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Leadership roles in product development

Product value leadership

Leadership about product value—the product vision and what the product does — location: 3375 ^ref-53340

then the vision can emerge through interactions, experiments, and analytical reflection. — location: 3458 ^ref-19038

Aka product manager.

Accountable for the business success of the product.

Needs to be in charge, so that others listen to them.

Needs a highly effective way of leveraging the minds of others.

leverage experts, bring the right people together, stimulate thinking and discussions that led to novel approaches, and then initiated action that led eventually to breakthroughs. — location: 3431 ^ref-26825

The question of whether you need a vision reduces to how confident you are about the requirements. — location: 3440 ^ref-16820

If you are extremely confident, then a vision is superfluous; but if there is doubt, then a vision guides the process of discovering the best design, informed by talking to users and trying prototypes. — location: 3441 ^ref-31612

needs to be a vision, in other words, a concept for why the product is needed and what makes it special; and there needs to be leadership driving that. — location: 3442 ^ref-29503

Know how to assess product success, in a business sense Are—because of the previous items—in the best position (of all those besides users) to state what the product should do, in other words, provide product value leadership — location: 3395 ^ref-21971

needs direct access to (even better, direct experience with) the user’s “jobs to be done” — location: 3401 ^ref-47207

Product implementation/development leadership

Leadership about product development/implementation—the product’s creation and support — location: 3376 ^ref-60783

Leadership about product development workflow

Leadership about product development workflow—how the teams work together, and with other stakeholders, and the workflow and human dimensions Leadership about product technical practices—the technical aspects of the workflow Individual leadership—how individuals conduct themselves — location: 3379 ^ref-22523

Operate the products’ user-facing value stream(s) — location: 3391 ^ref-21311

Via the previous point, oversee the delivery of value to users (and therefore the customer) — location: 3392 ^ref-32213

Scrum aside, a team needs process leadership. That leadership can come from the team itself, or it can come from a designated team lead. — location: 3547 ^ref-45300

Agile 2 Principle: Self-organization and autonomy are aspirations and should be given according to capability. — location: 3550 ^ref-25884

The team’s process leadership should therefore be flexible, and the team should be empowered to largely define its own process, — location: 3552 ^ref-2056

Keeping things organized is a full-time job and is a major distraction for a team, and if someone can be responsible for making sure that action items are tracked, issues are discussed — location: 3556 ^ref-55623

and resolved, decisions are published on the team’s site or elsewhere, required external communications are published or sent, and so on, that relieves the team from having to think about those things. — location: 3558 ^ref-48440

The third dimension pertains to the technical tooling and automation of work steps. — location: 3571 ^ref-40283

Creating the tooling and automation is a complex endeavor; it is on par with the complexity and level of effort of the product itself. — location: 3591 ^ref-4969

In effect, the tooling is the “product that creates the product.” — location: 3592 ^ref-47403

It therefore requires technical leadership to make sure that it is designed, implemented, validated, and continuously improved; — location: 3593 ^ref-21711

Every team member should show leadership with regard to their participation on a team and in the organization. — location: 3598 ^ref-43550

being proactive in learning what is needed to perform the tasks of the team; soliciting feedback on their performance; expressing ideas for improving the work and how the work is done; — location: 3599 ^ref-64261

Component leadership

Component—something that is used by products, services, or other components and that is versioned and maintained as a unit — location: 3338 ^ref-1129

out that each element needs leadership, and these elements do not form a hierarchy. — location: 3344 ^ref-64877

requires leadership to maintain its cohesion and effectiveness over time and keep it pointed in the right direction, and some of these overlap. — location: 3345 ^ref-49969

Operational Leadership

be interested in metrics such as cycle time and mean time to repair. — location: 3718 ^ref-9665

An operational leader is overseeing a kind of assembly line. Lean principles strongly apply. — location: 3720 ^ref-52592

One must “Gemba walk” and stay aware of how the work is being done, rather than staying in one’s office and looking only at metrics. — location: 3721 ^ref-62964

Teams that develop and support their own product still often need an operations group to help them, but such an operations group is focused on providing supporting services, such as the core technology platform, as well as defining standards. Each group needs leadership. — location: 3728 ^ref-35887

development agility is contingent on a great deal of automation and the ability to create production-like test environments, as well as the availability of a high coverage regression test suite. — location: 3756 ^ref-61321

Operational agility is measured by metrics such as the mean time to devise, validate, and deploy a fix. — location: 3758 ^ref-3213

This is often called mean time to repair, or something similar. — location: 3760 ^ref-46876

Gemba - Go where the work gets done

Team Lead

Aka Engineering Manager

what they want to learn and then take steps to get them the opportunity to learn about that, they will be more committed. — location: 2825 ^ref-16507

Products are not hierarchical. A product can interact with many others, and some of those might even share components, such as core microservices. — location: 2703 ^ref-12071

