Kiron Bondale

The perils of over proactivity

Kiron Bondale

At the start of our vacation, we had one stop en route to our final destination. We were supposed to have a two hour layover, but after landing we learned that our outbound flight would be delayed by another hour.

2019 272

All knowledge areas are important but some are more important than others

Kiron Bondale

I am occasionally asked by learners in my project management fundamental classes which is the most important knowledge area in the PMBOK® framework.

2019 282

The silver lining on the people management cloud of project-oriented structures

Kiron Bondale

2019 181

Want to reduce digital distraction for your team? Physician, heal thyself!

Kiron Bondale

Two articles caught my attention this morning so I thought I’d connect the dots between them in this week’s article. The first article indicates that the Microsoft Teams collaboration support tool has passed Slack in terms of daily users.

2019 228

How To Take Action on Customer Discovery

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

We all want to build successful products - and that means satisfied customers. Before anything else, you must understand what problems you can solve. The best way to do that is to get out of the building and start asking questions. But how can you make the most of those conversations, and ensure that you walk away with productive insights? Join Nick Noreña, educator, entrepreneur, and currently Innovation Coach and Advisor at Kromatic, as he covers how we can effectively action our findings from customer discovery conversations.

Agile advice from our ancestors

Kiron Bondale

Old sayings might not be the first thing which comes to mind when considering agility, there are many proverbs which are apropos. Two heads are better than one (or the similar Maasai proverb “One head cannot hold all wisdom.”)

Agile 250

What challenges do distributed teams pose to others?

Kiron Bondale

Face-to-face communication around a shared modeling surface such as a whiteboard is considered to be a highly effective method of creating shared understanding.

2019 181

Change management helps when implementing risk responses

Kiron Bondale

A student in a project management class I taught shared the concern that it was very hard for her to get risk responses implemented.

Risk 283

What can we do when a team member isn’t pulling their weight?

Kiron Bondale

One of the learners in a class I taught asked me how self-organizing teams would handle the situation where a single team member is not performing a fair share of the work. In a traditional, push-based work assignment model, this issue can also occur.

2019 181

Songs for when you are in a project management state of mind

Kiron Bondale

As a teenager who had an eclectic taste in music, one of my hobbies was attempting to create the perfect mix tape to fit the theme of different activities I would do such as studying, working out or just relaxing. So how about project management? To quote Barney Stinson: “Challenge accepted!”

2019 257

Build Product Progress with a Strong Data Culture

Speaker: Nima Gardideh, CTO, Pearmill

Have you ever thought your product's progress was headed in one direction, and been shocked to see a different story reflected in big picture KPIs like revenue? It can be confusing when customer feedback or metrics like registration or retention are painting a different picture. No matter how sophisticated your analytics are, if you're asking the wrong questions - or looking at the wrong metrics - you're going to have trouble getting answers that can help you. Join Nima Gardideh, CTO of Pearmill, as he demonstrates how to build a strong data culture within your team, so everyone understands which metrics they should actually focus on - and why. Then, he'll explain how you can use your analytics to regularly review progress and successes. Finally, he'll discuss what you should keep in mind when instrumenting your analytics.

Influencing the eternal optimism of a delivery team

Kiron Bondale

When I teach agile fundamentals classes, I frequently emphasize the importance of inspection and adaptation. Teams which don’t use feedback loops with their products and their processes should not consider themselves to be very agile.

How do you know if your team is being agile?

Kiron Bondale

It is easy to say that demonstrating behaviors consistent with the values and principles of the Manifesto is proof of agility but this test leaves significant wiggle room for interpretation and for exception cases which fall through the cracks of the four values and twelve principles.

2019 173

Authentic agility avoids burnout

Kiron Bondale

Harvard Business Review published an article this week covering six causes of burnout and how we can reduce these. Let’s consider these through the lens of agility. Having an excessive workload over a prolonged period of time is one of the most common causes of burnout.

