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3 Trends Shaping The Future of Product Management

"In our survey of 253 product managers, we found some notable long-term trends that highlight the maturation of a field that is becoming more advanced and coalescing around a standard set of best practices. This article covers the three most notable trends that will shape product management in 2019 and beyond."

Planisware's insight:

Spoiler: these trends are:

1. Experimentation has become a core part of product management’s role

2. Product managers want to cut through red tape

3. Product management is a strategic role

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Everybody Should Be Pursuing A Grand Challenge — Here's Why

Everybody Should Be Pursuing A Grand Challenge — Here's Why | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"While incremental improvements can improve performance along an established trajectory, by solving a fundamental problem you can change the game entirely."

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The Difference Between a Professional and an Amateur

The Difference Between a Professional and an Amateur | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Being paid to do a job doesn’t make someone a professional. This post explains the crucial difference between an amateur and a professional."

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Product/Market Fit is Failing Because of Your Company Structure

Product/Market Fit is Failing Because of Your Company Structure | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Did you know that 42% of startups fail because no one wants to buy their product? For corporations, nearly 80% of new products fail each year for the exact same reason. So why are we still developing products no one wants?

Product experts have tried to tackle this issue but they gloss over the impact a company’s structure and leadership team have on product/market fit."

Planisware's insight:

Managers don't often look at the question of who owns the product/market fit when analyzing the key success factors of new product development.
This article shows that the decisions that are made, the features that are prioritized, and ultimately the success of a new product in its intended market are heavily influenced by whether such product/market fit ultimately belongs to Sales, Business or Marketing leaders.

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Don’t starve maintenance projects of funds

Don’t starve maintenance projects of funds | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it
Be careful that the allure of shiny new initiatives doesn't distract you from other good but mundane maintenance projects and investments.
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Customers, Internal Delivery, and Trust

Customers, Internal Delivery, and Trust | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"If your end-users can't take the product more often than a couple of times a year, you can still use agile approaches. Consider changing your definition of customer. Release internally as often as possible and see what happens."

Planisware's insight:

The Agile engine is fueled by short feedback loops. But what happens when your end customers cannot absorb more than a few releases a year?
In this article, Johanna Rothman explores the idea of expanding the concept of "customer" to other types of stakeholder, and studies the effect this has on the dynamics of feedback loops.

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Survivorship bias & product development: are we making irrational decisions?

"Are we all only looking at one side of the stories we are given, or in a more formal way, are we suffering from survivorship bias?"

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The industry effect on a company’s performance

The industry effect on a company’s performance | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it
What’s the single biggest determinant of how your company performs relative to others? The industry you compete in.
Planisware's insight:

We don't often think of the direct effect that our industry has on company performance. This McKinsey Five/Fifty offers a starting point to look at all the ways this occurs.

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Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond

Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

Research consistently shows that remote employees tend to feel excluded from the company culture. Remote workers report feeling as if they are not treated equally and often fear that their colleagues are working against them. When a problem arises, nearly half of remote workers let it fester for weeks or more.

Planisware's insight:

Two unconventional strategies to help increase engagement between remote workers. But when you think about it: engagement by definition is about communication, and sometimes, all you need is to get the ball rolling.

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Product Owners Should Prioritize Importance over Urgency

Product Owners Should Prioritize Importance over Urgency | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"See if this problem sounds familiar: Your agile team runs a series of sprints, always doing the highest priority work as chosen by your product owner. But after that series of sprints, you look back at what the team accomplished. And it’s not very satisfying. All the team seemed to do was move from emergency to emergency, putting out one fire after another.

The team very likely got a lot of work done. But it doesn’t add up to much."

Planisware's insight:

An excellent article about the traps of prioritization in Agile projects and sprints. In a way that will be familiar to many, Mike Cohn reminds us of the difference between the Urgent and the Important, and why we should pay attention (and prioritize) the latter over the former.

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5 Business Leaders Share Their Best Advice for Organizational Change

5 Business Leaders Share Their Best Advice for Organizational Change | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Companies are just collections of people, so it makes sense that they’d build up all kinds of bad habits over time. Shouldn’t our organizations be on a self-improvement regimen, continuously trying to fix what’s broken?"

