What is this “product” you speak of?

We talk about “software products” and “product teams.” What does this even mean, “product?” It is not the definition I learned in school. Economics 101: the output of the economy is “goods and services.” Goods, also called “products,” are physical items that you can buy, take home, and have. Like, if you buy a rug, …

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Better coordination, or better software?

TL;DR: When different parts of an organization need to coordinate, it seems like a good idea to help them coordinate smoothly and frequently. Don’t. Help them coordinate less — more explicitly, less often. Software systems get big, and they have lots of parts, and those parts need to talk to each other. Maybe we’re building …

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Project to Product asks more of our software, and more of us

TL;DR: Projects ask teams do what is asked of them; Products ask teams to invent their work. This requires a different way of seeing the world, and not everyone can do it yet. Software is not an up-front investment that pays off over its use. Software is an ongoing concern, an intricate piece of a …

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10x developer: work->knowledge->work

The most productive developer on a team is usually the one with the most knowledge of the system. Of the code, the business domain, the other software this code interacts with, and the people in the organization who can help. How did they get that knowledge? By working on the system. Weinberg remarks that when …

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Nonlinear increases in complexity make unification excruciating.

TL;DR: When you want to build one platform for all your lines of businesses: stop. Don’t. Build systems for each instead. Keep the integrated parts as small as possible. This minimizes costs, while enabling change. A global, unified platform to support all our lines of business! Doesn’t that sound glorious? CIOs puff out their chests. …

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