Agile 181

Justify yourself!

Kiron Bondale

A project manager asked me this week whether I was aware of any studies which could be used to justify the assignment of a “real” project manager to manage a project as opposed to having this function performed by someone else within a team.

2018 256

What Is (and Isn’t) Product Management?

Speaker: Steve Johnson, VP of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Product Management is one of the most exciting - and most misunderstood - functions in technical organizations. Is it strategic or tactical? Is it a planning role or a support role? Many product professionals are unclear about what is (and isn't) product management. After all, product management spans many activities from business planning to market readiness. In this session, we’ll examine many product activities and artifacts for product strategy, planning, and growth, and introduce a simple tool that you can use in your organization to clarify the roles of product management and others. Steve Johnson explores the many roles of Product Management in this fun talk focused on why product managers should obsess on problems instead of solutions.

Asking for help demonstrates psychological safety

Kiron Bondale

Social psychologist Heidi Grant’s interesting TED Talk video providing advice on how to increase the odds of a positive outcome when we ask someone for help was published this week.

2019 173

How much technical knowledge should a Product Owner possess?

Kiron Bondale

In an earlier article I’d written about the pros and cons of a Scrum Master or agile lead having deep technical expertise in the solution space but what about a Product Owner (PO)?

2019 208

Essentialism is agile

Kiron Bondale

Agile 260

There can be only one (and it is not YOUR project)!

Kiron Bondale

Managing a high priority project can be a wonderful experience.

2019 195

Make an Impact with Analytics and Journey Maps

Speaker: Kirui K. K., Co-founder and CEO of Tanasuk Africa

If you want to offer a better user experience, it can be tempting to track each and every data point in your product. However, this can quickly get complicated and overwhelming as you collect more and more data. How do you know which metrics will help you improve? Kirui K. K., Co-founder & CEO Tanasuk Africa, wants you to know that analytics don't have to be complicated to make an impact - no matter the size of your company. Join him as he explains how to create a customer journey map, then use that map to figure out the metrics you need to know - and how to use them.

A camel is a horse designed by a committee

Kiron Bondale

The old saying about committees came to mind when I was considering the default approach companies often use to achieving a control objective. Bringing together diverse perspectives can help to reduce bias, but in many cases a simpler approach might result in a better outcome.

2019 193

Defeating the multitasking monster

Kiron Bondale

Multiple research studies have shown the negative impacts of multitasking. Whether it is the waste generated by context switching, the elevated stress levels for staff or the increased cost of poor quality, few people would assert that it is a good practice for knowledge-based work.

2019 181

Improving organizational culture through retrospective recognition

Kiron Bondale

After observing the frenzied shoppers competing with one another at Black Friday sales this week, one might be forgiven for forgetting that Thanksgiving was originally about expressing gratitude.

2018 237

Are you being (responsibly) transparent?

Kiron Bondale

We might assume that transparency should be a given when delivering value through our projects so why is it that the actions of teams or the stakeholders supporting delivery don’t always demonstrate that basic hygiene factor?

2019 203

The Magic of Intent: Start Knowing The Goals of Your Users

Speaker: Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, Zalando, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher, Zalando

It's important to know your users - what are their preferences, pain points, ultimate goals? With user research and usage data, you can get a great idea of how your users act. The tricky part is, very few users reliably act the same way every time they use your product. Join Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher at Zalando, as they explain how they were able to reach a new level of user understanding - by taking their user research and segmenting their users by point-in-time intent. You'll leave with a strategy to change how your product team, and organization at large, understands your users.

How effective are your agile ceremonies?

Kiron Bondale

We hope that by conducting effective ceremonies we will achieve the agile trinity of improved value delivery, better quality and more fun. But these objectives might be reached via multiple paths so we might not be able to prove causality between our ceremonies and those objectives.

