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How You Say It Does Matter

When we have a sticky issue for which the solution needs buy-in, I’m frequently the voice in the room making sure we’re all in agreement on how we’re going to request the buy-in.  While some people get frustrated with this, I’ve learned that how you pose a question can have …

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Houston, We Have a Problem Message. Recycled paper note pinned on cork board. Concept Image

Solve One Problem at a Time

I recently re-watched The Martian, a great movie I recommend to anyone. One lesson I learned from the movie that is also relevant to my work is to solve one problem at a time. For those of you who have not seen the movie (no plot disclosures – I promise!) …

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Don’t Throw Away Your Shot: Be A Hamilton Product Manager

Five years ago, nobody really remembered Alexander Hamilton, but with the helping hand of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical he has burst back into the spotlight over two hundred years later. While I will agree that Miranda’s songs are incredible, there is not enough focus on Hamilton’s greatest achievement: he got the US …

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Gathering Requirements in a Green Field

In my time at Seilevel, I’ve had a chance to work with a number of different clients, operating in a range of industries. Oftentimes, these clients begin projects with a number of legacy systems that need updated or integrated with; it is a rare opportunity for a project team to …

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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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Agile is a Cultural Revolution

Agile is often spoken of a development methodology along the lines of “Agile is a development methodology; other common development methodologies are Waterfall, Iterative, etc.”  This is akin to saying something like “Weightlifting is a means of keeping fit; other common techniques to stay fit are aerobics, swimming, running, walking, …

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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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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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