Home » Author Archives: Johanna Rothman (page 4)

Author Archives: 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.

Scaling Agile? Think Out, Not Up

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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 of the participants asked me what I thought about scaling agile. Before I could explain about small-world networks, not hierarchies, he said, “I am sure the way you ...

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Design Your Agile Project, Part 5

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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? (In the book, I will talk more specifically about change and what to do. This post is the highlights.) Project management and program management are all about ...

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Are You Running from Problems or Solving Them?

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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 finally got a chance to check my email at 4pm. That’s when I discovered the world had blown up earlier in the day! (This is before cell phones. ...

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Estimation and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

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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 or programs. In Manage Your Project Portfolio, I have an entire chapter devoted to ways to evaluate your project portfolio: business value points (not story points), waste, ...

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Design Your Agile Project, Part 4

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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 agile for anyone. If you treat people as if they are adults and explain the principles that you want (working software all the time ...

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Design Your Agile Project, Part 3

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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? I am serious. I might take the same actions, but for different different reasons. In either case, the team needs to learn about what agile and ...

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Who Solves Which Problems?

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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 had short projects, where it was clear what they had to do: 1-3 week projects where 2-4 people could run with the requirements and finish them. They ...

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Design Your Agile Project, Part 2

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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 priorities. The second is so you can change the project portfolio. The third is to get feedback on what you’ve done. Okay, you can exchange one, two, and three if ...

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Design Your Agile Project, Part 1

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The more I see teams transition to agile, the more I am convinced that each team is unique. Each project is unique. Each organizational context is unique. Why would you take an off-the-shelf solution that does not fit your context? (I wrote Manage It! because I believe in a context-driven approach to project management in general.) One of the nice ...

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