Two big life events

[Charlotte] I’m thinking of getting the flatmates together to buy a house. Are you interested in joining? Want to buy a house with us?

That was the question that kicked off a whole new life chapter for me— a big moment! Followed shortly by another life changing conversation:

[Jody] If there’s two lines on the test, it means we’re pregnant. The test isn’t wrong. We’re definitely pregnant. No, it doesn’t matter if the second line is faint. It’s still positive. WE ARE PREGNANT.

Wait a second. But what about the people we were going to buy a house with? Who…

Shared value statements. Sometimes just words on a wall. Sometimes an enlivening north star. Why do so many groups of people insist on defining what they collectively value or aspire to?

Shared direction? Alignment? Feeling like part of the family? All good reasons. And there is another positive outcome of defining shared values — as my co-living group discovered. It opens up our ability to deal with conflict in a healthier way! If we can build the perception of common ground through finding the ways our values overlap, then our conflicts become much easier to get through.

At the start…

This is a summary of Mary & Tom Poppendieck’s book, called Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit.

Even though the book was written in 2003 — back in the days when the agile manifesto had freshly been born — it’s still relevant to today’s context. Today, with our catchphrase of “every company is a technology company”, many of us are paying close attention to improving our ways of creating software. Lean/agile thinking is a hugely influential source of inspiration here. And the Poppendiecks have given us a lean/agile toolkit that stands the test of time pretty well.

Lean Software Development…

I co-bought a home recently, with a group of eight people. I shared our story about the whole experience, in the hope that more people could see that home co-ownership is actually quite achievable. Not just achievable, but quite topical in the face of housing crises, social isolation, widening inequality in property ownership — huge issues facing all of us.

If you are thinking that home co-ownership is interesting, or that it might be for you, then you might be hunting for more specifics on the legal and financial side. That’s what this article is for — to give you…

I find product management articles de-motivating sometimes. There’s lots of articles out there about what you can do when you’re a small company with high empowerment. But what do you do when you’re part of a big organisation that has a bunch of barriers to change? You’ve got existing customer loyalty to worry about, heavy regulation on your industry, a ton of policies to comply with, architecture councils, arcane funding structures, entire risk departments to argue with… as Marty Cagan might say, everything about your org is optimised for doing IT projects, not building awesome products.

Here’s a story that…

Every big tech workplace I’ve been in the last few years — they’ve all been great at user testing, listening to customers, and validating their ideas with real people.

If that sounds familiar to you, then that’s a good thing. You have successfully listened to your customers. Now, consider another piece of the puzzle, the next step: continuing to validate your direction even when you’re already confident that your design is good.

I think the real challenge today isn’t in validating your initial ideas. It’s in continuing to learn after you have validated your designs and paper prototypes.

Here are…

Organisations and new ways of working are creating all sorts of new roles and job titles. How do you make sense of a job that no one’s ever done before? And even if you know how to do your job, how do you make sense of doing it in one particular place, together with all the other people in that place?

I started in a new team recently, in a new organisational structure. New roles were created, old roles had changed, and we needed to know how about 50 people were going to collaborate. It’s the kind of chaos that’s…

Exciting, stressful, brutal, mysterious, huge… All these words are frequently used to describe the process of buying a first home. Now, take that massive process, and add more people to multiply the stress, excitement and chaos. I co-bought a home recently, with a group of eight. This is the story of what it was like.

We set the pace with many long, draining meetings that went well into the night. Then out of the blue, we did an impulse buy, offering to buy a house on the night that we viewed it. …

Product development companies really want their teams engaging DIRECTLY with customers.

There’s a shift happening in the product and software development industry. Technical people in teams are no longer relying solely on a product owner, business analyst or UX expert to represent customer needs. The gap between teams and their users is crumbling (and in many places, it has already well and truly crumbled). More and more people in teams are engaging directly and deeply with their customers.

I’ve been in such a team, and I’d like to share how we ran customer interviews, analysed our findings, and agreed on how our product could change based on what we learned. …

Rupert Snook

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