Johanna Rothman

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.

Designing an Organization for a Product Approach, Part 2

Johanna Rothman

In Part 1 , I suggested that when we organize by function, the recognition and rewards might prevent a successful agile transformation. In this part, I’ll discuss an option for a product-oriented organization. Consider a Product-Oriented Organization.

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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.

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.

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.

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?

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Listen to Agile for Humans with Ryan Ripley and Gil Broza

Johanna Rothman

Ryan Ripley, host of Agile for Humans, interviewed Gil Broza and me in AFH 102: The Influential Agile Leader. Oh, we had fun! We spoke about the workshop I lead with Gil, the Influential Agile Leader. We also spoke about the conversation Gil and I will lead this coming Wednesday, Oct 17, noon Eastern. If you’re interested, sign up at that link. I always have a blast talking with Ryan, and this time was no exception.

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.

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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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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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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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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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Being Human with Richard Atherton

Johanna Rothman

I recorded a Being Human podcast with Richard Atherton. It’s wide-ranging from thinking about agile approaches as a way to improve organizational flow and what that means for us as humans. I had a blast. I think Richard did, too. He’s a think-before-he-speaks person, and if you watch the video, you can see him thinking. I’m a speak-before-I-think person, so our dynamics are quite fun to watch. You can watch the video (and see me on a strange-hair day. Sigh.).

How Product Managers Can Learn to Love Reporting

Speaker: Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager, Looker

For a long time, Product Managers have found it challenging to design interfaces inside their products that users could use for reporting. It seems like PMs and engineers have grown to hate embedded reporting. Fortunately, there are new technical approaches that are making this a significantly different picture, although there are still lots of interesting design challenges. Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager at Looker, has done workshops with lots of product managers who are looking to add effective reporting. He will use the example of a product manager of a learning management software system and how she would go through the process of defining reporting for users of the product. He will discuss working through personas, data types, reporting needs analysis and ultimately how this comes together to form a roadmap for reporting functionality and interface.

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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Podcast about the Business of Writing and Consulting

Johanna Rothman

Consultants and writers share a common problem: we are business owners. That means we manage our businesses. Yes, I manage my own product development and my business. The great Joanna Penn interviewed me and the podcast is now live: Strategy And Business Plans For Authors With Johanna Rothman.

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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Discussing Teamwork and Measures on Agile for Humans

Johanna Rothman

Ryan Ripley interviewed me on his podcast, Agile for Humans 83 about Create Your Successful Agile Project. We had a blast. I didn’t stint on my opinions or on my experience with agile teams.

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How Product Managers Can Learn to Love Reporting

Speaker: Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager, Looker

For a long time, Product Managers have found it challenging to design interfaces inside their products that users could use for reporting. It seems like PMs and engineers have grown to hate embedded reporting. Fortunately, there are new technical approaches that are making this a significantly different picture, although there are still lots of interesting design challenges. Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager at Looker, has done workshops with lots of product managers who are looking to add effective reporting. He will use the example of a product manager of a learning management software system and how she would go through the process of defining reporting for users of the product. He will discuss working through personas, data types, reporting needs analysis and ultimately how this comes together to form a roadmap for reporting functionality and interface.

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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Planning: Risk Management to Manage Uncertainty

Johanna Rothman

Many organizations plan to create certainty, guarantees of some variety. What if we thought about agile planning as a way to manage uncertainty?

Agile Transformation: Introduction & Answering Why (Part1)

Johanna Rothman

Introduction to an Agile Transformation series… I’ve seen several agile transformation challenges. Since I want to address those challenges, this is a series of posts about agile transformation. The problems I’m planning to address are: Understanding why agile, why now.

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Questions to Ask Before Estimating an Agile Program Posted

Johanna Rothman

My most recent article on projectmanagement.com is 3 Questions to Ask Before Estimating an Agile Program. In both Create Your Successful Agile Project and Agile and Lean Program Management , I talk about the reality of estimates in most settings.

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Project Analytics: Visibility that Aids Risk Management

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

Product Managers face changes that put delivery at risk. Just as you use data from the customer to inform your solutions, transparency during the building of those solutions is critical for making better risk mitigation decisions. Whether your solution has fixed scope, fixed scheduling, fixed resources or fixed level of quality, the earlier you can know when these are at risk (and how) the better. The more clear the picture, the better you can understand the impacts of changes, and the more effectively you can deliver the solution the customer needs, when they need it, at a reasonable cost. This session will focus on the use of a One-Dimensional Product Backlog from a risk management point of view. We will show how this tool can be used to monitor and evaluate how your solution is getting built, and a clear view of any cascading impacts risks have as they surface.