Agile 233

Proactive dependency management with agile approaches

Kiron Bondale

When we are managing projects using a predictive delivery approach, dependency identification and tracking is done as part of the BPUF (Big Planning Up Front) exercise using the activities from a work breakdown structure and the collective wisdom of our team members and key stakeholders.

Agile 193

Just because you have information radiators doesn’t mean senior stakeholders will review them!

Kiron Bondale

Information radiators are a great idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to reduce the effort involved in keeping stakeholders up-to-date about a product or project or increase the consistency in messaging to all stakeholders?

2019 179

Do you need a Definition of Ready for your agile ceremonies?

Kiron Bondale

A Definition of Ready (DoR) is an agreement established by some agile teams to help them assess if a given product backlog item can safely be accepted by the team to be worked on. It is not expected to be used as a gate but rather as guidance.

2019 208

Your Post-Launch Toolkit for Understanding Your Users

Speaker: Brittney Gwynn, former Director of Product, Simple Health

If you've ever launched an MVP, you know that the journey has only just begun. How do you figure out what to do next? You know that you need to look at how different user segments react, but how do you quickly distinguish signal from noise so you can iterate and improve? Join Brittney Gwynn, former Director of Product at Simple Health, as she explains how you can use early customer feedback, usage data, and continuous experimentation to optimize your journey to product-market fit. Whether you're at a brand-new company, or looking to innovate within a more mature organization, or anywhere in between, you'll come away with a new skill set, ready to make the most of your launches.

Breaking habits requires substituting one routine for another

Kiron Bondale

I was asked to facilitate a lessons learned session for a program team using a retrospective format.

2019 202

Because “It’s there” is not a good reason to pursue agility!

Kiron Bondale

I’m seeing increased similarities between online hype surrounding agile and the marketing of weight loss products. Losing weight or being agile are being promoted as the main objective when both of these are just a means to an end.

Agile 233

What’s blocking your benefits realization?

Kiron Bondale

PMI just released the Benefits Realization Management practice guide this month which provides comprehensive but still easily consumable coverage of a benefits management framework covering principles, practices and roles.

2019 203

How many hats should a Scrum Master wear?

Kiron Bondale

I’ve run into a few situations recently where Scrum Masters (SMs) are performing multiple roles and while they might have the capacity to do so, on any moderate sized initiative, it might be difficult for them to fulfill all the responsibilities of the SM role.

SCRUM 229

Your 2-Part Metrics Audit for High-Value Products

Speaker: Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, Startup Patterns

You know what they say: what's measured improves. As product managers we're in a golden age of being able to get all sorts of metrics and run all sorts of experiments. But what are your measurements and analytics focused on? Are they really truly objective? Do they contribute to the ultimate vision of your product? And is everybody clear on that vision? Join Sam McAfee, Product Development Consultant, as he takes you through a two-part measurement audit. First, you'll learn how to make sure your measurements actually align with your product strategy. And second, you'll learn how to evaluate your culture of using measurements, so future experiments will more consistently provide high-value results.

How do you know when your agile ceremonies are Done?

Kiron Bondale

In last week’s article, I wrote about the benefits of having a Definition of Ready for agile ceremonies as one method of ensuring that they are adding value and not being perceived as just more wasteful meetings. But how do we know that we achieved what we were hoping to from the ceremonies?

2019 199

Will all improvement ideas from a retrospective consume capacity?

Kiron Bondale

The Scrum Guide indicates “ The Scrum Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.

2018 218

What if the PMBOK Guide was a Choose Your Own Adventure® book?

Kiron Bondale

I’m midway through reading Choose Your WoW! from Scott W. Ambler and Mark Lines of the Disciplined Agile Consortium.

2019 187

How hidden are your hurdles?

Kiron Bondale

My article last week discussed the need for team members to act with responsible transparency. Each team member requires discipline and wisdom to judge when an issue preventing them from completing their work items can be resolved quickly without the need for broader communication or escalation.

2019 181

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?