Q&A: how do I get my waterfall organisation to be more agile?

I was recently asked this question:

How would you recommend working with organisations, who are used to a traditional / waterfall approach, transition towards agile / iterative development?

Read on for my response:

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51: Assemble the right product team

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned as a product manager.

The UK Government now has many digital teams based on the blueprint established by the Government Digital Service (GDS). I’ve worked in Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Digital, and in turn closely with GDS as a service assessor for the MOJ.

These government digital teams have a way to ensure their digital services and products are created in the right way. In this post I’ll share with you how they do this and explain how you can make it work at your organisation.

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Getting better at public speaking

I’m currently working to improve my public speaking, and I recently gave a talk on Digital Justice at Product Management Festival in Zurich. Afterwards, I asked a few people for some honest feedback, and jotted down how I felt I’d done. So this post is really a mini-retrospective with me reflecting on what went well and what I could do better next time.

I thought you might find it of passing interest also. With any luck, I’ll present better next time.

Very large screen + very small Jock

Very large screen + very small Jock

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49: How to prioritise your product portfolio

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned as a product manager.

If you were to inherit a portfolio of ninety legacy products, some of which hadn’t been updated in years, with varying numbers of users relying on them, what would you decide to do with them? And how would you prioritise which ones to work on?

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48: Mac or PC? You don’t have to pick a side

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned as a product manager.

If you lived in the UK or US at the time, you may remember the Apple adverts from a years ago gently mocking their competitor, Microsoft:

I’ve learned that it’s perfectly fine not to pick a side.

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Making myself redundant

I’ve recently been working for MOJ Digital at the Ministry of Justice as their interim head of product. They asked me to join as a professional coach and mentor to the team of product managers building digital services there. It soon became clear that there was plenty more I could do to help.

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Becoming a product manager at MOJ Digital

This article was originally published on MOJ Digital’s blog in January 2015.

Fancy a job as a product manager? Do you see yourself working in a hot start-up with a small, tight-knit team of specialists?

I’ll bet you never considered the Ministry of Justice as an option. You’re missing a trick – let me explain why.

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