Simon’s Critical Success Factors for a Software Release

I was on leave for a week and when I got back I found a new flip chart was on the wall.

Critical Success Factors when we release:

  • Functionality – Does it do the job?
  • Usability – Does it do it well?
  • Performance – Does it do it fast?
  • Evolution – Does it build smoothly on what is already there?
  • Delivery – Is it ready on time?
  • Comms / Training – Have we told people about it?

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Using a Product Led Matrix in Lean-Agile

I’ve worked in a variety of organisational settings including matrixed and non-matrixed. Based on this experience I thought I’d write up a few observations about organisational structures.

Traditionally companies have been organised into functional teams. More recently, partly as a result of Scrum and Lean for Software Engineering, companies are moving to departments containing cross functional product teams. Some organisations have a mix, for example, design might be a functional department but other departments might contain product teams. Other companies try to combine function and product into a explicit matrix structure. This ensures both product and function are represented on the management team.
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Difference between programme, project, portfolio and product management

P3M stands for "programme, portfolio and project management". Product management is a closely related discipline and as most software organisations do product development I’ll include it in the discussion.

P3M Levels: programme, project, portfolio and product management

P3M Levels:
programme, project, portfolio
and product management

That bit is simple. The tricky bit is agreeing what a project, product, portfolio or programme is. Projects and products are pretty straight forward but definitions vary quite a lot for programme and portfolio. A portfolio for some people is a set of products where for others it is a group of projects. I have, for example, met a portfolio manager who was responsible for some projects and within the same division met a another portfolio manager who was responsible for the product portfolio of the entire division. Programmes are sometimes seen as simply as a complex project or set of projects, or, more interestingly, as an initiative to deliver business benefit.
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Agile Project Scope

According to Wikipedia: Project Management project scope is:

The overall definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish, and a specific description of what the end result should be or accomplish.

We can talk about what is “in-scope”, i.e. what the project is meant to delivery, and what is “out-of-scope”, i.e. what won’t be delivered.

Typically the project scope is a subset of the scope of the product under development.
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