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Engineering Challenges / 

Product Management Solutions
Ron Lichty, principal, Ron Lichty Consulting

author, Managing the Unmanageable
www.RonLichty.com www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
Ron Lichty,
Managing Development  Product Teams
SOFTWEST
2
Annual Study 
of Product Team Performance
http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html© Ron Lichty 3
* Addison Wesley
*
© Ron Lichty 4
Training Teams: Agile
1-4 weeks
© Ron Lichty 5
Debugging Software Teams
Transforming Chaos to Clarity
© Ron Lichty 6
Debugging Software Teams
Transforming Chaos to Clarity
•  Product Management is essential
© Ron Lichty 7
Debugging Software Teams
Transforming Chaos to Clarity
•  Product Management is essential
–  Technical
–  Effective
–  Experienced
© Ron Lichty 8
Scattershot, Hit-or-Miss Development
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 9
Scattershot, Hit-or-Miss Development
•  It’s PdM that supplies consistent direction
–  vision
–  roadmap
–  prioritized backlogs of stories
–  theming sprints
© Ron Lichty 10
Development Is Distracted
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 11
Be an umbrella to the noise
--John Evans photo
© Ron Lichty 12
Be an umbrella to the noise
--John Evans photo
•  Speed of Ideation exceeds the Speed of Development
© Ron Lichty 13
Be an umbrella to the noise
--John Evans photo
•  Speed of Ideation exceeds the Speed of Development
•  Courage: “Great idea! I’ll put that in the backlog”
© Ron Lichty 14
Let developers focus
© Ron Lichty 15
pixabay.com
Source: Mike Cohn, citing Steven C.Wheelwright and Kim B.Clark (1993), Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency and Quality, 1993
Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking
© Ron Lichty 16
taking communications overload into account
Source: Rob Maher, “Increasing Team Productivity: A project focus creates waste and leaves value on the table”, Scrum.org Whitepapers
Rob Maher, surmising that email, texts, IRC, chat, smartphones together represent a second “task”
Source: Mike Cohn, citing Steven C.Wheelwright and Kim B.Clark (1993), Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency and Quality, 1993
Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking
© Ron Lichty 17
--Larry Maccherone, The Impact of Agile Quantified, Rally, 2013
Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking
© Ron Lichty 18
Developers Are Lackluster
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 19
Connect the vision with the team’s work
http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
© Ron Lichty
Create an Agile Culture
© Ron Lichty 21
Developers Aren’t Following the Plan
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 22
Order the Backlog by Value
© Ron Lichty 23
pixabay.com
Development Is on a Death March
© Ron Lichty 24
Provide Clarity: Scope or Deadline???
© Ron Lichty 25
What You’re Getting ≠ What You Wanted
© Ron Lichty 26
What You’re Getting ≠ What You Wanted
•  Clear requirements
•  Always based on the customer
•  An answer to every ambiguity
•  The “what”; for context the “who”  the “why”
•  Never the demotivating “how”
•  How we’ll know we’ve achieved success: UATs
•  3rd ‘C’ in Planning Meeting 3 C’s: Confirmation
© Ron Lichty 27
Team Doesn’t Get the Vision
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 28
Engage Developers with Real Users
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 29
Developers Go Unheard
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 30
Developers Go Unheard
“If you’re just using your engineers to code,
you’re losing half their value.”
“The single biggest innovator in many
companies is the tech lead.”
--Marty Cagan
© Ron Lichty 31
Listen, Ask
pixabay.com
•  Developers want to delight customers, too
•  They see opportunities in the code
•  Give them context / expect rich options
© Ron Lichty 32
Cost of Adding Features Spikes
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 33
Groom the Backlog in Collaboration 
with your Tech Lead!
•  PdMs are responsible for the backlog
•  Critical technical Product Backlog Items:
–  just-enough architecture
–  resolving technical risk
–  automating building and testing
–  fixing critical bugs
•  Either
–  collaboratively interweave technical PBIs
–  assign nn% every sprint to tech team stories
© Ron Lichty 34
Sprints Are a Mishmash of Stuff
pixabay.com
© Ron Lichty 35
Theme Your Sprints
© Ron Lichty 36
pixabay.com
Debugging Software Teams
Transforming Chaos to Clarity
Product Management is essential
© Ron Lichty 37
Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom*
* 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html
© Ron Lichty 38
Ron Lichty Consulting
•  Interim  acting CTO/VP Eng roles / making development hum
–  http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com
•  The book: 
Managing the Unmanageable: 
Rules, Tools  Insights for Managing Software People  Teams
–  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
•  The study: 
The Study of Product Team Performance
–  http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html
•  Training: Agile for Teams
The Agile Manager
Managing Software People and Teams© Ron Lichty 39

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Engineering challenges, product management solutions - product camp 2016

