Stockholm Product Leadership Days

Stockholm’s third annual Product Leadership Days (“Produktledardagen“) was held on March 22-23, drawing more than 60 product management professionals and technologists from Sweden and northern Europe. (Agenda in Swedish.)  This year’s focus was on sustainable profitability for B2B tech companies.  

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How Agile Changes (and Doesn’t Change) What Product Managers Do

Rich Mironov led a November 18th session on agile product management for the Norcal BMA. What: “How Agile Changes (and Doesn’t Change) What Product Managers Do” Who: Norcal BMA (Northern California Business Marketing Association) When: Nov 18th, 830AM – 10AM Where: Scott’s Seafood, Palo Alto CA

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A Journey of 1000 Miles is Still 1000 Miles Long

Planning to improve is good, but actually improving is better. Your backlog still needs to be cleared up one item at a time, however.

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Magical Thinking and the Zero-Sum Roadmap

Recent conversations at several clients highlight an often-repeated set of magical thinking: beliefs by internal clients that development resources are infinite, and beliefs by product managers that prioritization can convince anyone otherwise.  Both are wrong, but seductive.  Here goes… The starting point for this conversation is the typical product roadmap: crammed full of prioritized work and heavily negotiated with the development team.  Almost every optional item has been postponed, and there’s still some risk of delay.  This is a product plan with no “white space,” no large chunks of unallocated engineering capacity, no slop or slush funds or hidden treasure.

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“What If Dev Doesn’t Think Product Mgmt Represents Customers?”

Recently, I put up a small assessment tool for product management teams.  This tool is intended to generate discussion and highlight areas for team improvement.  Several PMs had follow-up comments and questions along the lines of “what should we do if we’re scored ourselves poorly on a specific item?” There are no generic prescriptions for improvement, especially in product management.  It’s worth drilling into an individual item or two, though, and imagining how we might analyze the situation and take corrective action. 

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Reducing Risk Through Agile Product Planning (webinar)

What: “Reducing Risk through Agile Product Planning” webinar When:  June 2nd, 2010 Speaker: Rich Mironov, Principal, Mironov Consulting Replay the webinar here This webinar was part of Accept’s Agile Management Series, which also included speakers from Forrester and PRTM. Agile development teams focus on delivering products faster and with higher quality, reducing the risk of being “late to market.”  But product managers also worry about business risks including: building the wrong product, missing profitable segments, and constant roadmap changes.  How can we apply agile product planning to reduce our overall business risk? Reducing Risk through Agile Product Planning from Rich Mironov

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Keynotes: Agile Comes to…

During 2008-2010, Rich Mironov keynoted a series of one-day seminars in Bellevue and Seattle WA, Fairfax VA, Santa Clara and Burlingame CA on Agile adoption presented by leading Agile solution providers.  The two most popular talks were “Agile Fundamentals, ROI and Engineering BestPractices” and “Mitigating Risk with Agile Development.”  Both include a quick review of agile, how executives think about agile (and software development in general), plus thoughts on organizational challenges in roll out agile. These events had lively discussions and disagreements about applying agile in various settings, and how to keep organizational or business needs aligned with development priorities.  All attendees received a copy of Rich’s book “The Art of Product Management”. Agile Fundamentals, ROI and Engineering Best Practices…

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P-Camp ‘10: Thinking Like an Agile Product Manager

At Silicon Valley P-Camp ‘10 (March 13th), Rich Mironov led a session on “How Agile Changes Waterfall PM Processes and Thinking.”  This was a tall order for a 45-minute colllaborative session with 120+ attendees, so we ran a real-time exercise in creating, prioritizing and attacking a backlog of agile PM issues.  The room was full of enthusiastic attendees, both agile veterans and newbies, with good insights/advice from the crowd. Agenda: Handful of level-setting slides (< 15 minutes) – see the slides Prioritize and time-box questions / issues raised by the group, i.e. build a backlog (< 10 minutes) Tackle issues based on priority (20 minutes, allocated 5 minutes each for top 4 issues) Thumbnail retrospective (3 minutes) Rather than just…

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Review: “Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams”

Short review of Mario Moriera’s new book, “Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams.”  Mario structures a strong case that good Configuration Management (CM) is a strong enabler and requirement for highly productive Agile development teams.  In particular, he counters the oft-repeated (but untrue) assertion that Agile teams don’t need process, structure, tools or architecture to succeed.  To the contrary, thoughtful and planful application of CM principles is important to professional Agile software teams.

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Agile Product Manager Dilemma

Rich Mironov presented a talk on “The Agile Product Manager/Product Owner Dilemma” at PMEC in San Jose.  This generated some lively discussion about how Product Management is different in agile organizations (especially Scrum teams) and the challenges of Product Owners who lack Product Management support or experience. What: “The Agile Product Manager/Product Owner Dilemma” Part of: PMEC 2009, AIPMM’s Product Management Education Conference When: Tues, Nov 17th at 11:00 AM as part of a two-day event Where: The Fairmont San Jose, 170 South Market Street, San Jose, CA, www.aipmm.com Rich has championed discussions within the Agile community about the need for product strategy and business-level planning – and how it needs to wrap around the software development process.  He is…

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