Best of PPM: July 2020

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

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Top performing companies embrace portfolio change. A study of over 1,000 of the world's prominent public companies between 2007 and 2017 shows that the best companies manage their business portfolios relentlessly, continually moving into new opportunities for value creation and systematically divesting business units that underperform. (20 min read)

Level-up your Product Strategy. Developing your product strategy and communicating it to your organisation’s stakeholders and customers is a continual improvement process. Sophie Harpur offers four techniques to help. (4 min read)

Scenario planning should be used more generally and iteratively. A constant cycle between imagining the future and acting in the present allows you to reduce the potential for surprise and increases your ability to sense, shape and adapt to the future as it emerges. (26 min listen)

Digital transformation too has its antipatterns. Antipatterns (ie ineffective and shortsighted solutions to recurring problems) often sabotage a company’s technology transformation. Here are 10 of the most lethal. (13 min read)

How to brainstorm — Remotely. In the age of Covid-19, many of us are no longer working together in the same rooms — but we still need to generate ideas collaboratively. Fortunately, even in a remote environment there are several approaches that can help you solve complex problems effectively. (5 min read)

Chances are you are better off abandoning Scrum. Scrum's purpose is to create products of the highest value in a complex product environment. This is its sweet-spot. When your environment doesn’t meet these criteria, Scrum loses its power. (5 min read)

Write a meeting summary before you enter the room. Doing so forces you to think — in detail — about the outcome you want. And once you know where you want to go (the outcome), it is much easier for you to find the right way (lead the discussion there). (6 min read)

Knowing when to let conflict go and when to step in is half the battle. Using these tools can help and provide some guidance when you do need to get involved. (7 min read)

You can’t be effective with Scrum without a sprint goal. Many people, including well-respected Scrum experts, believe the Sprint Goal is optional in Scrum. Willem-Jan Ageling begs to differ. (6 min read)

The #NoEstimates movement is a pointless infatuation. The biggest value in using a bigger range in estimates isn’t improving the accuracy of the estimate, but having the important conversations that result from divergent estimates. (8 min read)


“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

— Steve Jobs

Courtesy of David Pereira for Serious Scrum