01 July, 2016

Agile is for Development ONLY

280 Group has written an excellent article about the merits of Agile.

Agile is great for development, but has done a lot of damage for those doing Product Management. Those that know me, know that I am a massive sceptic of pure Agile champions.

I have summarised the article, but I encourage you to read it yourself: Agile is Not a Business Process:

  • Agile software development has transformed how we approach software product development, and has delivered some enormous benefits for efficiently delivering software products to the market.
  • The only planning described in The Scrum Guide is a planning meeting led by the Product Owner at the beginning of each sprint to determine the sprint objective and which user stories from the ordered backlog should be worked on in that sprint to achieve that objective.
  • Based upon this guidance, a common interpretation by too many companies is that they only need a Product Owner and that the only planning required is the planning done at the beginning of each sprint, which, in my opinion, has relegated Product Management to a very tactical role of “helping the development team” by writing using stories and acceptance criteria, working issues with the development team, testing user stories and maintaining the product backlog.
  • Agile development only addresses one phase of the lifecycle methodology
  • Product Management is responsible for “achieving business outcomes”, which entails a lot more than optimizing the value of the work done by the development team.
  • if in your role as a Product Manager, Agile has sucked you into the development process, it’s time to take a step back and understand that your role is more than just maximizing the efforts of the development team, but it’s to achieve business outcomes, and that requires you to manage your product through the full lifecycle based upon your market expertise and a well-defined strategy.


Remember, Agile is a Development Practice, Product Management is a Business Practice.

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