Product Development

Product Roadmaps for Internal Software Products

When I was a product manager for a commercial software company, one of the things that we regularly created was product roadmaps. These were tied to the vision for the product, and how we thought we could reach that vision. All requests to change our product were evaluated against our …

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Managing Product Backlogs in Diverse Agile Environments

Managing a Product Backlog when there is only one development team in an organization creating one solution at a time is relatively straight forward. However, large enterprises have multiple development teams creating a multitude of solutions with interdependencies between them. Managing product backlogs in these situations becomes very tricky, especially …

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Pretending Agile

It’s fun to ask a company or a team if they are using agile development methodologies. You might get a “no”, but you rarely get a “yes” that isn’t followed up with a “but…”. The “but” can be simple little things like the team doesn’t self-organize, or be something a …

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Homer Simpson, Difficult Stakeholder

I am a firm believer that any situation in life or in business can be traced to an episode of either The Simpsons or Seinfeld. In The Simpsons season 2 episode “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” the patriarch of the Simpson family designs a car, which provides a surprisingly sophisticated …

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Defining Proper Success Metrics on Business Objectives Models

The Business Objective Model (BOM) is one of the foundational  models we use as part of the Seilevel  requirements methodology.  The BOM defines the rationale for doing a project.  Every BOM has the following key component parts. 1.  Problems  – the business problems to be solved or addressed 2.  Objectives …

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Adjusting To New Information

What does it mean for an organization to be agile? I don’t mean just in terms of agile software development, I mean for any team or company or group of people working toward any common goal. I tend to think about it in terms of ships: imagine that you are …

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Big Data Challenges in Regulated Industries

I have been working with a large financial services company on a “big data” project. Let me qualify the term “big data” for the purpose of this discussion. We are talking of dealing directly with about 10 million records and indirectly about 100 million records. The direct records (approximately 10 …

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Aligning User Expectations with Business Objectives

Projects with clearly defined business objectives can and do fail even if they deliver functionality that syncs closely with the business objectives defined for the project, but do not meet user expectations. This may seem counter intuitive at first blush since the primary purpose of any enterprise software development effort …

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Unexciting Thresholds

Kano analysis, named for Professor Noriaki Kano, is helpful for figuring out what features will have the greatest sway on customer satisfaction. The approach uses five categories for considering satisfaction: Exciters (or Delighters), Performance, Threshold, Indifferent, and Reversed (or Questionable). These categories have been translated into English using various names, …

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