Best of PPM: January 2021

Every month, a selection of the top PPM articles from around the Web.

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What better way to kickstart the New Year than with some wild and wonderful insights from around the web.


Why you should practice failure. We learn valuable lessons when we experience failure and setbacks. Most of us wait for those failures to happen to us, however, instead of seeking them out. But deliberately making mistakes can give us the knowledge we need to more easily overcome obstacles in the future. (3 min read) 

4 fundamental mistakes you are making with product OKRs. Starting with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is easy. Doing it right is not necessarily so, and especially with product OKRs that are a unique beast. Noa Ganot explores are a few common mistakes to avoid. (7 min read) 

How to scale a successful pilot project. Rather than requiring that new teams replicate the pilot exactly, share with them what you’ve learned from the pilot and then challenge them to find their own solutions that could work as well — or better — in their own contexts. (8 min read)

Why you need to build change on common ground. Differentiation builds devotion among adherents, but to bring new people in, you need to make an idea accessible and that means focusing on values that you share with outsiders, rather than those that stir the passions of insiders. (6 min read)

Innovation needs constraints. A review of 145 empirical studies shows that a healthy dose of constraints is actually beneficial. It is only when the constraints become too high that they stifle creativity and innovation. (7 min read)

All projects actually have 3 types of requirements. Known requirements are the ones we think of as "the" requirements. And we tend to forget about the two other types: unknown requirements, and emergent requirements. And there are always emergent requirements. (4 min read)

Two documents tell you all you need to know about innovation. And one that doesn't matter. If a company is serious about innovation, it will include funds for innovation in its budget cycles, and evaluate people and teams on their innovation work. Sometimes, it is as simple as that... (4 min read)

In 20 years, Agile has deeply changed the way products are developed. Teams tend to collaborate much more closely, and a number of organizations have switched to a product-centric approach. However significant challenges remain, including lack of empowerment of product teams and confusion about roles and responsibilities.                     (7 min read)



Nothing pleases people more than to go on thinking what they have always thought, and at the same time imagine that they are thinking something new and daring: it combines the advantage of security and the delight of adventure."


— T. S. Eliot
courtesy of the Cognitive Edge