Going Global – PDMA Georgia [Series 1/5]

Something innovative happened again at KO HQ this Thursday

The PDMA| Georgia chapter held it’s 9th annual Summit – topics were global in scope but personal in focus. Much shared learning and best practices offered. A very good reason to step away from desks/deliverables and come together with like-minded product professionals.

Innovators may already be intuitively using Agile

Top-line takeaways from the Round Table

  • Get a handle on things that bite in your planning stage, not during execution (import laws, regulations)
  • RESONATE! – don’t just BE in the chosen markets (do provide consistency, quality, awesome user experience)
  • Create RELEVANCY- use everything around your product to do this
  • LISTEN, partner with a local  –  help your prospects ARTICULATE their unique drivers Continue reading “Going Global – PDMA Georgia [Series 1/5]”

If a Customer Asks “Can You Hear Me?” Will Anyone Hear?

When we stopped doing customer development, we stopped learning. @LeanCircle

To some, I’m a Suit. The only Development I ever did included using Lotus 1-2-3’s macro language to build applications and a business. I know only a few things about building successful applications for customers; how – I totally get customer development.

These things are clear to me:

  • You don’t build stuff (applications, databases, software, apps, websites) for yourself. You build these things for your customer.
  • Get out of the building. It’s the only way to make sure you aren’t just hearing yourself/ talking to yourself.
  • Few technologies fail because they’re not good stuff. Instead, they fail because they don’t solve customers’ problems.
  • You are not your customer, so you don’t know what their problems are.
  • Get out of the building. It’s the only way to make sure you aren’t building cool stuff that only you can love.

Customer Development

These are awesome and interesting words joined together. It doesn’t mean go out and speak with as many customers as possible. That’s nuts, instead go Lean. Speak with as many customers as possible who help your teams build MVP.  If you cannot find any customers…well maybe this isn’t a problem to solve. Just saying!

More Value Agile Affect

Agile management overall is based on the simple fact that projects, marketing, business, life, etc., are dynamic, not static. You make plans, but things change. The best teams and organizations are able to respond quickly to such change and capitalize on it. – Scott Brinker, Co-founder & CTO ion interactive, inc.

Sharing my scribbled notes from audience participation and panel leadership – Atlanta TAG Product Management Society event, The Agile Affect: Continue reading “More Value Agile Affect”

SprintZero Update -Agile Marketing Movement

“Agile Marketing is a Movement”

An intrepid group of marketing professionals organized SprintZero earlier this month to pave a path to Marketing the Agile way. SprintZero participants met to discuss Agile Marketing values and principles. The outcome will be the Agile Marketing Manifesto.

On the highway, speed kills, but in business, it is slowness that kills. – Jim Ewel, AgileMarketing.net

Agile Marketing Moves Forward

Social marketing hasn’t dispatched old marketing practices but put the first fork in it.  Global marketing professionals need to be nimble, confirm business value & bottom-line impact, be spot-on aligned with company strategy and not forget to listen to markets – done with rapidly moving targets and more and more channels. What the C-Suite wants to know about Agile Marketing:

  • Increased flexibility and speed
  • Strategic alignment
  • Customer engagement

It was a great start. #Sprint1 is planned for later this year.  The site to provide feedback on the work-in-progress Agile Marketing Manifesto will go live soon. I’ll keep you posted. We’ll need your advice.

Keep on, keeping on!

User Stories Help Build Sales’ Stuff

I’ve been thinking how  product development, product marketing and sales teams should be joined at the hip.

Seems only natural since we build stuff (tools, live product demos, APPS, websites, etc) to support sales’ efforts converting leads to customers. One thing I have noticed is that not everyone in this triad is on the same page regarding “done” or what is to “be done” when it comes to creating sales tools. That’s a problem. Continue reading “User Stories Help Build Sales’ Stuff”

It’s Not Small Change (Series 4 of 4)

Part 4 of Agile Product Marketing Series:

  1. Product Marketing Becomes Agile
  2. What’s a Product Marketer Doing with a Roadmap?
  3. The Launch Queen Speaks
  4. It’s Not Small Change

This is the last of a series written to help Agile and B2B Marketing teams understand each other’s conversations and methods.  Previously, we discussed how Agile practices can integrate within traditional product launch management and commercialization.

Change

It’s the people- the human element– that we’re talking about.   Continue reading “It’s Not Small Change (Series 4 of 4)”

The Launch Queen Speaks (Series 3 of 4)

Part 3 of Agile Product Marketing Series:

  1. Product Marketing Becomes Agile
  2. What’s a Product Marketer Doing with a Roadmap?
  3. The Launch Queen Speaks
  4. It’s Not Small Change

A series written to help Agile and B2B Marketing teams understand each other’s conversations and methods. Previously we discussed how real-time dialog between Agile and Marketing teams drive Business Value by creating need-to-have features. This time we’re in a product launch.

Like adventure?

Try running a global product launch. I’ve described it as building a rope bridge while crossing a raging river filled with hungry alligators and sharp rocks.  Don’t look down and failure is not an option.  Not much time to recover from a botched job.

“Product commercialization and product launch requires a rigorous program strategy and execution.” – Found scribbled in my study notes, author is unknown.

Sounds Like We Need to Get Agile

No matter how you dice it, product launches are complex.  It’s all about teams, communication and performance… and successful transition. A launch isn’t a success until the product steps out into the cold, new world of Life Cycle.

