Agile Product Management with Scrum
Whilst on a flight recently I finally got around to reading “Agile Product Management with Scrum”. As usual the book, like most good books, offers at least a few reminders and new thoughts on concepts that are key to get correct on projects.
My main issue however is still that so many people involved in projects lack an understanding (and thus reading) in the reason for project failures (usually because they have no engineering interest). This effectively leads to a high percentage of projects moving into an unacceptable risk area early on in a project, which only spirals causing teams and stakeholders to loose trust, focus and therefore inevitably money 😦
If anyway, most corporations should probably consider mandatory training for all staff on some basic engineering principles, and the top 10 risks/issues that causes projects to fail. Sticking your head in the sand on a project should not be accepted in this day and age!
- Page 19 – “Proxy Product Owner” – which can easily cause “conflicts and miscommunication, a slowdown in decision making, and a decrease in productivity and morale”. Lack of engagement will always causes issues. If you fail to engage, accept the consequences!
- Page 29 – You really don’t need every feature under the sun for a Minimal Viable Product (MVP): “The original iPhone shipped without many features that were standard on existing phones: copy and paste, the ability to send text messages to multiple recipients, and a software development kit, for instance. These limitations, though, did not hinder its success. “
- Page 68 – Non-functional Requirements (NFR’s) as constraints
- Page 78 – Some relevant views on Fixed Price contracts. Scrum is a disruptive process innovation!
- Page 95 – Don’t be tempted to release more functionality by sacrificing quality. Its key in my view to understand project engineering (as above), because without at least a basic understanding of software engineering, decision will be made that will inevitably mean money is wasted.
- Page 103 – Just in time review – Don’t even think about not doing this, as it avoid the bubble at the end of sprints
- Page 107 – Bungee Product Owner. In many ways this related to the Proxy Product Owner. Utter failure will follow
- Page 108 – Unsustainable pace. Another point often overlooked due to the naivety of stakeholders who lack any engineering/agile knowledge. Ultimately the team will fail leading to morale issues, resignations, and effectively a broken product. Wake up!
Like most agile books, use the knowledge appropriately. The book is not a agile bible. All projects have similar but different issues.