Planisware's insight:

A compilation of the insights and advice from 5 business leaders to help grow a balanced and open organization. The advice alone is worth reading!

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Bias busters: Pruning projects proactively

Bias busters: Pruning projects proactively | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Companies hang on too long to underperforming assets. Continual pruning can help them avoid significant losses."

Planisware's insight:

The inability to kill under-performing or out of alignment projects is a problem that is prevalent, yet paradoxically seldom discussed. This article offers a couple of approaches to shift perception of projects and help curb bad habits.

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A brief history of IT

A brief history of IT | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Is your IT future-oriented? 
The nature of IT is changing - if you aren't adapting, chances are that your IT is a liability rather than an asset for your organization. So - what's different?"

Planisware's insight:

An interesting summary of the role of IT, yesterday, today and as it will likely be tomorrow. The questions Michael Küsters asks are particularly interesting for assessing your IT strategy, and throw your current setup into perspective.

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Innovate on Purpose: How to know when the old models don't work any more

"What I was hoping the original article would address itself to is: when should executives know that their existing models may not work any more? What are some key trip wires, canaries in the coal mine, and so on that signal that the old models are failing, and the time to take a significant risk on a new model is nigh? Answer that one and you'll have an army of CEOs knocking on your door."

Planisware's insight:

This is one of the more important questions one can ask about business strategy. And yet, it is seldom discussed – probably because the answer is the holy grail for any organization that wasn't born in the last decade. While not claiming to hold the answer, Jeffrey Phillips offers an insightful exploration of this question, and in doing so, a shift in perspective on this recurring question: how do we protect ourselves from being disrupted?

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4 Tricks for Getting Better Feedback

4 Tricks for Getting Better Feedback | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"You put weeks of work into designing a great event. You think it went well, and people seemed happy, but how do you find out what truly worked and what didn’t? Instead of circulating a survey that makes people's eyes glaze over (if they glance it at all) we've applied our design chops to the task. Here's how to get quality feedback that will help you up your game."

Planisware's insight:

As trite as it may seem, feedback is still the cornerstone of improvement. But there are some situations where getting feedback is more difficult than others. This article offers strategies to tackle one of the most annoyingly difficult of those: the event.

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The Agile Fallacy

"That's not Agile!" - does it matter? My claim - no! "Being Agile" isn't true/false - it's a spectrum from rock to photon. Everyone is somewhere"

Planisware's insight:

If something works, does it matter that it's not by the book? Yes, there are cases where Agile is applied in a way that in not completely in line with the Agile manifesto and its principles. But we must learn to distinguish situation where Agile was implemented in a way that doesn't work, from those where it does... And leave the latter alone. 

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Why Defining the Scope of Change Management is Critical

Why Defining the Scope of Change Management is Critical | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it
Defining the scope of change management enables practitioners to work more effectively with others in the organization who are implementing change.
Planisware's insight:

Too often, Change Management is a sort of nebulous box where all aspects of change are stuffed whenever they appear in processes reviews and evolution. For the same reason that we seek to develop a visible structure for Project Management, we should see to develop a proper scope for Change Management. This article explains the consequence of doing (or not doing) so.

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How Roche pursues agile and digital transformation

How Roche pursues agile and digital transformation | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) – a leading global healthcare company – is undertaking a transformation to become a more agile and digital organization. Part of the foundation for this effort has been a global leadership initiative designed to help senior leadership develop the mind-sets and capabilities they need in both personal and organizational transformation."

Planisware's insight:

Those of you who regularly read this thread will already be familiar with the idea that successful Agile transformations requires a fundamental switch in mindset. In this article, Tammy Lowry, head of talent innovation for Roche (a longtime Planisware customer) discusses the strategy they developed to foster a more agile mindset for their leadership.

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You want to adopt the “Spotify Model”? I don’t think it means what you think it means!’

You want to adopt the “Spotify Model”? I don’t think it means what you think it means!’ | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Don’t fool yourself and others. The Spotify engineering culture is NOT about their organisational structure. It is how people are allowed to determine what to do. It’s about autonomy. It’s about having a culture of safety. Among others. I advise you to revisit the videos so that you can experience it yourself."

