Product leadership part 2 – getting things done

“Actual productivity = potential productivity – coordination & motivation loss”

Rich Kalgradd

However, productivity is not the most important factor in team or company success.  Like running a race, you will not win by running the fastest in the wrong direction.  If you have chosen the right direction, .e., made a good decision about what to build, the next step is execution.  Good execution as Rich Kalgradd pointed out, requires good coordination and motivation.  Coordination is delivered through good communication and minimal process.

Good Communication

No plan survives contact with the enemy.  You need to communicate context to those who are going to do the work so that they make good decisions, especially when you realise the plan is not complete or the situation changes.  A product vision, strategy and north-star metric are key tools to establish alignment.  See below for an example, or use Roman Pitcher’s board.

  • Product vision (goal) E.g., 1000 song in your pocket
  • Product strategy (path towards the goal) E.g., Use new miniature memory to store songs using mp3 compression on a handheld device
  • North star matric (master metric) E.g., 5 million units sold

When it comes to alignment on features, your DOR should help.  Barbara Minto has great tips on how to communicate ideas and narratives can also play an important role, as humans love stories.

Minimal process

Agile is a light-weight framework and not a process (see here).  However, there are several very good agile practices that help get software shipped quickly and safely:

Be very careful with adding process.  A process is a tool and not a rule, the important thing is to find something that works, allows you to focus on adding value and keep learning and improving.

Team and individual motivation

See my next post on Leadership.