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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Nurturing Leadership

I had an email conversation with a colleague about when you let people fail versus when you rescue them—how you nurture leadership. The context is with people who are new to management, ...
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Transition to Agile, Large Technical Debt, Small Project

Many months ago, Rebecca asked an interesting question about technical debt in projects. She asked, How to start when there’s a really big mess? In that case, small, just being a ...
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Hours, Velocity, Silo’d Teams, & Gantts

I’ve been having some email conversations with some project and program managers turned Scrum Masters. In general here’s how things have proceeded:Their organizations decided ...
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Becoming a Leading Manager

My most recent post, We Cannot Choose Between Management And Leadership, has struck a chord. That’s the good news. The bad news is I have not defined enough terms. Okay, I’ll attempt ...
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Why an Agile Project Manager is Not a Scrum Master

A reader asked why the lifecycle in Agile Lifecycles for Geographically Distributed Teams, Part 1 is not Scrum. It’s not Scrum for these reasons:The project manager and product ...
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Estimating the Unknown: Dates or Budgets, Part 1

Almost every manager I know wants to know when a project will be done. Some managers decree when a project will be done. Some managers think they can decree both the date and the feature ...
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Estimating the Unknown: Dates or Budgets, Part 2

In Part 1, you had some knowledge of the team’s velocity. This is the option of when you do not have knowledge of the team’s velocity, because this team has not worked together ...
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Programs and Technical Debt

Once you have a program (a collection of interrelated projects focused on one business goal) and you have technical debt, you have a much bigger problem. Not just because the technical ...
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Why Does Management Care About Velocity?

I’ve been talking to people whose management cares about their velocity. “My management wants us to double our velocity.” Or, “My management wants us to do more in a sprint.” ...
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Infrastructure, Technical Debt, and Automated Test Framework

I’ve had several conversations in email and with clients recently that have all been about this question: “What do we do about our infrastructure?” Either the project or the program ...
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