Planisware's insight:

Over the past six months, we seen a significant increase in the number of companies who mention implementing the "Spotify model". But whilst the source is well identified (140k views on YouTube!), the interpretation is sometimes slightly... divergent.

This article is a welcome reminder that the Spotify model is a work-in-progress, and meant as inspiration only.

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Saying No to Stakeholders: 6 Tips for Product Owners

Saying No to Stakeholders: 6 Tips for Product Owners | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it
When customers ask for features a team can’t work on right away, it’s hard for product owners to turn them away. Discover how to make tough stakeholder conversations go smoothly.
Planisware's insight:

Saying no to stakeholders is a skill every product owner needs to master. Here are six guidelines for how you can do so politely but firmly.

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When You’re Rejected for the Changes You Were Hired to Create

When You’re Rejected for the Changes You Were Hired to Create | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Maybe you’re one of them. You were sold on the promise, “We need some new blood, like you. Change agents who will shake things up and help us transition into the company we need to be.” Then, within a matter of months you were rejected and ostracized by the people you were supposed to be helping."

Planisware's insight:

“What if I’m the change that people are resisting?”

By construction, there is a fundamental tension in change management between the person who brings in the change, and the structure (and people) they are tasked to change. In this article, Liane Davey proposes eight strategies to reduce change rejection, and help demonstrate that change agents are not the enemy.

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Innovation "Gurus" Love To Talk About These 4 Myths — None Of Them Are True

Innovation "Gurus" Love To Talk About These 4 Myths — None Of Them Are True | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"These are exciting, but confusing times. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of room for hucksters selling gimmicks and every conference has its share of them as well. They tend to be long on buzzwords and short on any real experience or track record of accomplishment. Nevertheless, they can be incredibly convincing. Here are four ideas you should be looking to avoid."

Planisware's insight:

A short (but action packed) article in which Greg Satell cuts through the buzz, and analyses four of the most prevalent myths about innovation, and why they aren't nearly as true as they look.

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If, buts and maybes. Mind your IT Project language

If, buts and maybes. Mind your IT Project language | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"I walked into a Project Management Office recently, and on the wall, in large letters above the Project Leader's desk was the phrase 'No "Ifs", "Buts" Or "Maybes"'. At first, it looked like one of those platitudes that you often see [...]. I asked the team leader, Malcolm, about the poster and he told me it was his own creation, to remind him of his personal philosophy about the use of language and the impact that it can have on IT Project outcomes."

Planisware's insight:

The idea that the words we use have an impact on the way we approach problems does sound like an empty platitude. But it hides a fundamental truth.

This article shows that, by reframing this into keeping track of three simple words ("if", "but" and "maybe"), it is possible to automatically recast issues in a way that opens up more options for solutions.

 

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How to Design a Meeting That Doesn't Suck

How to Design a Meeting That Doesn't Suck | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"3 rules for designing a non-boring meeting."

Planisware's insight:

"Oh god, not another meeting."

With the number of meetings in the average knowledge worker's agenda, you would think that they are the paragon of efficiency. And yet, there seems to be an almost universal consensus that most of them are a total waste of time.

In this article, Ideo, the creative consultancy firm, offers 3 unusual paths to make meetings less of a chore and more something useful that people will look forward to.

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HBR Embraces Agile At Scale: Rethinking How We Live And Work

HBR Embraces Agile At Scale: Rethinking How We Live And Work | Project Portfolio Perspectives | Scoop.it

"Agile and its analogs reflect efforts to respond to extraordinary technology, greater competition, increasing complexity, and the faster pace of change. It’s easy to get lost in the details of Agile management practices and lose sight of this bigger picture: the ongoing transformation of management isn’t just a technical set of questions about management practices and methodologies. It’s about a profound change in how society itself gets things done, how it is organized and how we spend our lives."

Planisware's insight:

Using the Harvard Business Reviews's latest edition – which focused on Agile at Scale – as starting point, Steve Denning offers a fascinating framing of the shift to Agile in the greater context of the technological and societal changes of the past couple of decades.

In doing so, he highlights seven less commonly (yet essential) aspects of the Agile mindset, and opens the door to a deeper understanding of of impact Agile is (starting to) have on the way we live and do things.

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