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Rethinking the Need for Generalizing Specialists

Early on in my agile practice, I believed in generalizing specialists. I even wrote Five Tips to Hiring a Generalizing Specialist. However, if a team becomes collaborative, I no longer think we need generalizing specialists. That’s because the team works and learns as a team. If a team is willing to collaborate as pairs, a swarm, or mob, you might ...

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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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