How To Be A Good Product Manager

Tips on product management, product development and product marketing. By Jeff Lash

Agile is Not a Product Management Framework

Posted on October 6, 2013 by Jeff Lash · 3 Comments

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Agile is Not a Product Management Framework

My latest post on the SiriusDecisions blog — Agile Is Not a Product Management Framework — is generating a lot of interest and discussion, and I’m not surprised since it’s a hot topic. Over the past 5-10 years, one of the most significant changes in product development — for web-based software products in particular — is the adoption of Agile. Often when I talk with product managers and ask them about the process they use for product management, they mention Agile. There’s just one problem: Agile isn’t a process for product management.

Agile has obvious impacts on the way product management is practiced, but agile in and of itself isn’t a product management framework. Companies need an overall model for innovation, bringing products to market, and managing them throughout the product lifecycle. Read more in my latest post on the SiriusDecisions blog: Agile Is Not a Product Management Framework

What’s Hot on Twitter

Here are a few of my tweets which have generated the most interest over the past few weeks; to get these in real-time, follow me at @jefflash:

How To Be A Good Product Manager features tips on product management and product marketing, written by Jeff Lash (@jefflash on Twitter), Research Director, Product Management for SiriusDecisions.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • RJ // Oct 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Nice article.

    I recently left a company where AGILE and product management were put into a head on collision. AGILE won, the product lost.

    I think I can summarize it like this: Dysfunctional companies have both product management problems and project management problems. Teaching people AGILE can help them with the project management problems. Adding a real product manager to the AGILE team and designating them the product owner can solve the product management problem.

    If your AGILE team is missing the skills it needs or if the wrong people are doing important jobs (people without the requisite backgrounds respectively in things like product management, engineering etc) no amount of process will fix your product delivery.

    My biggest problem with most of the AGILE movement is that touching the idea of HR is completely taboo. Could it be that the talentless people you have on your team are screwing up your ability to deliver software? You will never see it mentioned in most AGILE treatments.

    AGILE will not fix the wrong people and make them the right people. Period. Ever.

  • PM Hut // Oct 10, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The problem with Agile is that nobody knows what it really is, mainly because the Agile manifesto is about ideas and best practices, and doesn’t provide an actual written framework neither for project and nor for produce management for that matter.

  • John Peltier // Dec 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    RJ, I question whether one person can be both the product owner and the product manager at a commercial B2B software company. There is a point where that no longer scales – in my experience, it’s a short time (relatively) after a product is in market and has paying clients.

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