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Episode 140 - The Role of Product Management on Truly Agile Development Teams (with Allen Holub, Software Architect, Consultant & Outspoken Twitter Agilist)

Digital Transformation
Product Development
Top 6

Episode 140: The Role of Product Management on Truly Agile Development Teams

Allen Holub, Software Architect, Consultant & Outspoken Twitter Agilist

4 Sept 2022

4 Sept 2022 Allen Holub head shot

Listen here!

Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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About the Episode

Allen Holub is a software development and agile consultant who wants to help you build better software and build software better. He's also not shy when it comes to telling the world what he thinks about product development via Twitter.

Here are some of Allen's spicy takes:

Making true organisational change requires C-level buy-in

It's easy to get hired by the engineering team to help them learn how to make sausages better but the better goal is to work out if you want to make sausages, and you need top-level buy in for this

There are too many people walking on eggshells on Twitter

You should be able to share your version of the truth in an open, direct way. If people don't like it, they can listen to someone else! Context is important, but it's not ivory tower thinking to try to change a system.

Empowering people to be agile doesn't mean leaving them to it

Removing organisational blockers and waterfall thinking is important, but you can't just leave them to it and not support them. They need support to become a learning organisation.

Scrum is, at best, mostly harmless, but only in good teams

You don't need backlogs, you don't need scrum masters, you don't need Sprints, or any of it! Scrum was just a way to make agile acceptable to bureaucratic micromanagers. But all frameworks fly against agile thinking.

Product managers do essential work that developers won't do if left to their own devices, but..

It's important that they're part of the development team, that they're not a silo, they aren't the boss or decision maker for the team & they aren't a replacement for the customer

JIRA is actively contributing to poor development behaviours

We don't need big long complicated specs, we don't need backlogs, estimates, story points or velocity charts. We'd be better off with index cards stuck to a wall (or Miro!)

Listen to the episode for this and more!

Follow the progress of Allen's book:

Allen is writing a book! Check out the progress of the book here.

Go to Allen's User Story workshop

If you want to go to Allen's upcoming class on User Stories, check out the details here.

Contact Allen

You can reach out to Allen on Twitter, or book a chat with him.

Allen Holub and me before the recording