There need to be people whose job it is to watch the entire product — location: 2717 ^ref-12408

observe (or be told) when something is not right. Those people can in turn make judgments about who else might be affected—which other teams or products. They can then assemble the right people to work the problems. — location: 2717 ^ref-43652

Drive a thoughtful and inclusive discussion. Push for an informed resolution. If there are competing theories and no timely consensus is possible, make an autocratic decision, but own it—take responsibility for it, no matter the outcome. But — location: 2721 ^ref-7318

team lead should always be looking ahead at the capabilities that might be needed in the future and making sure that people are learning and will be ready. — location: 2819 ^ref-46439

It also helps if there is someone who is able to inspire the team—to rally them and maintain morale, or what some Agile coaches call team happiness. — location: 3559 ^ref-17043

should take an interest in the team’s work and how the team members do their work—including the technical side. — location: 3562 ^ref-59247

watching for potential process, behavioral, scheduling, or morale problems of any kind. — location: 3566 ^ref-15720

Technical Architect

Leadership about product technical design - How the product works internally

The product’s internal design. For a technology product, this is the product’s architecture and technical design, which—for an Agile approach—will be created at a high level and then be refined over time. — location: 3521 ^ref-25055

The human elements of the development and delivery process—who does what, when they do it, etc. — location: 3523 ^ref-48011

The technical elements of the development and delivery process — location: 3524 ^ref-40623

who is designated as a technical architect for the product. — location: 3529 ^ref-24005

role is a thought leadership role. Its purpose is to ensure cohesion and consistency within the product and spanning the product and other products within the organization’s business platform. — location: 3530 ^ref-52122

inquisitive manner, soliciting ideas and sharing their own ideas. — location: 3532 ^ref-5245

open Socratic discussions — location: 3534 ^ref-52235

Design Lead

Leading such a team is like leading a fast-paced research and development team—not of scientists, but of “creatives”—people who are typically artistic and intuitive by nature rather than highly analytical. — location: 3485 ^ref-29201

The team needs some level or organization, and it needs to be results-oriented, but most of all it needs someone who is a “people person,” because designers tend to work as a group, and group dynamics are in play most of the day. — location: 3489 ^ref-33812

The design lead needs to make sure that product managers do not “beat up” the design team members if the design does not meet expectations. — location: 3495 ^ref-48955

has sufficient access to users, — location: 3497 ^ref-2474

and has an effective and bidirectional flow of ideas between them and the marketing team. — location: 3498 ^ref-52625

Research Lead

Research and development are often lumped together, but they are different activities. — location: 3677 ^ref-13155

The process of research needs to be much more loosely structured than the process of development. When — location: 3684 ^ref-49216

That makes development a little more like research. If you need to use something you have never used before, then you do not really know if you can do it. There is uncertainty: — location: 3688 ^ref-1590

but if too much research is involved, then it is not development anymore; it is prototyping. — location: 3694 ^ref-543

requires someone who is sensitive to the uncertainties of research. — location: 3696 ^ref-49813

an effective research lead needs to be able to keep people focused on a goal. — location: 3698 ^ref-50064

An individual researcher tends to be either a theorist or an experimentalist,10 and it is important to understand the needs of each, because both are needed. — location: 3700 ^ref-32579

Agility in research requires being ready to pivot. — location: 3703 ^ref-20438

If an approach does not pan out, one must judge the eventual likelihood of success, because sometimes the most successful approaches are the ones that are difficult to achieve; — location: 3704 ^ref-37925

Thus, the process for evaluating a “stop” must be clear and not easily manipulated. — location: 3669 ^ref-64496

one must be an organizer and be someone who views everything as a system. — location: 3718 ^ref-49381

Self leadership

Agile 2 Principle: Professional development of individuals is essential. — location: 3606 ^ref-63562

voicing concerns when concerns become apparent; reaching out to other team members to help them when they need it; and being considerate of other team members by respecting their way of working, which might be different from one’s own. — location: 3600 ^ref-45700

Self-leadership benefits from being able to organize, as well as being able to inspire oneself, to create the needed motivation. — location: 3615 ^ref-49648

Any leader

They are able to align us and unite us. By so doing, they bring us together for a common purpose to achieve a worthwhile goal. — location: 3827 ^ref-33661

They engender trust among their followers. So, their followers are willing to give their leaders power, authority, and resources to achieve the goal. — location: 3828 ^ref-38009

They are capable of negotiating with powerful groups on behalf of their followers. Their followers trust the leader to represent the followers’ interests and to make the right decisions for them. — location: 3830 ^ref-13564

They know that they cannot do everything themselves. They ask others to help. — location: 3834 ^ref-51665

They inspire those who report to them to become leaders as well. — location: 3836 ^ref-63405

They give their people the authority and resources they need — location: 3837 ^ref-49866

They continuously assess people’s abilities and give measured trust in people — location: 3839 ^ref-56716

They demonstrate the behavior they are asking for from others. — location: 3843 ^ref-42325

They are goal-oriented visionaries. They see far with respect to the future of the group or organization. — location: 3851 ^ref-38949


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