Blah blah (Tom speaks) blah blah

2009 might be, in the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Ox, but January feels like the Month of PowerPoint. I've been doing a lot of speaking lately, including last week's great session about Lean and Agile in San Diego. (And thanks again to Rober Pryor of the San Diego Software Industry Council for the invitation.)

Coming up:

  • A Forrester teleconference, "Agile Adoption Changes Tech Company Operations," which includes some preliminary results from the "Agile company" research.
  • A small presentation to some Forrester clients about the state of the technology market, including where the opportunities lie, from a geographic, vertical, and solution perspective. Plus a few tips on how to emerge from the downturn a stronger company.

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Hereditary conditions

Many product managers who work with or within Agile teams have told me how they've felt left in the dust during the early phases of the Agile implementation. "We've sighted our target persona!"the development team exclaims. "Champagne for everyone!"

Unfortunately, they forget to invite to these festivities the very person who will, beyond this sighting, provide ongoing intelligence about that role--and the use cases, and whether that's the right role for the product, and what the competition is doing to serve that person, and whether there's a market for all this technology in the first place. A good product manager also has mad skillz in collecting and analyzing this information, something that even the most wunderbar of Wunderkinder doesn't necessarily have right out of the womb.

Shane Hastie at InfoIQ describes the same problem facing business analysts, the cousins of product managers in IT organizations.

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Agile company survey launched

Our survey about Agile's effect on the structure and operations of technology companies is now live. If you're interested in participating, here's the link. If you have questions or technical problems, please contact Zachary Reiss-Davis.

Who should take this survey? Since we're interested in the ripple effects outside of the development team, practically anyone in a company that has adopted Agile. The broader the sample of different roles, the better. Please forward the link to anyone who might have something to say on the topic. Affected or unaffected, happy or unhappy with the results, we're interested.

Also, my colleague Dave West is running a different Agile survey. In his case, the topic is limited in focus to development teams, and not just within the technology industry. if you're interested, please contact David D'Silva.


Need survey participants: Agile in the tech industry

For our ongoing research on the effects of Agile technology company structure and operations, we need your help! If you have been part of a development team that has gone Agile, either wholly or partially, we're interested in your input. If you work directly with development teams that have gone Agile, we're also interested in what you have to say. We're not just interested in talking to developers, or development managers, but everyone--QA, Marketing, PM, and so on--who has been affected by a tech company's switch to Agile.

Terms and conditions: As always, we keep your responses confidential. The survey should take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. You'll get a copy of the results, once published.

If you're game, just drop me an e-mail ( And, just to repeat, the domain of this survey is the technology industry, not the entire universe of Agile development (like, say, in corporate IT departments). And tell a friend, if you know someone who would be a good participant in this survey.