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Product Management

Tough Love

About a year ago, in a post about custard apples, I was talking about experimentation. The idea being that you have to assume failure and conduct a lot of experiments to really be able to use the method effectively. I also argued that this is not a new concept. In fact, we understand this quite intuitively, especially when it comes to nature. However, we seem to apply it very selectively in our lives. For example a colleague of mine pointed out in the comments that this concept is no different than a VC firm having a portfolio of startups, most… Read More »Tough Love

Custard Apples

I love Custard Apples. Not giving anyone any ideas but I’m pretty sure you could kidnap me by showing me a custard apple at the right moment! Needless to say I want to grow a custard apple tree… Now growing a custard apple tree is a very difficult business. You have to: Put the seeds in water and discard the ones that float Leave the rest in water for about a week Wrap them in a damp tissue paper and leave them for a few more weeks to germinate. Some of them will germinate. Some will catch fungus. Others will… Read More »Custard Apples

The Gardening Metaphor

During the lockdown over the last 4 months, I’ve taken up gardening. When I first started reading about agile software development, a lot of analogies for software development came from the world of construction. I guess it was a simple comparison that started due to the engineering nature of software development, but to this day we keep saying we are “building” software. There are several other analogies that people have used over the years like building a car (the famous skateboard => bicycle => car diagram) or the one with the “Monalisa” picture. I guess these analogies are sufficient in… Read More »The Gardening Metaphor

Continuous Discovery – Hurdles

Hurdles to Continuous Discovery Business outcome focused teams The idea that you can get a team organized around business outcomes itself is a huge hurdle. That means that business and tech team members work together everyday! Besides a few uber progressive startups, few companies can even comprehend the idea let alone implement it. Experimentation and Real Users The second big mindset change that traditional companies have to make it to put experimental products / ideas in the hands of real users. This is a problem especially for established organizations who care about their brand image as well as worry about… Read More »Continuous Discovery – Hurdles

Continuous Discovery – What is it?

In the last post, I talked about where the world of agile software development is and how we have all collectively ignored the question of value to end users and buyers. Not because we are bad people but because the question of value is fundamentally difficult to answer than the question of delivery. In my role as the Head of Capabilities for ThoughtWorks India, I struggle with the exact same question. I can understand learning needs of the organization and take bets on how we might be able to fill the gap, but to measure the effectiveness of any learning… Read More »Continuous Discovery – What is it?

Continuous Discovery – The need

It feels weird to jump into the middle of a random topic after an 8 year gap, but I’m really itching to write about this. So I’m not going to give much in terms of context and dive straight in. For those of you who are really crippled without context, I’ve been doing a variety of roles like Business Analyst and Project Manager in ThoughtWorks since 2011, although for the last couple of years I’ve been playing an ambiguous operations role, heading the Capabilities function for ThoughtWorks, India. More on all that experience in a separate post. The inspiration for… Read More »Continuous Discovery – The need