In this article, Tirrell Payton identifies common issues faced by product managers and how to fix them.
“Hi, I’m Tirrell. Thanks a lot for taking the time to chat with me about what you need and how I might be able to help. So tell me, what is the problem you’re trying to solve?”
“We want to be more agile”
“Ok, but what does that mean?”
“We want to release software faster and still keep high quality. We want to improve the productivity of our developers”
“Thanks. For a second, let’s take a step back from the developers, and talk about the organization… what business goals with ‘going agile’ help you achieve?”
“I never thought of that….”
Software development does not exist in a vacuum
In most organizations, software development is a supporting function for the rest of the business. The reason the software teams get so much attention when it comes to “measuring productivity” or “becoming more agile” is because software is typically looked at as a cost center. This means when executive leadership are trying to figure out how to do “more with less”, they look at the areas where the largest amount of money is being spent. Since engineers and technologists are not cheap, IT and software development is the first place they look to try to improve cost structure or gain efficiencies.
However, the effectiveness, quality, and productivity of a team is more a result of upstream processes and the overall environment than process magic. In other words, there is no process, agile or otherwise, that will fix problems with your development teams that originate elsewhere in the organization. While there are actions we can take to improve the teams’ performance, the outcomes will be localized to the extent our problem solving is localized. System-wide improvements require system-wide changes.
Key points include:
- Business objective blindness
- Overall business agility
- Completing the concept-to-cash cycle
Read the full article, Why Agile Software Development Is Not Enough and Agile Product Management is the Answer, on LinkedIn.