Roadmaps

Roadmaps Complete: Final Artifacts

But how do I turn this into something I can send my executive team? Honestly you shouldn't have to. Your executive team should be smart enough to be involved in the motive creation, and be observing the approach definition process. Depending on the company they may be highly involved in that part of the process. The key to turning this material into something your less connected executives might recognize is in the early alignment stages. If you are actually executing against a model like this, you are producing at least one Rally Point per iteration to show your work. More

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
3 min read
Roadmaps

Roadmaps Continued: Work

There is no fancy name for this. Your team may call them tasks, or stories, or really anything. But no need to get too abstract. It's just work. The difficult little things we all do every day to make something. Break down your Rally Points into individual work items for human people, use some sort of system to track them. Could be post-its, could be jira (if you really really have to). Try and come up with something that is optimized for makers, with a low overhead. In an ideal world you would extract these from the actual work of

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
1 min read
Roadmaps

Roadmaps Continued: Rally Points

Complex software requires a lot of work to scale and stay aligned. Many companies who don't have software in their DNA think that software like many industries will go faster with more teams, more individuals working on those teams, and more people over all. Software development does not have economies of scale. Development has diseconomies of scale — Allan Kelly Communication might be the opposite of software development. It's hugely difficult and time consuming. People literally speak different languages. Rally Points are all about translating your now well understood approaches into work that can be done by small groups. Small groups

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
3 min read
Roadmaps

Roadmaps Continued: Approach

We actually don't know enough yet to start fixing this problem, what we need is for the smart, creative, passionate people to start building out an approach, or better yet, multiple approaches. This is a thinking heavy exercise. A well crafted approach might be several pages, it has evidence, and it has context. To do this right you are going to need to: Research the problem, and identify things that might be causing it Identify key factors that could change to improve your problem Think through what levers you might pull to change something, and what might happen when you

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
4 min read
Roadmaps

Roadmaps Continued: Motives

Instead of starting with goals, we will start with a motive. A long term why framed as a reason. This motive should be substantial enough that everyone can agree that there is a problem, and a good reason. A motive should avoid a solution, but instead articulate a measurable change and the reason why the team or company needs to make progress on this now. We lose 50% of customers between adding an item into their shopping cart and checkout. We need to reduce that to lower than 20% because it represents 50% of our potential revenue and turning more

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
2 min read
software

Software Roadmaps

I've been working for a while on a new way of answering the roadmap question. Which for those of you who haven't worked in a company like this goes something like: Can you send me a copy of your roadmap? In it's first iteration it's always devoid of information, like why, what are you going to do with this. The assumption however is always, there is a single document called a roadmap, that I can use to do whatever I want with. Often these people will go away when you ask them any sort of question of your own, but

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
3 min read