1. We get this question a lot. It is referring to the denominator of CD3 (Cost of Delay Divided by Duration). For various reasons, people struggle with this. There’s perhaps an element of bikeshedding involved too, with people generally more comfortable talking about what they know and understand, and avoiding the Cost of Delay part, which […]

  2. Abstract: What does the PMO actually do in an agile, learning organisation? The leading vs dragging PMO In many organisations the PMO tends to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution. They tend to frustrate attempts to improve agility that come from either bottom-up team level adoption of agile and top-down […]

  3. Abstract: Have you noticed the impact when someone more senior in your organisation shares their opinion? Meet the HiPPO: the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Sometimes it’s subtle and unintended. Other times it’s more direct and intentional. Either way, the HiPPO is a dangerous animal in Product Management. When we allow the HiPPO to drive decision-making […]

  4. Forecasting delivery is something every organisation should be doing. Unfortunately, hardly any do. This is a shame because it’s actually quite easy, as hopefully you’ll see below. Even a very basic forecast is better than blindly following a plan. It doesn’t need to be super complicated. There will be flaws, of course, but much like qualitative cost of […]

  5. I sometimes get asked about how Cost of Delay and CD3 work with Product Roadmaps. This post is an initial attempt to collate my current thinking on this (as green as that may be). Firstly, it really depends what you mean by “Roadmap”. I’ve seen lots of Roadmaps, mostly bad, and a few good ones. […]

  6. Two-day course in Athens, Greece, with Özlem Yüce. When: 22 & 23 March 2017 (2 days duration course) Early Bird Price: €600  + VAT / person (until 28 February 2017) – Use code EARLYBIRD at checkout Normal Price: €650  + VAT / person Product Management and Product Ownership are incredibly difficult roles. The easy part is […]

  7. Johanna Rothman sent us through some common puzzles about Cost of Delay and CD3. Posting our thoughts here, in case others have similar questions or suggestions… “Who estimates the Value part of Cost of Delay?” In most organisations it tends to be the Product Owners or Product Managers who facilitate estimating the Cost of Delay. We see them more […]

  8. What is a Product Roadmap for? What is the “job to be done” for which people “hire” Product Roadmaps? Of course, there are lots of different behaviours that Product Roadmaps support. Some of these behaviours are good, improving our chances of delivering something of value. Some, not so good. Even what might be considered “not so good” […]

  9. There’s been quite a lot of kerfuffle in New Zealand about the fact that Peter Thiel has been granted Citizenship. Given his background in PayPal, Facebook and other startups, I don’t think it’s that controversial that NZ would want to attract someone like Thiel to get involved in our economy. I also don’t think someone’s […]

  10. Some organisations struggle with team stability due to having to deal with multiple stakeholders. This is a fairly common situation. Typically, these stakeholders represent completely different departments or “silos” in an organisation, and they often have their own budgets. (This exposes one of the issues with departmental budgets in that they often make a claim on […]

  11. Here’s an interesting question: “I have been busy trying to figure out Cost of Delay but I’m stuck on a certain question — hopefully you can enlighten me. An example: Let’s say I have an ice cream stand that is currently at capacity, selling 10 ice-creams per week. I have two options to boost capacity: Option […]

  12. This is a wonderful piece by Jeanne Marie Laskas, writing for GQ magazine. It’s about a strange little federal agency in the US that runs traces on guns that are associated with a crime, trying to figure out who bought it. It’s long, but well worth reading in it’s entirety. There’s a few parts worth highlighting and looking into a […]

  13. A sorely underutilised way to tilt the playing field in Product Development is to simply break the rules that everyone else is playing by. This “thinking different” is often the underlying enabler to many successful products and business models. Southwest did it with completely ridiculous turnaround times, which completely changed the economics of running an airline. AirBnB are […]

  14. From this article by Cath Everett about some of the rather desperate tactics some companies in Silicon Valley are experimenting with to get more out of their people: “As to how to go about creating the perfect team, Forsgren cites a study undertaken by Google in 2012 called Project Aristotle, which set out to do […]

