Kiron Bondale

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 271

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 241

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 217

What’s the right sprint length for your team?

Kiron Bondale

The Scrum Guide calls sprints the “heart of Scrum” and also indicates that they should be one month or less.

2019 256

Ask the "Right" Questions: Your Analytics-Guided Product Strategy

Speaker: Yoav Yechiam, Founder and Head Instructor, productMBA

Analytics are highly important for product managers - and yet, analytic implementations often fail to actually help us. It's not the technology, and it's not the tactics. In most cases, it's our approach that's misguiding us! Analytics are there to answer important product questions, not just to collect data. How can we be mindful of our analytics so they enable us, rather than confine us? Join Yoav Yechiam, Founder and head instructor at productMBA, as he explains best practices for a data-guided strategy that helps product managers get to the "why" of their biggest product goals.

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 278

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 252

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 203

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 177

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

Kiron Bondale

Managing a high priority project can be a wonderful experience.

2019 191

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.

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 251

Essentialism is agile

Kiron Bondale

Agile 257

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 198

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.

2019 188

Innovation: Five Signs You Might Be Faking It

Every company wants to be a leader in innovation, but how can you tell if your company is really innovating or just going through the motions? See the 5 signs you might be faking innovation and what to do if you are.

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 177

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 163

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 229

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 224

Plan for Product Launch Success with Data and Analytics

Speaker: Piyanka Jain, President and CEO, Aryng

When you launch new feature (or an entirely new product), there are many questions that you'll need to answer. Is the feature being adopted? Do your customers like it, or does it need to be improved? Was the launch successful? Well, that all depends on how you define success. Join Piyanka Jain, President and CEO of Aryng, as she explains why - and how - you should use data and analytics to define and track a successful launch.

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 203

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 197

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 183

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 177

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.

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 228

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 198

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 193

Scrum values can help your team become psychologically safe

Kiron Bondale

While teaching a class earlier this week, a learner asked how will team members start to feel psychologically safe, especially if they are working in a company whose culture isn’t fully supportive of this critical ingredient to a high performing team.

2019 170

Meet Your Goals with a Practical Product Strategy

Speaker: Nils Davis, Principal, NPD Associates

Whether you manage a feature, a product, or a whole suite of products, you likely have some goals that you're trying to meet. But do you have a strategy? Strategy and goals are different. It's your strategy that allows you to make decisions that help you meet your goals in the first place. For example, if you want grow your revenue, your strategy may be to enter a new market - and you may decide to make your product stand out in that market by adding analytics. If you want to have an articulated strategy that you can use to make decisions, stay on-track, and meet your product goals, this is the webinar for you! Join Nils Davis, author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, as he explains how you can get your team aligned to a practical product strategy.

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 213

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 225

Kano and expectation minus perception

Kiron Bondale

2018 198

Evaluate your ceremonies with a W5 check

Kiron Bondale

I’m midway through Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering and her insights into how to make an event a meaningful gathering rather than “just another boring meeting” are apropos to ceremonies.

2019 183

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.

What are the tipping points for your agile transformation?

Kiron Bondale

I’ve frequently said that agile transformations are marathons and not sprints. But when someone runs a marathon there are mile markers to understand how far they’ve come and to help them get their second (or third or fourth) wind.

Agile 203

What’s in YOUR sprint backlog?

Kiron Bondale

The Scrum Guide states that a sprint backlog “ is the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product increment and realizing the Sprint Goal.

2019 183

Is increasing agility a recurring resolution?

Kiron Bondale

As we kickoff the final week of 2018, many of us will be making New Year’s resolutions. While some of these resolutions might relate to achieving a specific goal or objective (e.g. I resolve to run a marathon this year), most relate to changing our behavior (e.g.

Agile 188

Control partners should have skin in the game!

Kiron Bondale

I finally completed reading Nassim Taleb ‘s book Skin in the Game which I had written about in a recent article. In that piece I had applied his principles when comparing the benefits of a product-centric orientation to the project-centric model which is still found in many organizations.

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?