Home » Author Archives: Johanna Rothman

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.

Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 5: Learning to Learn

To summarize: your agile transformation is stuck. You’ve thought about your why, as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why. You’ve started to measure possibilities. You have an idea of who you might talk with as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 2: Who to Approach. You’ve considered who you need as allies and how to enlist them in Becoming an Agile Leader, ...

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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 4: Determining Next Steps

To summarize: your agile transformation is stuck. You’ve thought about your why, as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why. You’ve started to measure possibilities. You have an idea of who you might talk with as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 2: Who to Approach. You’ve considered who you need as allies and how to enlist them in Becoming an Agile Leader, ...

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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 3: How to Create Allies

To summarize: your agile transformation is stuck. You’ve thought about your why, as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why. You’ve started to measure possibilities. You have an idea of who you might talk with as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 2: Who to Approach. Now, how do you create allies so you can unwedge your agile transformation? First, here’s ...

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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 2: Who to Approach

To summarize: your agile transformation is stuck. You’ve thought about your why, as in Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why.  You have some idea for measurements. Maybe you’ve even started to measure to capture the data. Now, it’s time to talk to people across the organization. The question is this: Who do you talk with, to unwedge your agile ...

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Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 1: Define Your Why

Your agile transformation isn’t proceeding the way you thought. People use the right agile words, but they’re not changing how they work. Teams aren’t collaborating, managers still talk about “resources,” and the projects aren’t delivering finished value. Your agile transformation is stuck. Maybe it’s time to return to your why. Why is your organization moving to agile? Do you know? Ask ...

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Highlight Risks When Reporting Defects

A reader asked me this question: “How do I report on the 1000 (or so) defects in our system? I have 10 minutes on the status call.” If you are working on a legacy application where the team was not able—for any number of reasons—to maintain technical excellence, you might have a problem like this. So many defects, so little time ...

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What’s Minimum: Thinking About Minimum Viable Experiments

When I talk about Minimum Viable Products or Minimum Viable Experiments, people often tell me that their minimum is several weeks (or months) long. They can’t possibly release anything without doing a ton of work. I ask them questions, to see if they are talking about a Minimum Indispensable Feature Set or a Minimum Adoptable Feature Set instead of an ...

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Consider Rolling Wave Roadmap and Backlog Planning

Many agile teams attempt to plan for an entire quarter at a time. Sometimes, that works quite well. You have deliverables, and everyone understands the order in which you need to deliver them. You use agile because you can receive feedback about the work as you proceed. You might make small adjustments, and you manage to stay on track with ...

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Cost Accounting is a Problem for Agile (and Knowledge Work)

The more I work with project portfolio teams and program managers, the more I understand one thing: Cost accounting makes little sense in the small for agile, maybe for all knowledge work. I should say that I often see cost accounting in the form of activity-based accounting. Each function contributes to some of the cost of the thing you’re producing. ...

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Pushing vs. Pulling Work in Your Agile Project

If you’re thinking about agile or trying to use it, you probably started with iterations in some form. You tried (and might be still trying) to estimate what you can fit into an iteration. That’s called “pushing” work, where you commit to some number of items of work in advance. And, if you have to service interruptions, such as support ...

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