  15. There are many different ways to approach Cost of Delay. It ranges from very simple categorisation or qualitative assessments, to more rigorous quantification of Cost of Delay. None of these is inherently “wrong”. (Rarely are things as black and white as that.) That does not mean they are equal, however. Some approaches to Cost of Delay are a lot more […]

  16. One of the first articles I published highlights the problems created by doing funding and approval in large batches. Unfortunately, this is the status quo in most organisations and a lot of the malaise we see in I.T. is difficult to improve because of this. Addressing this requires a viable alternative though. It’s not enough to just point […]

  17. I have previously shared my view on the way SAFe teaches Cost of Delay. It’s possible that the feedback came in too large a batch, so maybe I can break it down and suggest some incremental improvements. I’ll start with the part I struggle with the most and see if we can make it just a little bit better… The SAFe “Cost of Delay” […]

  18. Less than a month to go! Agile2016 is on July 25-29 in Atlanta, GA, USA. Widely regarded as the premier Agile conference in the world, Agile2016 offers an unprecedented opportunity to learn from world-class experts and thought leaders while networking and collaborating with up to 2,500 Agile professionals from over 40 countries. Join active and influential Agile Developers, […]

  19. “Blindness to queues” is one of the cardinal sins of product development. Why? Well, here is a typical value stream map for a feature being delivered by a software team. Notice all the waiting? Not laziness: lots of Work-In-Process; Demand > Supply The reason for all the waiting is not that anyone is sitting around staring out the window […]

  20. This Popular Mechanics article about Elevator Scheduling Algorithms is well worth a read. This part in particular struck me: With the elevators directing themselves, engineers had to spell out rules for when to go where. The simplest method was for the elevators to shuttle back and forth between predefined “terminal floors” at scheduled intervals. It was like […]

  21. I’m going to break the first rule of #NoProjects (again), to collect a few artefacts in one place, mostly for reference purposes. I’ve been learning about the limitations of and dismantling what I would suggest is the abuse of the project vehicle in inappropriate contexts for a long time now. The turning point for me was possibly the point […]

  22. From a while back, but still as relevant today as back then. Feel free to join in… #iHaveADream that Project Managers are incentivised to kill projects early, by exposing assumptions about value & testing them quickly — Joshua J. Arnold (@joshuajames) November 18, 2015 #IHaveADream, that estimates will no longer be used as a tool […]

  23. In a comment on another post, Chris Matts pointed towards a video that I think every manager should watch. The video is of Clay Christensen at the Drucker Forum outlining his categorisation of innovation and presenting an argument that the world of finance has driven us to using the wrong metrics. It’s only 15 minutes […]

  24. Charlton Ogburn, an Officer during World War II wrote this in 1957: We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. Presumably the plans for our employment were being changed. I was to learn later in life that, perhaps because we are so […]

  25. From Amazon’s “2015 Letter to Shareholders“: To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there. Outsized returns often come from […]

  26. If you want to make better Product Development decisions, it really helps if you quantify the Cost of Delay. But what if you’re allergic to numbers? Perhaps a qualitative assessment of Cost of Delay would help get you started? Having helped lots of organisations quantify Cost of Delay across their portfolios, we know very well that it isn’t easy […]

  27. A couple of week’s ago I received an email asking how for help with applying Cost of Delay and CD3 to some potentially difficult cases. I enjoy these challenges. For an idea to survive, it needs to be stressed to see how it responds. Maybe the idea is completely flawed (e.g. the Geocentric model of the universe). Maybe it […]

  28. You hear a lot of people talking about “Scaling” Software Delivery. Like it or not, it is something many large organisations spend a lot of energy struggling with. What I find interesting though, is how it often means that they want to skip the learning part and go straight to the scaled setup (often following […]

  29. Having been involved in a number of “Digital Transformations” I’ve observed some useful patterns of both failure and success that you might want to consider. I hesitate to use the term “Digital Transformation” because isn’t very well defined. It has also been somewhat abused, much like “Agile Transformation” that came before it. Nevertheless, there are many […]

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