But it won't work here matrix
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Sounds great! But it won’t work here because…CEO/BU LeaderCTOMiddle managerProduct OwnerSoftware developer
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We work in a regulated industryLet’s change the relationship between legal/compliance and product so they work together to discover new product ideas.Help us build a sandbox or tech stack the provides rapid prototyping tools.Let’s make sure the budget you proposed is used to deliver the most value.Can we find users in training centers? Online discussion groups? Advisory boards?Compliance equals “works as designed” but it doesn’t mean it can be used or is useful.
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Our customers expect polished products, not experimentsWe don’t have to launch to everybody all at once.Help us build a tech stack that reduces risk with a/b testing and continuous deployment capabilities.Everything we release will meet brand guidelines but may not scale to all customers at first.Let’s create design systems and guides to quickly prototype brand-compliant ideas.Can we use code from other parts of the system to test our idea?
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We’re doing SAFeHow have our customers benefited because of it?You’re releasing more predictably but how much are you learning?Getting the ARTs out on time just means we’re shipping code, not necessarily delivering value.How can we build learning into each cycle and keep the ARTs on track as well?Let’s instrument the software so we know if what we’re releasing is being used.
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We’re not a software companyHow do you scale and compete globally without software?Let’s change IT from a cost centre to an integrated part of how we deliver customer value.What can we learn from how software is delivered to continuously improve our product line?Let’s use software to learn faster and determine the best way to optimise our product line.What can you do to make the customer experience better with software?
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We make physical productsWhat is our strategy for continued relevance in the face of continuous change?Can we use 3D printing to de-risk our ideas?What are the biggest risks to shipping our product? Let’s work together to learn how to mitigate them before we commit to mass manufacturing.What is the fastest/cheapest way for us to build a prototype?What can you teach the company about how software works that may change how it perceives physical manufacturing?
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Agile is for tech teams onlyAgile software teams will conflict in priorities and goals with non-agile company functions.Help us take the core philosophy of Agile and translate it to marketing, finance, legal, et al.Agile tech teams will hit a wall each time they run into a non-agile team. Their goals and cadences will not be aligned.You can’t get a product to market without broader organisational support. Cycle time matters.Tell me about the last time you tried to get a big feature to market. How many people had to approve it? How long did that take?
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We can’t waste time learning, we have to ship featuresAmazon shipped the Fire Phone without learning if it delivered value. They lost US$170MM in unsold inventory.How do we build a tech stack that can take us from prototype to production seamlessly?It’s cheaper to learn than to ship the wrong feature (or an unused feature).Allocating a percentage of each sprint to discovery work ensures we’re delivering the features most likely to succeed.When was the last time you watched someone use the code you wrote?
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Nothing gets funded w/o a complete business planWhat if we reduced our planning time horizon to 1 quarter? We’d reduce our risk by 3/4.How can we provide our teams the ability to learn if they’re working on the right thing on a quarterly cadence?Last year, when we did annual planning, how accurate were we?What are the assumptions baked into our business plan? How can we make sure they’re right?How much are you willing to bet that your estimates are right for the next 12 months? Would you bet your job on it? If not…why not?
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Engineers should be writing codeWe hire people for their core competency but how can we have them bring their whole self to work?Professional development is not strictly technical competence. It requires a wider perspective on the work.The majority of our initial assumptions are wrong. This includes code decisions. How can we reduce wrong choices?What if we optimise for velocity and regularly ship the wrong things?Your assumptions about how users will use the code you write are often wrong. Let me show you.
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