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  • Maria Muir

BVSSH Book Club - Project to Product by Mik Kersten

BVSSH Book Club - Project to Product by Mik Kersten, book image on a black background

The 1-hr AMA session that we held with Mik Kersten flew by. We spoke about all-things-product, flow, value streams, tech debt, metrics and tooling.

As a BVSSH community, we just finished reading Mik's Project to Product book and had the pleasure of engaging with him to explore our questions and thinking. Shout out to Planview for copies of the book!

Highlights from the discussion where:

  • We are in the Installation period of the 'Age of Generative AI' with lots of capital investment happening and an explosion of those experimenting with the tech. Just like the Age of Digital, we are optimising knowledge work meaning that we need to double down on the shift from project to product.

  • We need to acknowledge the degree of sense making that we need to do in our work. The Cynefin framework is a super helpful reference tool. Remember, for complex work, we need to test / learn in short cycles. You can't plan complex work as it is unknowable.

  • The shift from project to product means thinking about Value Streams - at every level! With the right leadership! To ensure end-to-end flow from strategy to operations. This needs to be supported by a connected tooling ecosystem.

  • This means that we need to consider moving from a single-threaded leadership structure to 'two-in-a-box' (Product / Engineering) or even 'three-in-a-box' (Product / Engineering / Delivery). This includes 'customer' value streams as well as internal value streams / platforms.

  • You can deliver tech modernisation programs with a product mindset, product-oriented teaming models, and an OKR roadmap. In fact, this helps to de-risk delivery.

  • By bringing together biz/tech together, we create the right tension and focus on tech debt. When we tie tech debt to business outcomes / OKRs, we ensure that it gets addressed!

  • Don't forget about the Magic Middle. Such a great term! And a welcomed update on the often used 'Frozen Middle'. Architecting the right mid-management leadership structure is as critical as architecting your software (I might argue, more critical!).

Interested in joining future book clubs? Connect with community events.


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