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.

Who Solves Which Problems?

agile-logo

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 ...

Read More »

Design Your Agile Project, Part 2

agile-logo

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 ...

Read More »

Design Your Agile Project, Part 1

agile-logo

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 ...

Read More »

Cost of Delay Due to Other Teams’ Delay, Part 5

agile-logo

Imagine you have a large program, where you have several teams contributing to the success of one business deliverable. You are all trying to achieve a specific date for release. One team is having trouble. Maybe this is their first missed deliverable. Maybe it’s their second. Maybe they have had trouble meeting their deliverables all along—they have “delivered,” but the ...

Read More »

Cost of Delay Due to Technical Debt, Part 4

agile-logo

Cost of delay part 1 was about not shipping on time. Cost of delay part 2 was due to multitasking. Cost of delay part 3 was due to indecision. This part is the cost of delay due to technical debt. One of the big problems in backlog management is ranking technical debt stories. It’s even more of a problem when ...

Read More »

Cost of Delay Due to Indecision, Part 3

agile-logo

In Part 1, we discussed the cost of delay of not shipping on time. In Part 2, we discussed the cost of delay of multitasking. In this part, we’ll discuss a cost of delay due to management indecision. Here’s a problem I encounter often. A middle manager calls me, and asks for an estimation workshop. I ask about the environment. ...

Read More »

Cost of Delay Due to Multitasking, Part 2

agile-logo

In Cost of Delay: Not Shipping on Time, Part 1, I introduced you to the notion of cost of delay. I said you could reduce the cost of delay by managing your projects: have shorter projects, using release criteria, or selecting a lifecycle that manages the risk. Sometimes, you don’t have short projects, so projects get backed up, and your ...

Read More »

If Managers Don’t Give Performance Reviews, What Happens?

agile-logo

There’s a great comment to my recent Management Myth: Performance Reviews Are Useful. The writer has these questions, which I have paraphrased: 1. How do bonuses work? Here’s the problem with bonuses in a team-based organization (agile or not). How can you tell who has done which work? Who actually knows who has contributed what? The team does. This is ...

Read More »

Performance Reviews Are Not Useful; Feedback Is

agile-logo

I have received some wonderful feedback from some of my managers. Back when I was a young engineer, one of my managers gave me the feedback at an annual review that I didn’t quite finish my projects. “Oh, you mean on the project I just finished last week?” I wanted to know if it was just that one. I thought ...

Read More »
Do you want to know how to develop your skillset and become a ...

Subscribe to our newsletter to start Rocking right now!

To get you started we give you our best selling eBooks for FREE!
Get ready to Rock!
To download the books, please verify your email address by following the instructions found on the email we just sent you.

THANK YOU!

Close