Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
It’s Not About Projects vs. Products; It’s About Coming Together to Deliver Value
Product management should not replace project management. They are complementary and are both integral to enabling the frequent delivery of business value.
Let’s first look at commonly accepted definitions:
Projects and Project Management: “A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. … Project Management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements” (Project Management Institute).
Product Management: Product management “includes the acts of identifying and evolving your organization’s business vision; of identifying and prioritizing potential products/solutions to support that vision; of identifying, prioritizing, and allocating features to products under development; of managing functional dependencies between products; and of marketing those products to their potential customers” (Disciplined Agile).
Initially, it does seem that these points are in contention with each other. TaskTop talks about the importance of moving projects to products. Tasktop CEO Mik Kersten refers to project management as being “the wrong model if you want to become a software innovator.”
We support the assertion that pure projects and project management are not adequate to deliver lasting value. While the definitions and supporting literature take a stronger stance, we assert that transitioning from project thinking to product thinking is not binary. This comes from a misunderstanding of products and projects.
- A product and its lifecycle enable a continuous delivery of value without a predefined end date.
- Projects are time bound, acting as vehicles to enable the delivery of discrete pieces of value within the broader product lifecycle.
Product management is accountable for the continual delivery of value throughout the product lifecycle, from project to project and in-between. You go through a period or periods of project-like development to build a version of an application or product.
Essentially, product thinking does not make project thinking go away. However, it does alert people to the differing scopes for each and when to best apply them.
Want to Know More?
Transition to Product Delivery – Transitioning to product delivery in order to continually deliver value does not mean throwing away your project practices.
Build a Product Roadmap – Both projects and products can benefit from a flexible, concise, and effectively communicated roadmap.
On February 24-25, 2021, Zoho held its annual ZohoDay – a conference aimed at communicating the state of the business and product roadmaps. The event coincided with Zoho’s 25th year as a company, testament to Zoho’s long-term business approach: grow organically, have zero debt, zero external investments, remain cashflow positive, and plow cashflow back into the business and customers.
Traditional accounting practices are tailor made for waterfall project management. Organizations that have transitioned to the use of standing product teams using Agile and DevOps need to transform their accounting practices as well or they will leave valuable capital expenditure dollars on the table.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
IBM is changing the terms of its ubiquitous Passport Advantage agreement to remove entitled discounts on over 5,000 on-premises software products, resulting in an immediate price increase for IBM Software & Support (S&S) across its vast customer landscape.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.
So you’ve gone Agile. You do daily scrums, retrospectives, and all the “right” Agile ceremonies. But still your organization isn’t quite convinced. It is now critical to balance the drivers and goals of both Agile and traditional thinking in order to achieve organizational success.
Do you feel like your Agile teams are treading water – going through the motions but never going anywhere? It’s a risk, and practices such as daily standups, retrospectives, and demonstrations need to be used wisely or you risk losing discipline to meeting fatigue.
Stakeholders expect the speed and responsiveness of product delivery does not come at the expense of quality. QA tools offer retailers the ability to continuously ensure both business and technical quality standards are upheld, but these tools should not be viewed as a silver bullet.
When trying to implement Agile as a defined process, Scrum turned BAs or other roles into order takers with the title “product owner.” This undermines the entire value proposition of product management.