Project Management

A Strategic Approach to Agile Product Teams

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In recent years, structuring agile teams to be aligned with products instead of projects has become increasingly popular.

The logic behind it is sound: For service-based software products, there is no need to arbitrarily schedule release dates on a regular cadence. Instead, DevOps and continuous delivery can support a near-constant stream of improvements and enhancements being released to the production environment without compromising quality.

So, creating permanent (or at least semi-permanent) agile product teams allows for an ongoing series of sprints to produce that functionality and release it as soon as it is ready. It makes perfect sense: As long as there is a regular validation of the value that is being achieved, and a willingness to make changes if that value is no longer being delivered, things will operate smoothly.

The advantages for organizations are obvious: There’s no need to start and finish projects; teams can operate in a more stable manner with individuals learning each other’s strengths; and relationships between product managers, product owners and so on become well-developed, driving greater—and more consistent—business performance. It’s no wonder that the approach has become popular, and it’s driving performance improvements in many different industries and for many different types of application.

I think …

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"Work is what you do for others . . . art is what you do for yourself."

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