Last week I briefly commented on an article about Agile and Product Management.
Apparently, there has been a ton of commentary on that back in 2009 that I hadn’t seen yet:
Adam Bullied started off saying that Agile doesn’t change a thing for product people http://writethatdown.com/archives/2009/02/are-agile-pms-baloney
which then lead to Enthiosys disagreeing with him (as he largely anticipated) http://www.enthiosys.com/blog/2009/2/18/how-to-sound-smart-but-be-really-naive-about-dramatic-change.html
which then lead to asking “can’t we all just get along?“- http://onproductmanagement.net/2009/02/21/adam-bullied-vs-enthiosys-dont-fight/
and finally, Roger Cauvin sums up the whole thing here – http://blog.cauvin.org/2009/03/agile-is-not-just-development.html
Roger does a great job summarizing that you do need to work differently in an Agile environment as a product person.
I am a certified product manager and a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). I have worked in “Big IT” waterfall roles and software-startup Agile roles. Personally, I work better doing things in an Agile fashion – I do not like “Big Up Front Design” (to steal Roger’s phrase) because invariably you forget something, or (just as likely) things change in the market before your Big Vision is fully realized. So I need to work iteratively, trying things out and seeing what sticks. I do subscribe to the Amazon leadership principle that good product people “are right, a lot.” That “Product Spidey-Sense” is very important. But I still reserve the right to be wrong sometimes, and to learn a lot from the market, and to build on that learning.
I will again refer to the lean startup principles. Build – Measure – Learn. Then you iterate or, if you learn that you were more wrong than you thought – pivot.