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 15

What you could learn from ‘Building successful communities of practice’ by Emily Webber (2016, 70 pages)

Emily argues that to be a resilient and happy organisation you must invest in the learning and development of its people as a whole.  In her book, she argues that communities of practice are the best way to encourage learning and development. “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion […]

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 […]

November 01

Product leadership part 3 – leadership

Leadership is a highly ambiguous and contested topic.  If you want to explore leadership, and how it’s meaning has changed over time, see here.  Briefly, in a dynamic environment with highly skilled people (i.e., at Monese), leaders need to support and guide their followers, rather than tell them what to do.  However, leaders need to ensure that people are […]

November 01

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 […]

November 01

Product leadership part 1 – making great decisions

Product Leaders (PL) need to ensure that teams are building the most valuable experiences for customers and the company.  To do this, you need to find the right problem and then find a pragmatic solution.  Whether the solution should be executed, will depend on whether it is more or less valuable than your other options. Finding […]

November 01

What does a product leader do?

Product leaders delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways.  Gibson Biddle, VP Product Netflix   In my experience product leaders (PL, may also be called product owner or managers) lead the teams that build amazing experiences for customers.  PL’s understand existing and target customers, the companies strategic context and then translate this into a prioritised list of […]

October 26

What you could learn from ‘The Age of Agile’ by Steve Denning (2018, 264 pages)

How have companies like Google, Spotify, Netflix and Facebook managed to continue to innovate despite their global scale? Steve Denning in his book ‘The Age of Agile’ argues that the competitive advantage of these companies is the ability to get teams focusing on bringing value to the customer and the priority of flow through the system […]

October 25

What you could learn from ‘Powerful’ by Patty McCord (2018, 148 pages)

Netflix is now the global superpower of streaming.  How did they get there, and how did they out-compete Google and Amazon? Patty McCord in her book ‘Powerful’ suggests that the Netflix culture and a strong HR team, under her guidance, played an enormous part in that success. In the book, Patty divides advice into nine […]

October 18

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink (2011, 256 pages)

Why do people leave one company for another?  Why do people dedicate their lives to work or the pursuit of a life-long goal?  Motivation theory has evolved a long way since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see here).  In his book ‘Drive’ Daniel Pink argues that there are three drivers of motivation: Autonomy Mastery Purpose   Autonomy […]

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