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Minimum Requirements Documentation: A Matter of Context

A colleague asked me about the kinds of documentation the team might need for their stories. He wanted to know what a large geographically distributed team might do. What was reasonable for the stories, the epics, and the roadmap? How little could they do for requirements documentation? I start with the pattern of Card, Conversation, Confirmation when I think about ...

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Clean Your Backlogs

I’ve been working at the intersection of the project portfolio and the product roadmaps. (You can tell because of the various posts about information persistence.) Here’s what I find when I work with my clients: They have years worth of projects in the project portfolio.They have years worth of ideas in various states of description in what they’re calling product roadmaps.They have years ...

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The Agile virus

The thing we call Agile is a virus. It gets into organizations and disrupts the normal course of business. In the early days, say before 2010, the corporate anti-bodies could be counted on to root out and destroy the virus before too much damage was done. But sometimes the anti-bodies didn’t work. As the old maxim says “that which doesn’t ...

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Data-driven product development

The need for data-driven product development Product development has many nuances and dependencies. Every product development cycle or SDLC imagined or put forth is found to be inadequate. Every proposed solution falls into one of the many traps present and has proved to be ineffective in one or the other phase of the product’s life. SDLC started with the waterfall ...

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Should Product Roadmaps Have Dates?

If product roadmaps should show dates is a controversial question. Some people have passionately argued that dates should be banned from roadmaps; others claim that they are useful. This article discusses the pros and cons of using dates on product roadmaps to help you decide which option is right for you. What Product Roadmaps Are (in a Nutshell) To start ...

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When is “Agile Scaling” the Answer?

At the Influential Agile Leader workshop earlier this year, I led a session about scaling and how you might think about it. I introduced the topic and explained that “scaling” might not be the answer. My experience is that when people use frameworks for larger efforts, they experience these unexpected side effects: The framework actions often require more manager-type people ...

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Trust Them to Get the Job Done, Not!

There are twelve principles in the Agile Manifesto. The fifth one says: “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” I disagree. Strongly. This formula suggests treating people in a binary way: they are either motivated and trusted or … what? They have to be let go? ...

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