Let’s back up to launch. Do all the teams:

  • Know the goals
  • Know the roles
  • Know the priorities
  • Commit and collaborate

In a traditional launch, stakeholders proceed within their own swim lanes. When done with their piece, over the wall! #FAIL

I Feel a Strong Need for Agile Advice

Marketing will take care of setting the market’s/analysts’/customers’ expectations of the product. Seeking Agile advice on continuous delivery, keeping teams collaborating and with how to integrate all the moving parts.

Keep on keeping on!

On the Tee:  It’s Not Small Change (Series 4 of 4)

 

 

What’s a Product Marketer Doing with the Roadmap? (Series 2 of 4)

Part 2 of Agile Product Marketing Series:

  1. Product Marketing Becomes Agile
  2. What’s a Product Marketer Doing with a Roadmap?
  3. The Launch Queen Speaks
  4. It’s Not Small Change

A series designed to help Agile and B2B Marketing teams understand each other’s conversations and methods.  Previously, we discussed how marketing teams gain insight about current product features before release by being part of the “Agile dialog.” Marketers generate user benefits from these features and need time to do this well.

“Incremental Improvement” Impacts Marketing Process

Agile development produces new product features often and incrementally, which is important in a changing marketplace. Marketers don’t want Agile Teams to slow down, lose the rhythm, or delay incremental improvements but we urgently need to know where you’re heading.

Being included real-time in Agile planning and reviews is pretty critical for us. A great deal of what marketing does is communicating the product strategy to different audiences, both internal and external. We are always being asked, “When’s the new XYZ being launched?”  and “What’s in it?” We’ve have to see the bigger picture, the roadmap, or BIG #Fail.

Agile Teams Can Provide Real-Time GPS

Share the Product Backlog with the Marketing Team. Show us in which Sprints features will release; offer timelines, priorities and updates.  We will use this information for product messaging/positioning and to update our marketing plan. We also need to build our own “roadmap” for marketing. We could use your help in designing this. Continue reading “What’s a Product Marketer Doing with the Roadmap? (Series 2 of 4)”

Product Marketing Becomes Agile (Series 1 of 4)

Part 1 of Agile Product Marketing Series:

  1. Product Marketing Becomes Agile
  2. What’s a Product Marketer Doing with a Roadmap?
  3. The Launch Queen Speaks
  4. It’s Not Small Change

This post is the first in a series designed to help Agile and B2B Marketing teams understand each other’s conversations and methods.

Attention Scrum Master or Product Owner!

Are you working with a Marketing Team and hoping they don’t think Agile practices mean another form for Yoga? Actually, we marketers know about Agile and are cautiously curious and optimistic.

You can be absolutely sure that marketers working with Agile development teams wonder how they’ll be able to Sprint faster, while shaping, communicating and testing the product’s market message, value prop – in time for successful commercialization.

Provide a Bridge

Invite your PMM to join in the Stand-up. Share your Backlogs. Collaborate.  Marketers must be plugged into product information as real-time as possible in order to understand the product as it is now defined. With your help, we’ll do a much better job working our magic. Continue reading “Product Marketing Becomes Agile (Series 1 of 4)”

San Francisco Agile 2012 (SFAgile2012)

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO AGILE

As a consumer, there are good things and bad things.

Good: there are lots of products, services in today’s world to choose from. So many that we may not be even aware of.

Bad: WE have to make the choice.
Being a typical Libran, it’s a difficult one for me.

Since my introduction to agile, there have been multiple conferences that I have been hearing about. I’ve been fortunate to attend some large conferences and some small ones. One such conference that caught my eye was SFAgile Conference. This is the 2nd year SFAgile will be held and got great reviews from 2011 attendees.

SFAgile 2012 is a 3-day “unconference” that brings together practitioners from Lean software development, the LeanStartup movement, and Agile software development. 

It’s a refreshingly different conference format: a mix of crowd-sourced content that include workshops, talks, dojos, and open-space-inspired spontaneous sessions. There will be many ways to learn new things, share your ideas, and get your questions answered. Continue reading “San Francisco Agile 2012 (SFAgile2012)”

Multitasking = Time Sink? – Take an Agile Approach

I came across a favorite blogger’s post previously.  Tony Schwartz’s “The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time” offers so many good points, I suggest the read.  BTW: He sounds pretty “Agile” to me.

I admit it. I was a dyed in the wool multitasking manager. “Was” until I figured out that rather than make me more productive, it did the opposite. I was not paying close attention to my team, nor could I incorporate all those distractions and keep forward momentum.  Being mindful is now my manner.

Maintain Focus 

Tony writes we need more focus and be more engaged to be productive. Let’s deal with meetings.  He suggests scheduling shorter meetings, to start them on time with a defined end and no distractions of the digital kind.

Sounds pretty Agile to me:

  • Do the most important thing, first thing every day – Daily Scrum?
  • Carve out enough time in the day to “reflect” on the discussions. A Sprint Review?
  • We need time to “recover” and maintain Rhythm?

Ignore the Tyranny of Urgent

Big lesson, still learning (note to me). Tony stresses planning regular and scheduled times to think long term. Prioritization, assigning Business Value – Agile teams do these naturally, it’s what we do.

Got me thinking about  innovation….best practices suggest unplugging is the best way to be more creative. It has something to do with how our brains are hardwired. I know we work in busy places and competition is tough, but “not right now” can be the appropriate answer.

Disconnect and Renew

Take a vacation day, eat lunch away from your desk, join with colleagues at the favorite watering hole…take time to do something different, or nothing at all. It’s important. Even my computer and phone tell me it’s time to turn them off.  Interesting…our devices are reminding US to be in the present.

Cheers!