Don't make it up as you go.
Quantify your Product.

Teams are drowning in unstructured data about their product portfolio. Some ideation, planning, coding, deployment and feedback should feel like tracking a FedEx or UPS package.

Photograph by Marcus O’Leary

Why?

Ever feel like your team isn't rowing together?

There is tension in most organizations around foundational, table stakes product/software development work that keeps the business humming and what the primary end users see.

As an organization's product expands in scope, they inevitably hit growing pains.

Many organizations throw more people at the problems that creep up during growing pains. That means more hunting for undocumented knowledge, more meetings, more thrashing around. Soon, politics creep in as a silent hand over resources and decisions.

Objective Ground Truth often doesn't exist in organizations. We hear pains about the following from product orgs in all industries:

  • Product managers try to capture capabilities in disparate spreadsheets or free hand tracking tools. But despite herculean effort, they quickly fall out of date.
  • Information is often silo'd or lost in backlogs or worse - chat tools. "Do we have IDP Initiated SAML 2.0 SSO?" [See here]
  • Accidental parallel rework happens often, creating competing internal standards
  • If Sales, Marketing, Product & Dev are never aligned to what already exists. How can they organize what is next?
  • There is little to no connection between code and business readable functionality
  • Success if measured is done so via an aggregated proxy or disjointed KPI

There are quantifiable CAD drawings and measurements for a building a Tesla in California or Shanghai. Sub-components like windshields, tires, batteries have known properties which can be measured, improved upon and scaled.

However, if you ask two teams in the same company to build the same non-novel feature, you'll get two drasticly different solutions then later discover a third team built it 6 months ago.

Or that information isn't transparent?

Don't get us wrong - We couldn't work without tools like Slack, Github, Gitlab & project management tools like Pivotal Tracker, Asana, Jira, etc. However, data gets lost in them or stuck between a conversation between a 1:1 conversation between a Product Manager and a Developer. Only to get rehashed in a disjoined manner by a designer and another developer 3 hours later.

It happens. And being tossed into being remote as many have in 2020 hasn't helped. The same things happened in the office - nothing there is new. What if functionality could be tracked at a higher level for all to see? No diving between merge requests and project management tickets.

We drown in "table stakes", "keep the lights on" work. And everyone wants a status report, a smidge of customization.

What if when your team needed to start working on
that dreaded
Single Sign On initiative CSV export CRM integration regulatory data overhaul vendor migration quarterly deployment


... you had more time to focus on providing your customers the secret sauce they desire? Instead of rehashing & status reporting to death solved problems?

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Supporting your

Agile, Scrum, SAFe, etc initiatives

At the end of the day, broader product and project management frameworks are a function of the culture of an organization. We believe many organizations will benefit from shorter release cycles and quicker feedback loops.

Many organizations that struggle with releasing product will have passionate team members advocate for changes in product management style, often with a convergence to Agile or Scrum practices.

The principle stack of many in the product development sphere is delivering value to as many stakeholders or customers in as direct a method as possible. If our principle stack was more aligned with increasing billable hours with no concern towards end user value, then the way we work would look different.

This brings us to our main concerns.

  • Not enough time is spent on real work.
  • Too much "innovation" is really just expensive reinvention of the wheel.
  • There's little structure in the data that governs software deliverables.
  • The lack of scructure and clarity is taking it's toll on resiliency.

Today, 60% of knowledge workers’ time is spent on work about work. At work, people face an overwhelming volume of communications from email and messaging applications, many of which are asking for status updates.

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SEC IPO Filing [source]

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