Category Archives: Blog

October 18

Brutal feedback is how you grow

From the military into Product, part 3 In Part 1 and Part 2, I outlined two key lesson that I have manage to carry forward from my time in the military to my roles in Product. Servant leadership is not sacrificial leadership No one is going to die in Product (for the most part) In […]

October 18

No one is going to die in product*

From the military, into Product, part 2 In Part 1, wrote about how I learned the difference between servant leadership and sacrificial leadership. Now, I would to share how the perspective gain on the battlefield, has helped me better respond to emergencies and incidents that happen in Product every day. In several companies I have […]

October 18

Servant leadership is not sacrificial leadership

From the military into Product, Part 1 I spent nearly 11 years in the British Military. I started in Bomb Disposal and ended my service working on strategy in NATO. I made a huge amount of mistakes and learnt a great deal. Among the many lessons I learnt, three things have stuck with me over […]

April 12

Leadership hack 023 + pull leadership

The more I learn about software development and systems, the more I admire the Lean movement. Central to the lean movement is the concept of moving from push to pull. Push systems In a push system, work is fed into the system at the rate at which those controlling the system decide. For example, on […]

December 28

How to scale (5 of 5) – culture

In my last few posts I have discussed how successful scale-ups grow, and the fundamental components structure, process and architecture. In my final post, I look at possibly the most important aspect of company performance – culture.   Great culture means that you need less bureaucracy and control measures to protect your customers and your company.  […]

November 30

How to scale (4 of 5) – architecture

In my previous posts, I have talked about how start-ups scale, how to structure products teams and how to scale process.   Jez Humble suggests that architecture and culture are critical to scaling. On architecture Jez argues for: Build systems that are designed to be deployed easily into multiple environments, can detect and tolerate failures in […]

November 30

Leadership hack – the role of Product Owner

In my previous leadership post, I discussed the role of the Chief Product Officer. In this post, I want to focus on product leadership at the team level.  There is much discussion over the what a product owner or product manager does, and if there are differences between the two.    While there are many […]

November 28

Leadership hack – what does a Chief Product Officer do?

In this post, I want to share my thoughts on what a Chief Product Officer/Head of Product does.  Recently I moderated a ScaleUp Heros panel discussion in the role of  Head of Product (you can find it on LinkedIn, Medium and  Facebook).  The host Ryan Foland and exceptional panellists John Connolly, Courtney Wylie and Ben Kim explored product […]

November 22

How to scale (3 of 5) – Agile (process)

In the earlier posts, I explored how successful companies scale, and ways to structure product teams.   In this post, I look at execution – how to get code shipped. Modern software development (Agile) differs from historic approaches (waterfall).   Agile is a commonly used term but is often embellished and miss-understood.  It is important to separate […]

November 16

How to scale (2 of 5) – Product team structure

Welcome to the second part of my ‘How to scale’ series (you can find part 1 here). One of the first objectives when thinking about structuring your product teams is to ensure that Product is separated from Core engineering.  The core engineering team can then focus on creating architecture that can scale, and services that can […]

November 09

How to scale (1 of 5) – the journey from garage band to Glastonbury

“Software ends up being shaped by the structure of the organisation that develops it” Conway’s Law One of the most animated discussions I often have with founders, CEOs and other product leaders is how to structure product teams when a company grows.  While I think this is incredibly important (as Conway noted) I feel it misses […]

November 02

Beginners guide to crypto

Bitcoin, crypto and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are hot topics.  Very simply there are all just a form of a database which stores data in a very secure way.  They do this using in a fundamentally different way to historical databases.  The two main differences are: Where the data is stored How the data is […]

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