The Heretech, Episode 13: Dave West on Agile adoption

Dave West, fellow Forrester analyst, tells us how and why Agile adoption has spread. We ponder the ailments of software development that inspired Agile, and we discuss the overlap among Agile, Lean, and other methodologies.

Plus, a thumbs up to a good PM blog, and news of social media research. Copyright (c) 2009 Tom Grant

Picking the right social media for requirements

All three parts of the series on social media as a new source of requirements data are now published. The first shows how product teams can use social media to create reach more accurate conclusions than traditional sources of requirements (customer visits, enhancement requests, customer advisory boards, etc.) alone can provide.

The second document distills the lessons learned from attempts to use social media in this "inbound role" into a methodology, PLOT (persona, location, options, test). Since the choice of which social media can best answer particular kinds of questions isn't immediately obvious, I devoted the third document to that topic alone.

During the research for this series, it became glaringly obvious that there is a major dividing line in the type of information that product teams collect and analyze:

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Twitter without the airbrushing

Some recent statistics on Twitter show how the reality can be more convincing that the hype. Do we never learn that the eye-rolling, "Oh my God it's going to change the world" enthusiasm for a new technology buries that technology's real success in an avalanche of hyperbole?

 Click here for the full treatment at The Heretech.


Why use cases matter: Memex

Memex, a company that makes software for police departments, is a great case study in use case-based product design. If the requirements didn't start with detailed insights into police departments work, the application might be just another set of UI components with a database behind them.

Click here for the full discussion at The Heretech.

Should Google be the next Microsoft?

Google's announcement about the Chrome OS raises a whole lotta questions about the future of the operating systems market, or what an operating system really is, or how the Chrome OS fits into Google's larger strategy. As interesting as these questions may be, we also have very little foundation on which to answer them.

I have a much longer post here about the reasons why we can't reach any conclusions yet. Here's the short version:

  • Netbooks, which play a significant role in the prospects for Chrome OS, can be both a blessing and a curse.

  • You could say the same thing about the degree to which the Chrome OS depends on the Chrome browser.

  • Users may not see the compelling reasons to use this new platform, or even understand it fully.

  • Governments may not be thrilled about the implications for competition and privacy.

  • There's still a lot of murkiness about cloud computing in general that this does nothing to dispel.

  • Serious technical challenges lie ahead.

The Heretech, episode 12: Saeed Khan on the PM role

Saeed Khan of the On Product Management blog identifies the dangers of defining product management the wrong way. Plus, a quick review of some inspirational material about the political aspects of a PM's life. Click here for the MP3 (hosted on The Heretech blog).

Product management and marketing mix it up

For people in product management and product marketing, organizational questions—for example, Where should we report? What specializations of the PM role seem to work?—are always high on the list of hot topics. That statement is true of this week's Heretech podcast, to be posted later today, in which Saeed Khan and I spend a good deal of the interview discussing these issues. It's also true of the research that I do, including a recent study that revealed some interesting results about the relationship between product management and product marketing.

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The unbearable lightness of Bing

Competition breeds innovation. Usually.

So far, Microsoft's launch of Bing hasn't inspired big new ideas in the world of search, but it's still pretty early. You never know. Read more at The Heretech.