John Cutler Profile picture
I like the beautiful mess of product development. Head of Education @amplitude_hq | |
Sep 30, 2018 13 tweets 8 min read
So let’s take an org that is experiencing 50%+ drag due to technical debt.

You would think that would ring alarm bells everywhere, right? It would be all hands on deck fixing the issue, right?

Well... (1/13) #leanagile #devops “How could YOU ever let it get this way?”
“Well, WE’VE been warning YOU about it since.”
“But YOU never said it would be THIS bad!”

“We did. You’d ask for a plan. We’d give you a plan. You’d say no way. And then we’d settle on a band-aid like 10% time” (2/13) #leanagile #devops
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Company Culture Is ...

- What you say, and how often you say it
- What, when, and how you celebrate
- The losses and missteps you acknowledge, and how you respond
- How you behave when the chips are down
- What you fight for at all costs
- The corners you cut

(1/4) #culture - Who you hire, promote, and compensate, and who you fire
- Who you “smoke out” until they leave the organization
- The worst behavior you accept and the best behavior you reject
- The voices you amplify, and the voices you suppress

(2/4) #culture
Sep 5, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read
Here’s something you see often w/ teams and #kanban

Team: “Can we move cards backwards?” (1/11) When this happens, we’re in a pickle. In true pull-system fashion, the developer has pulled another card. Test finds an issue that demands developer’s attention. What to do? (2/11)
Aug 19, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Some #prodmgmt Qs for interviewer... (1/4)
- technical debt
- recent prod issues / reactive work
- direct access to customers
- attrition rate for PMs
- typical calendar / mix of activities
- last 5-10 prod decisions and outcomes
- details of decision making process - metric you must drive to be successful
- psych safety on teams
- dedicated #ux ?
- how team missions are crafted
- autonomy over roadmap ?
- deployment pipeline, ease of collaboration
- access to product usage data (tools?)
- current “big bet” and key unknowns

#prodmgmt 3/4
Aug 14, 2018 7 tweets 8 min read
[thread]...Some two column tables. Apparently I enjoy this :)

(1/7) Our intuition says ... instead try
#prodmgmt #kanban #agile #lean (2/7) What you say ... what they hear/think
#prodmgmt #kanban #agile #lean
Aug 12, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
#kanban tips (1/3)

Model the work, not the “workers”. With team member magnets, checklists, and markers...the bottom design can more than adequately model the work

If work ever “moves left” (e.g. QA/demo passes an item “back to dev”), then the top dsgn breaks. It is all doing. Another classic anti-pattern is team/individual lanes and “splitting” the work. The bottom option will probably catalyze the right conversations....though the top option with string can also do the trick. (2/4) #kanban
Jul 15, 2018 5 tweets 4 min read
Heard (again) that #design and #ux is somehow incompatible with #agile (which to most, means #scrum).

..that ppl can’t always jam their work into little increments

..that MVPs suck because they’re never improved

..that work can’t always be boiled down into a “ticket” 1/n ...that #design is more than screens...a more holistic view is needed

...that an output fixation is killing products

...that quality shouldn’t be sacrificed just to get stuff out the door

...that craft should be respected

...that #ux debt sucks 2/n
Jul 5, 2018 4 tweets 4 min read
There are many ways to inspire a “sense of urgency” that have nothing to do with estimates/deadlines.

#agile #lean #softwaredevelopment 1. First ... giving enough context so people give a fuck. That’s a start. Otherwise, you can’t expect people to “go the extra mile”...

#agile #softwaredevelopment #ux #devops
Jun 23, 2018 10 tweets 13 min read
Realized I had some posts that actually make sense as a series... a little blook

1/10 Moving beyond the platitudes of outcomes vs. is all a spectrum…

#prodmgmt #ux #design #agile #modernagile 2/10 Distinguising value and sequencing. Start with opportunities before getting bogged down in “LOE”…

#prodmgmt #ux #design #agile #modernagile
Jun 21, 2018 4 tweets 4 min read
Almost every discussion I have that starts with “we need to go faster” ends with me asking the team to “define value”, and then do less once and work in smaller batches.

It is at this point that the reality sets in ...1/3
#agile #kanban #prodmgmt ... the reality is that the current system is optimized for:
-saying “yes we’re on it”
-keeping people busy
-brokering resource capacity
-keeping track of all the work in progress
-providing plausible reasons why nothing is shipping

#agile #kanban #prodmgmt
May 31, 2018 12 tweets 17 min read
My product-nerd-friend @atheus...hey you should post a thread of some drawings. Here goes:

1. The classic “here’s why you do incremental delivery” drawing ... aka “how not to dig a deep hole”. Yet legacy budgeting practices encourage one/not other

#prodmgmt #ux #design @atheus 2. Here’s is the “perpetual cone of uncertainty” ... namely, unless you are a project shop, you’re likely to ALWAYS have uncertainty, even if you are also reducing it constantly

#prodmgmt #ux #design @atheus @ProductPlan
Apr 28, 2018 5 tweets 6 min read
Words matter... (1/5)

Notice how words like discovery, design, delivery, build, and run often get coopted to silo / segment / divide teams/ppl

To draw imaginary lines around skills. To protect kingdoms even. To make pretty left to right diagrams.

#ux #design #agile #devops It is very different for a team to ask a couple of its members to get upstream a bit & do some research/discovery...because it adds value

...than it is to structure your Jira workflow, PMO “process”, or SDLC around handoffs and silos. (2/5)

#ux #design #agile #devops
Apr 13, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Let’s talk Definition of Done

First, with sw-prod-dev our work is never “Done”. What we’re really talking about is a temporary stopping function ...DoDFRN ... definition of done for right now (thread 1/6) #agile #prodmgmt You should have various pivot/proceed points throughout the effort ... multiple potential stopping functions ... to defeat sunk cost bias, and to hopefully incorporate new feedback/learning. What is your DoSRN ... Definition of Stop Right Now? (2/6) #agile #prodmgmt
Apr 10, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
Some tips for PdM working with software developers ...
#agile #prodmgmt #ux #design

1/ They’re masters of coherence in arguments, information, and statements. Expect to be called out (bluntly) on something ... and for them to be right. 2/ Don’t assume silence means a lack of interest. Sadly, introverts get chased out of the “business world”. In the swdev team world, extroverts AND introverts thrive (cool huh?). Many or my dev friends choose to chew on a thought for a long time before interjecting.