Ah, the lull at the end of the year — that time between Christmas and New Year when things settle for the year (or half, depending on your FY) and the calendar rolls over into a new year, full of new possibilities and new opportunities. For Product Managers, this is the time when you settle your record for the past year and begin planning and preparing for the year to come — first quarters full of promise, second quarters full of marketing events, third quarters of adjustments, and fourth quarters of all-out execution. At least that’s my usual pattern – maybe yours is somewhat different. As the new year dawns, here are some suggestions on hitting the ground running in 2016, some exercises to get you back in the head space after a brief respite of the holidays…
Archives for December 2015
Happy Holidays to everyone out there! As we’re nearing the end of the year, it’s a good time for reflection — 2015 was a great year here at the Clever PM, and I’m looking forward to 2016 providing even more opportunities!! As a little Christmas present, I’ve put together the following list of the top articles from the blog over the past year…I hope you find something here that you haven’t yet read, or that you want to read again!
As Product Managers, we often talk about agility and Agile methodologies from the perspective of how we prioritize and execute the work that needs to be done, but how do we as Product Managers actually make ourselves more agile and responsive to change? As I’ve noted elsewhere on this blog, Agile methods and agility in general are more than just development values and processes – they are indications of a kind of culture that accepts the unknown and is willing and able to respond as new information is discovered. And we as Product Managers are often a key part of that culture, so we should strive to be as agile in our own practices as possible — to demonstrate and model this behavior for others to learn from!
In the first part of this series, I focused on two of the primary causes for failure in the implementation and use of Agile methodologies — cultural failure and lack of training. While these are probably the primary things that cause issues with Agile processes, they’re far from the only things that can (and do) go wrong. In this second part of the series, we will explore the need for continual (or continuous) improvement and lack of evangelism and how they relate to the success or failure of an Agile methodology.
Many companies struggle with the challenges of reconciling the need for strategic planning and the desire to execute in an “agile” or Agile fashion. Generally speaking, this is because they’re stuck with the perspective that a “roadmap” must be a set of promises regarding what’s to be delivered, and not merely a strategy that will and must change over time. Being “agile” requires that we accept the unknowns in the world — and what’s more unknown than what the market is going to look like in 2 years? Therein lies the folly in trying to perform traditional roadmap planning and expecting to be able to be “agile” in your execution. But, there are some easy ways to change your perspective on roadmaps and maintain the balance between strategy and execution.