  • 1. Engineering Challenges / 
 Product Management Solutions Ron Lichty, principal, Ron Lichty Consulting
 author, Managing the Unmanageable www.RonLichty.com www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
  • 2. Ron Lichty, Managing Development Product Teams SOFTWEST 2
  • 3. Annual Study of Product Team Performance http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html© Ron Lichty 3
  • 4. * Addison Wesley * © Ron Lichty 4
  • 5. Training Teams: Agile 1-4 weeks © Ron Lichty 5
  • 6. Debugging Software Teams Transforming Chaos to Clarity © Ron Lichty 6
  • 7. Debugging Software Teams Transforming Chaos to Clarity •  Product Management is essential © Ron Lichty 7
  • 8. Debugging Software Teams Transforming Chaos to Clarity •  Product Management is essential –  Technical –  Effective –  Experienced © Ron Lichty 8
  • 10. Scattershot, Hit-or-Miss Development •  It’s PdM that supplies consistent direction –  vision –  roadmap –  prioritized backlogs of stories –  theming sprints © Ron Lichty 10
  • 12. Be an umbrella to the noise --John Evans photo © Ron Lichty 12
  • 13. Be an umbrella to the noise --John Evans photo •  Speed of Ideation exceeds the Speed of Development © Ron Lichty 13
  • 14. Be an umbrella to the noise --John Evans photo •  Speed of Ideation exceeds the Speed of Development •  Courage: “Great idea! I’ll put that in the backlog” © Ron Lichty 14
  • 15. Let developers focus © Ron Lichty 15 pixabay.com
  • 16. Source: Mike Cohn, citing Steven C.Wheelwright and Kim B.Clark (1993), Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency and Quality, 1993 Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking © Ron Lichty 16
  • 17. taking communications overload into account Source: Rob Maher, “Increasing Team Productivity: A project focus creates waste and leaves value on the table”, Scrum.org Whitepapers Rob Maher, surmising that email, texts, IRC, chat, smartphones together represent a second “task” Source: Mike Cohn, citing Steven C.Wheelwright and Kim B.Clark (1993), Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency and Quality, 1993 Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking © Ron Lichty 17
  • 18. --Larry Maccherone, The Impact of Agile Quantified, Rally, 2013 Don’t Be a Source of Multitasking © Ron Lichty 18
  • 20. Connect the vision with the team’s work http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net © Ron Lichty
  • 21. Create an Agile Culture © Ron Lichty 21
  • 22. Developers Aren’t Following the Plan pixabay.com © Ron Lichty 22
  • 23. Order the Backlog by Value © Ron Lichty 23 pixabay.com
  • 24. Development Is on a Death March © Ron Lichty 24
  • 25. Provide Clarity: Scope or Deadline??? © Ron Lichty 25
  • 26. What You’re Getting ≠ What You Wanted © Ron Lichty 26
  • 27. What You’re Getting ≠ What You Wanted •  Clear requirements •  Always based on the customer •  An answer to every ambiguity •  The “what”; for context the “who” the “why” •  Never the demotivating “how” •  How we’ll know we’ve achieved success: UATs •  3rd ‘C’ in Planning Meeting 3 C’s: Confirmation © Ron Lichty 27
  • 28. Team Doesn’t Get the Vision pixabay.com © Ron Lichty 28
  • 29. Engage Developers with Real Users pixabay.com © Ron Lichty 29
  • 31. Developers Go Unheard “If you’re just using your engineers to code, you’re losing half their value.” “The single biggest innovator in many companies is the tech lead.” --Marty Cagan © Ron Lichty 31
  • 32. Listen, Ask pixabay.com •  Developers want to delight customers, too •  They see opportunities in the code •  Give them context / expect rich options © Ron Lichty 32
  • 33. Cost of Adding Features Spikes pixabay.com © Ron Lichty 33
  • 34. Groom the Backlog in Collaboration with your Tech Lead! •  PdMs are responsible for the backlog •  Critical technical Product Backlog Items: –  just-enough architecture –  resolving technical risk –  automating building and testing –  fixing critical bugs •  Either –  collaboratively interweave technical PBIs –  assign nn% every sprint to tech team stories © Ron Lichty 34
  • 35. Sprints Are a Mishmash of Stuff pixabay.com © Ron Lichty 35
  • 36. Theme Your Sprints © Ron Lichty 36 pixabay.com
  • 37. Debugging Software Teams Transforming Chaos to Clarity Product Management is essential © Ron Lichty 37
  • 38. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* * 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html © Ron Lichty 38
  • 39. Ron Lichty Consulting •  Interim acting CTO/VP Eng roles / making development hum –  http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com •  The book: Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools Insights for Managing Software People Teams –  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net •  The study: The Study of Product Team Performance –  http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html •  Training: Agile for Teams The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams© Ron Lichty 39