Archive for the ‘Agile product management’ Category

Decide How to Decide: Empowering Product Ownership

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Common Decision Rules

As the product owner, you are responsible for the product’s vision, and ultimately, the value of your product. You “own” the backlog. If your responsibilities include upstream product management—what I refer to as strategic product ownership—then you also shepherd your product through its entire lifecycle.

Bottom line, your prime responsibility is deciding what to build and when to build it. Your decisions guide not just the health and well being of your product, but also all the people engaged in product discovery and delivery.

Yet a common product ownership struggle I see in agile teams—regardless of industry and product type—is determining how to make decisions. As an agile coach, I use a pattern I call “Decide How to Decide.” It’s a simple technique to help people make transparent, participatory, and trusted decisions. Continue reading | 3 Comments

Agile Product Management Open Jam

Friday, September 5th, 2014

I’m excited about my involvement in the first ever Agile Open Jam specifically for product managers. This unconference within a conference is part of September’s Product Management Festival in Zurich and is sponsored by the Agile Alliance. The announcement below, posted by the Product Management Festival team, highlights the event:

9 Things Every Product Manager Should Know about Being an Agile Product Owner

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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Congratulations. You’re now an agile “product owner,” the champion for your product. No biggie–you just have ultimate accountability for the health and well-being of your product. You “own” the product vision, deeply and emphatically understanding customer needs, keeping pulse of changing stakeholder values, and making continual decisions on what to build (or not), and when. This is a tall order.

Maybe you came into this work from being a product manager, having been in marketing, customer service, finance, business analysis, engineering, sales, or some other business or technical area. Or perhaps you came into being a product owner directly from one of those roles. You likely understand the aptitudes and aptitudes of a great product manager. Continue reading | 8 Comments

5 Ways to Recognize a Great Product Manager

Friday, August 1st, 2014

1aIf you’ve been a product manager for a few years, you already know what I’m about to say. Product management is a hard job. The most successful product managers share these traits:

  • They are well versed in their products
  • They stay attuned to their customers
  • They can lead and communicate a vision equally well with engineering teams and the c-suite crowd
  • They have a knack for sifting through and prioritizing multiple (and often competing) wants and needs

If that’s not enough, the best product managers also share a very unique attitude: they are empathic and curious, while balancing a ruthless drive for specificity with a poetic tolerance for ambiguity.

To help make the point that product management is a tough but rewarding job, I wanted to share some factors to look for in a great product manager. Continue reading

Discover to Deliver Explained” Video

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

d2dvideoWe’re excited to announce the release of “Discover to Deliver Explained.” This two-minute video provides an animated overview of the key concepts in our book Discover To Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis.

You asked for a short synopsis of Discover to Deliver concepts that you could share with others. This video offers a quick, easy-to-follow explanation of the 7 Product Dimensions, product partners, the structured conversation, and the Now-, Pre- and Big-View, as they relate to agile requirements. Continue reading | 2 Comments

Jelling at Open Jam – Agile Analysis, Product Management

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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We’re launching something new at next week’s Building Business Capability Conference (BBC): An Open Jam on Agile Analysis and Product Management. Whether you are new to agile or have been on your agile journey for a while, this Open Jam offers you a chance to exchange experiences, explore new ideas, and share struggles with like-minded colleagues. The best part? You don’t have to miss the regularly scheduled sessions to attend and you suggest and participate in the topics that interest you. Let me explain. Continue reading

Insights and Takeaways: Agile Topics at Project World/World Congress for Business Analysis

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

insights
For the past several years, I have had the privilege of chairing the Agile Summit portion of the Project World/World Congress for Business Analysts. I hope you were able to join us last month in Orlando. We had a tremendous turnout and enjoyed our time learning and networking with each other.

Since then, I’ve had several requests for a summary of my half-day tutorial with Ainsley Nies, “An Agile Approach to Project and Products” as well as the Agile Summit presentation “Got Value? A Practical, Sustainable Value Model for Making Agile Product Decisions” and the track session I gave: “It’s the Goal, Not the Role: The Work of Agile Project Management and Business Analysis.” I wrote up a quick synopsis of all three, along with some suggestions that you can try in your next planning or retrospective session. Continue reading | 1 Comment

Agile Product Partners: Friends or Frenemies?

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

It continues to baffle me.

Clients share their struggles managing three, four, or five different product owners (or, as we refer to them, product champions). Delivery teams end up abandoning deployable software right before the end of an iteration or release.

Why?

It’s because the product champions can’t agree among themselves, or with the delivery team, on what to ship. As a result, the team members spend too much time in ineffective meetings and not enough time building high-quality software that delivers value. Continue reading

Announcing the release of Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning & Analysis

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener

We are pleased to announce our book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis is now available.

Discover to Deliver provides the essential planning and analysis practices you need to collaboratively deliver high-valued products. It gives you a visual language to streamline and simplify your planning and analysis. You and your team get practical guidance in how to collaborate continually to discover and deliver an evolving product. Continue reading | 6 Comments

Structured Conversations at Agile 2012

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

What really is value? How do you get diverse stakeholders with sometimes conflicting views of value to obtain—and sustain—a shared understanding of product needs?

We discussed these questions and more with Tech Target’s Melissa Webb. Melissa interviewed us to learn more about our Agile 2012 tutorial The Product Partnership: Using Structured Conversations to Deliver Value.

Melissa’s interview synthesizes a number of the key concepts in our new book, Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis, which will be released at Agile 2012!

You can read the complete interview here.

Going to Agile 2012?

We’re also pleased to be delivering workshops, each chock-full of learning activities:

That Settles It! Techniques for Transparent and Trusted Decision-Making on Your Agile Team Wednesday morning, August 15, 2012 with Ellen Gottesdiener.

The Contracting Two-Step: Patterns for Successful Collaborations, Wednesday afternoon, August 15, 2012 with Mary Gorman.

Hope to see you there! Continue reading