People want to know what worked well at other successful companies because there is an assumption that it might work well for them… this is understandable. But what worked at Spotify or Shopify or Stackify will not necessarily work for them.
And recently, a product leader at Spotify shared that her group (and many others throughout her company) have evolved to very different organizational models than described in Henrik Kniberg’s 2012 Scaling Agile @ Spotify. I’ve repeatedly seen that cutting and pasting someone else’s organization ignores the hard retrospection about what’s not working (and what works well) at your own company.
So much good advice in this article by Rich Mironov. His section on Professional Service organizations trying to build products is spot on. There is such a mindshift necessary in going from pro services to building products that most organizations can’t pull it off. Not to mention the practical issues that arise from focusing on a product that generates zero revenue and demands 100% focus from a product dev team that would be billing for their time if they weren’t working on the product. There is immense discipline required to pull this off.
Product Owner != Product Manager. Amen. I’ve been practicing Scrum for about 15 years now. I received training from one of the creators of Scrum, Ken Schwaber, and one of the go-to people for product owner training, Mike Cohn. Great training. And yet, most of the focus was on overcoming problems that internal IT departments face versus building full blown products that generate revenue. As much help as I think technical PROJECT management needs in various areas, technical PRODUCT management is in desperate need of help across the board. Too many people have the title/role with little training, mentoring, and/or coaching. For all the excellent resources available for Agile and lean project management and software development training, there is little (in comparison) for product management. The gap is felt by product development teams churning, with a common complaint about how “Product” is incapable or even incompotent. The problem is left unaddressed mainly because those in the Product org responsible for fixing it are in just as bad (if not worse) shape than those they hired. Rough. – Josh