Starting a project with a new team and a new client can be challenging. Everyone is dedicated to understanding the problem space and the project needs. At the same time, we’re learning how to work with each other, sometimes for the first time. We’ve found 4 questions that bring the team together in alignment and […]
Every product team strives to create a strong connection with the customers they serve. Keeping a finger on the pulse of what customers find valuable increases your chances of building products that they will buy and use loyally. As a software product owner, I’ve been directly involved with various initiatives to gather customer feedback. One […]
There are many books, articles, and blog posts that describe how to plan and run an effective kickoff. Unfortunately, most of these resources talk about the kickoff as a one-time event. I believe there’s value in having a kickoff-like meeting at least twice a year so that the project team can pause, reflect, discuss, and plan […]
Working on a distributed development team is challenging. You need to deal with the normal difficulties of software development, as well as managing different time zones and the fact that you can’t just roll your chair over to someone and talk through a feature. In this post, I’ll go over a few ways I’ve found […]
As I write this, we’re in the midst of another March Madness college basketball tournament season. Last-second game-winning shots, upsets, Cinderellas, and busted brackets abound. If you’re going to win your office pool, it’ll take a combination of skill and luck. Once the dust clears and the nets have been cut down, here are four […]
Most folks aren’t terribly excited about receiving feedback at work. It’s generally negative, you might not agree with it, and it’s often too vague or shallow to be helpful. Most folks aren’t terribly excited about giving feedback either. There’s a risk of being perceived as judgy, nitpicky, or impersonal. Or it may simply be hard […]
In a story workshop, a small group of people from a product team get together to build shared understanding by answering the question, “What are we going to build?” Put another way, it involves examining one piece (story) of the bigger picture (story map) through conversation. The goal of this workshop is to build a […]
You just kicked off a project, and it went well! Everyone is happy, hopeful, and on the same page. But how do you keep that momentum and camaraderie going?
Projects with big teams introduce a slew of interesting problems–problems like keeping developers fed with multiple tracks of work, understanding areas with large technical risks, and sharing knowledge. On a recent project, we developed a role to help solve these problems. I call it the utility player. In this post, I’ll define the role, the […]
“The weather’s beautiful—let’s go for a nice bike ride!” You’re picturing a five-mile route along a trail, right? If so, we’re in trouble. I’m hoping for a 100-mile ride, hopefully on roads I’ve never traveled before. If we ride off together without getting our expectations aligned, we’ll soon find ourselves unhappy.