Business Agility? Use These Seven Innovation Principles

Johanna Rothman

I'm rewriting/reorganizing the Lead an Innovative Organization book. I realized I have 7 innovation principles: Clarify the organization's purpose. . Manage for effectiveness. Seek outcomes, not outputs. Flow efficiency at all levels. Encourage small-world networks of relationships.

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Cost and Value of Collecting Data

Johanna Rothman

Collecting data isn't free. There's a cost to every piece of data. There's also value. How do we balance the cost and value of data? As with all juicy questions, it depends. And, in general , the easier the data is to collect, the less value there is in the data.

Podcasts About Remote Teams

Johanna Rothman

Everyone's distributed/remote/dispersed in these days of COVID-19. Mark Kilby and I have had the pleasure of being guest on a couple of podcasts that released this week: We spoke with Shane Hastie at Agile 2019.

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The Product Manager's Guide to Retention

This book walks through multiple aspects of retention, including why it’s so important, how to best measure it, and how to set goals for the different stages of retention. It also provides strategies for improving retention across the customer journey.

Measure Cycle Time, Not Velocity

Johanna Rothman

I'm not a fan of measuring velocity. Velocity is a point-in-time measure of capacity. That means that when things change for the team or in the code, the velocity often changes. See Velocity is Not Acceleration.). Instead, I like to measure cycle time.

Create & Manage the Project’s Bounds, Part 2 (Constraints and Floats)

Johanna Rothman

In Part 1 , I wrote about the origins of drivers, constraints, and floats. I needed them when we only could release the project once to the customers. You saw the questions that help people choose the project driver. What about the constraints and floats?

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Build Team Resilience: Work “Anywhere” and “Anytime” (Part 3)

Johanna Rothman

When I started this series about team brittleness and resilience, I expected to discuss winter weather in the Boston area. Every year, we expect several large snowstorms. And, when it snows hard and long, we should stay off the roads so the plows can clear the snow.

Build Team Resilience: Shorten Feedback Loops (Part 2)

Johanna Rothman

This series is about helping a team create a less brittle environment—more resilience. Part 1 was about individual work. This part is about shortening feedback loops.

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Why Smoking Costs Employers More Than They Realize

Your employees are smoking, and at a cost of $7,000 per year for each employee who smokes, that adds up - fast! This free report will show you how an effective cessation program pays for itself.