About Johanna Rothman

Johanna consults, speaks, and writes about managing product development. She helps managers and leaders do reasonable things that work. You can read more of her writings at jrothman.com.

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How Pairing & Swarming Work & Why They Will Improve Your Products

If you’ve been paying attention to agile at all, you’ve heard these terms: pairing and swarming. But what do they mean? What’s the difference? When you pair, two people work together ...
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Do You Encourage People to Bring You Problems?

One of the familiar tensions in management is how you encourage or discourage people from bringing you problems. One of my clients had a favorite saying, “Don’t bring me problems. ...
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Scaling Agile? Think Out, Not Up

I taught the Influential Agile Leader workshop with Gil Broza last week in Edinburgh. (That’s why I was quiet. I was traveling and teaching. No time for writing, blogging or tweeting.) One ...
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Design Your Agile Project, Part 5

This post is what you do when you are a program manager and not everyone knows what “agile” is, when you create a new product, when you are introducing that much cultural change? ...
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Are You Running from Problems or Solving Them?

Back when I was a manager inside organizations, I had many days that looked like this:Meetings at 9am, 10am, 11am. Working meeting through lunch (noon-1pm) Meetings at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm.I ...
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Estimation and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

I’m not a fan of using schedule or cost estimate as a way to value the projects in your project portfolio. If you do, you are likely to miss the potentially transformative projects ...
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Design Your Agile Project, Part 4

If you are thinking of agile as part of a program, each team has to have its own approach to agile. Why? Because each team has its own risks and problems. You don’t need to standardize ...
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Design Your Agile Project, Part 3

What do you do  for geographically distributed teams, if you want to move to agile? First question: does the team want to move to agile? Or, does the management want to move to agile? ...
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Who Solves Which Problems?

Many years ago, I was part of a task force to “standardize” project management at an organization. I suggested we gather some data to see what kinds of projects the client had. They ...
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Design Your Agile Project, Part 2

The point of using agile is to get finish something valuable-to-the-business quickly, to get feedback. Why? For several reasons, but the first one is so you can change the project’s ...
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