Products are not Projects — simple.

A project is:

"a set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations."
"What is a project? definition and meaning". BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19.

Product development cannot be constrained to "certain cost" and products do not have a prescribed end date...so no "fixed period". So long as the organization finds innovative ways to meet market demands, the products they develop will evolve.

So, why all the projects?

I teach Scrum — it's a process framework that has been used to manage complex product development. Yet:

  • ~55% of the people in my classes are "Project Managers"
  • ~90% work daily in "project teams" (sic)
  • and ~0% are ready to let go of Project Charters!?

Project charters in a complex problem domain create an illusion of safety, certainty, and confidence, but are wholly inappropriate in most organizations represented at this conference for one simple reason: the nature of our work is complex and therefore it is not possible to predict a "set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations".

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The format of this session includes:

  1. brief activity to help individuals connect their own experience to the topic;
  2. followed by slide presentation as I share patterns and data from my personal experience;
  3. then a hands-on activity/worksheet to explore concepts related to the topic -- specifically, participants will illustrate Project-delivery patterns in comparison to Product-delivery patterns which relate to value delivery, risk mitigation, trust, employee happiness, documentation, team evolution, and responsibility;
  4. and the session concludes with an assertion that organizations which align themselves around product delivery are better equipped to address complex, adaptive problems — these organizations are more capable of supporting self-organizing, cross-functional teams. (As opposed to "shared services" or "project delivery" organizations who predictably suffer scheduling conflicts and coordination problems.)

Learning Outcome

For many who will attend and have worked exclusively in enterprises with authoritative Project Management Offices, they will learn that "the real world" exhibits tremendous diversity...most of which looks nothing like their experience.

For many who will attend and have worked exclusively in "product" companies (such as tech startups), they will learn of the world of "shared services" which is common in most large enterprises.

And specifically, I intend for all participants to learn:

  • multiple funding models (Capital and Operational) which can be employed to finance knowledge work.
  • a proper dichotomy — e.g. "Agile" is not the opposite of "Waterfall"; rather "Incremental & Iterative Development" is the opposite of "Waterfall".
  • "Agile" isn't the goal; "value delivery" is. Moreover, product-aligned organizations are showing (with clear evidence) increased ability to produce high-quality, valuable products.

Target Audience

Product Managers who are seeking better ways to discuss the complex nature of their work with clients and stakeholders. And Project Managers who are wondering, "how does project managment 'fit' in an Agile world?"

Prerequisite

asfd

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

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