March 2011

Don’t Get Screwed by Dependencies

March 25, 2011
Sinking Ship

Dependencies are not bad. Far from it: that’s how you get the leverage you need to succeed and scale in business. But consider what happens if things don’t go as planned: if who or what you’re depending on isn’t as negatively impacted as you would be, watch out.

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If You Disclose Your Roadmap, Don’t Do It the Microsoft Vista Way

March 19, 2011
Vista Uncertainty - Square

Only you can decide whether your company must publicly disclose your product roadmap. But never disclose anything before you know what it really is, whether it works, whether customers even need it, or when you can deliver it.

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The Perfect Requirements Myth

March 18, 2011
Checklist

Many teams have a lot of angst about product requirements documents. Like the code your developers write, it will never be perfect. What can you do to reduce the angst?

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Estimating Business Impact…Simply

March 13, 2011
Finish Line

There’s a simple but powerful approach for estimating business impact: require the person asking for the project to estimate how many people will notice if the project is successful.

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Why Are We Doing This Project, Anyway?

March 13, 2011
Man running towards target

By ensuring that every software project is mapped to a specific business objective, you can have complete transparency on the “why” behind every software project.  You’ll also know how much you are investing – or not – in “innovation.”

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The Un-Innovation Trap

March 13, 2011
Innovation

Prioritizing projects by expected return on investment sounds like a good idea. But if that’s all you do, you will eventually end up in a place you probably don’t want to be.

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The Roadmap Integrity Process: An Overview

March 6, 2011
Project bubble chart organized into four quadrants.

What exactly is the Roadmap Integrity Process? In a nutshell, it’s a lightweight methodology for transforming a list of vague and often, half-baked ideas for new features, enhancements, and even engineering/architecture work, into a solid operating plan that accounts for execution risk.

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The Secret Sauce: Managing Uncertainty and Execution Risk

March 5, 2011
Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the missing link in how we plan and execute software projects. By asking one simple question for every project, long before you start, you can have a very good idea how many challenges you are likely to face along the way.

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Moving Bubbles Towards the Green

March 4, 2011
Moving to the Green

Inevitably, once you’ve classified projects according to business impact, cost, and execution risk, you’ll have projects that are too costly and/or risky. What do you then? Hint: your teams already know how to do it.

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"Lack of Resources" Is Almost Always "We Can’t Prioritize" In Disguise

March 2, 2011
Juggling

How many times have you heard people complain about lack of resources?  It’s true: there are never enough resources to do all the projects your company or your customers have asked for.
But more resources alone won’t necessarily make the real problem go away.

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