Grant characterized the state of product development as follows:
- Complexity: Our software products are so complex to develop, maintain and implement.
- Poor customer insight: We as developers don’t understand what the customer value is. Therefore, our software is not providing new opportunities to the customer which creates business growth or addressing real pains.
- Lack of understanding of how customer is like at work: Generally, we donot understand the customer’s world. Developers in many cases are expected to create products for various industries, for example, banking and health care.
- No honest conversation with our customer: Normally we don’t like customers or at least we are not sincerely trying to help them. We even call out them by phrases like:
They don’t know what they want or even we claim that they don’t know their own business. The customer change their minds too often. No one is available to answer development team questions and so forth.
- Dysfunctional team: The cross-functional team who develops the product lacks productive communication. Team members don’t collaborate to figure the business value to our customer. Moreover, team members are from different non-aligned groups which add inefficiencies. Read more…
But they’re supposed to have PO, aren’t they?
In IT enterprise product development, I have found how vulnerable the PO role can be. This is because the demand on delivery team arrives from various sources. Moreover, the demand is not necessarily representing product features, but instead it can be any required service.
If we want to implement PO role in this set-up, the Lean objectives can be impacted because of the following reasons.
Gamification became a main stream approach for marketing as well internal operation of the enterprise. In this post I will talk on one aspect which is understanding the users and categorizing them for Agile implementation.
There have been so many discussions about Agile transformation and how it is eaten by the culture. My argument is that there is only one action we should do toward a company’s culture, which is Respect. Rather than changing the culture, we should focus on more intuitive light weight approach for Agile implementation which is above all should be Fun for the users!
The Agile mind-set changes the roles of traditional project management to become self-organized and team empowerment. For me this is the toughest change and normally takes time. What about if we treated the users (team members, Scrum Master, Business Analysts, UX, Admins and others) as players?
Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology provides perspective for categorizing players in a gamified system which could be applied to users in Agile adoption.
Gamifiying Agile adoption means creating well designed activities to encourage desired behavior from implementing Agile. The activities should be intriguing to the users so that they are motivated to show the required behavior through implementing those activities.
How a project manager changes so that he can give-up autocratic approach to support empowering a team to sign-off for its own tasks?
The focus should be shifted into designing activities which are rewarding and enabler to the desired behavior. Driven by Bartle’s we could have project managers as:
- Socializers: Those who primarily want to network with peers in the organization to enhance their Agile understanding and implementation. The human-interaction focus of Agile is particularly appealing to socializers.
- Explorers: Those who want to explore independently every activity of Agile and to define their role related to each.
- Achievers: Those who, regardless of rewards, want to prove that they master as many as Agile activity as possible and demonstrate exceptional quality in Agile project management. They want recognition as to be praised by socializers.
- Killers: Those want objective evidence (e.g. metrics) to prove they beat their peers in implementing Agile.
Gamification activities should be designed bearing the above categories in mind.
At the heart of gamification is the player-centered design which requires careful understanding of Bartle’s categories as it makes sense in the context of Agile adoption.
Let’s respect the culture and center Agile implementation around our players for motivating the desired behavior through having fun!
A fundamental question here is do we need culture change to:
- Be able to implement Agile, or
- To produce real value from Agile implementation
Point-2 is where we should aim. We can have point-1 addressed in the form of implementation of a certain Agile framework with its accompanied ceremonies but yet everyone wonders how we improved.
After reading the Cutter’s blog post here by Christopher Avery I had my own reflections in the next concept map.
- As change you should stop asking management to change but instead you be the change yourself.
- Sharpen your management skills and avoid getting distracted in technical practices.
- Play the role of Agile manager starting with observation without introducing changes.
- Maintain Improvement Backlog and watch for improvement opportunity.
- Introduce change carefully and succeed.
- Collaborate with the rest of managers in the organization to enrich and strengthen Agile management movement. Work with them to effect change at the department level.
- The ultimate success happens when executives adopt iterative management framework instead of linear management.
- Establish relationship with executives at highest possible level. They will support your Agile change initiative and therefore help the organization brings the highest possible value from becoming Agile.
The 4DX is structured approach for execution to achieve organization’s strategic goals. This post describes synergy of 4DX with Agile product management.
The dilemma is that organizations are not short of ideas and strategy but they lack the capability of execution to achieve them. The 4DX uses the analogy whirlwind to describe the urgency and daily job which distract the organization from achieving its goals. Read more…