The pop-culture concept of a silver bullet – a simple solution to a hard problem – is a dangerous idea. It can be used to over-promise, and doom a team to under-delivery. When an executive, too far removed from what makes creating products hard thinks of “agile” as a silver bullet it becomes difficult to manage expectations.
Continue reading The Potential of Agile
Taking agile, a process otherwise optimized for small, cross-functional, collaborative teams and making it work at scale is fascinating. You have to change some elements, and retain others, as you redefine the context. Being outcome driven, is one element you must retain – or even elevate in importance, or you fundamentally break the system of delivery
Continue reading Agile at Scale – Outcome Driven (or Broken)
We hear a lot about building products which are “good enough” or “just barely good enough.” How do we know what “good enough” means for our customers? No one really tells us.
Continue reading Good Enough
“Agile” is something most teams do wrong*, without realizing they’re doing it wrong. A good 2×2 matrix acts as a lens, helping to convert information into insight. Let’s apply this lens to agile as applied within a company, and see if it helps people decide to do things differently.
Continue reading Agile Through a Matrix Lens
Agile is not magical. Changing from a waterfall process to an agile process changes how your team works, and helps eliminate inefficiencies. . What makes agile powerful is also makes it dangerous.
Continue reading Agile Cadabra
How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap? I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams.
Continue reading Whole Product Game
There are several ways to answer the question “is agile cheaper than waterfall?” Here are two of my favorites:
“It depends. Agile done well is cheaper, as long as you measure correctly.”
“You’re asking the wrong question. The right question is: is agile better?”
Continue reading Is Agile Really Cheaper?
Next up in the series on the root causes of product failure – products that fail because you have ignored the user’s level of experience. The first time someone uses your product, they don’t know anything about it. Did you design your interfaces for new users? After they’ve used it for a while, they get pretty good at using it. How much do you think they like being forced to take baby steps through a guided wizard now?
This article continues the series exploring the root causes of product failure. Even when you target the right users, and identify which of their problems are important to solve, you may still fail to solve the problems sufficiently.
Continue reading Why Do Products Fail? – Incomplete Solutions
The ideal agile team is made up of specializing generalists – but what does that really mean? The goal isn’t to prevent functional silos of expertise, it is to allow people to cover for each other.