Posts on collaboration

Timely Topics, Deep Discussions: Agile Open Jam at BBC 2015

Open Jam 2015

Enthusiasm + experience = deep conversations. And there were plenty of insightful discussions during the Agile Open Jam at the 2015 Building Business Capability (BBC) conference, where passionate practitioners shared and learned from each other.

For the third year in a row, BBC attendees took advantage of an open jam format to better explore a wide variety of agile topics. We at EBG were pleased to continue serving as the organizer and host of the Agile Open Jam at the BBC, the official conference of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®).

Participants at the jam said there was “great collaboration of ideas and problem solving” and “awesome conversations.”

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Decide How to Decide: Empowering Product Ownership

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.

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Agile Soul Mates Jamming in Florida by Mary Gorman

Agile_Open_Jam
When you see Agile business analysis and product management as a topic for multi-day, deep conversions, you’ve entered the world of Agile Open Jam.

For the second year in a row, the Agile Open Jam on “Business Analysis and Product Management in Agile” was a big hit at the Building Business Capability conference.

This is the second Agile Open Jam EBG has hosted (last year, Ellen hosted), and we were jazzed yet again by the enthusiasm, sharing, and energy the Open Jam generated. Dozens and dozens of folks participated—proposing provocative topics, diving into deep conversations, and networking with kindred spirits.

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Product Management Agile Open Jam: A Successful Launch

Product_Management_Agile_Open_Jam
I recently returned from co-hosting the first Product Management Agile Open Jam. What a great experience! Our goal was to “inspire and ignite” the product management community—and from the energy in the space, I’d say we succeeded. To get a glimpse into what it was like, check out these scenes from the 2014 Product Management Festival (PMF) Agile Open Jam in Zurich.

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Agile Product Management Open Jam

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:

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5 Ways to Recognize a Great Product Manager

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.

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Requirements to the Rescue: How the 7 Product Dimensions Saved our eBooks

d2dkindlepic“Fast, easy, free/cheap…” That’s what we heard about publishing an eBook edition of a paper book. After all, people said, how difficult can it be to take a PDF and make it digital? Quite difficult, actually.

Ellen Gottesdiener and I should have anticipated that publishing eBook editions of our paper book Discover To Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis would be a complex endeavor. In our careers, we have been involved in re-platforming software products (applications)–and we’ve rarely encountered a re-platforming project that is straightforward. Our eBook editions were no exception.

To eBook or Not to eBook

Even before we published the paperback version of Discover To Deliver, folks requested a digital version. We analyzed the profile of our primary readers. Challenges in converting the book’s visual language, illustrations, models and examples for a virtual reading audience worried us. Other concerns included the evolving eBook industry, its splintered standards, and the end-product usability issues driven by the increasing variations in devices (tablets, readers, smartphones) on which people access books. Weighing the value proposition of paper vs. digital, we decided to initially go paper.

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Jelling at Open Jam – Agile Analysis, Product Management

joinouropenjam
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.

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

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.

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