Category: Lean

The difference between caring and caring enough to do something

narcissistic man

Product development doesn’t have to be narcissistic

I’ve been accused of being a narcissist before. Not in those exact words, but I will never forget the conversation. I was 25 and a good friend of mine and I were talking. She finally said (in a rare pause of my banter), “Natalie, you always talk about you and never ask about me.” Wow, that one hit hard and I felt guilty and ashamed. I had never thought about it before. I wondered where my baby-boomer parents had gone wrong in raising me as a millennial snowflake (who was nothing but extraordinary) who didn’t know the true definition of meaningful discourse. Ever since then, I’ve put a concerted effort into making sure that I ask the other person I’m talking to questions about themselves. It’s a constant reminder in my awkward conversational brain – “ask them about their day, weekend, year…yeah—that’s perfect!” We often run into a narcissism problem in product development, too, and it can stem from fear and shame.

But it was the Perfect Storm! How to Unlearn your Learned Helplessness

“It was the perfect storm.” “That’s just the way things are here.” “That won’t work for us; we’re too different.” “It’s a catch-22.” “There’s too much history.” If you are hearing these phrases at your organization, chances are it may be suffering from learned helplessness. What is learned helplessness you ask? It’s basically when we have difficulty both identifying and unlearning bad habits. We can no longer see anything as an opportunity for change. We come up with reasons for why something can’t or isn’t working instead of coming up with ways it could work. We (sometimes) unknowingly derail any true progress because of the intrinsic helplessness we feel after being shut down so many times. We just cannot see a way out of this vicious spiral.

So what’s the big deal with carryover? Lemme tell you about WASTE

Talking to a team about carryover at a daily scrum meeting led me into a very uncomfortable confrontation with someone who already didn’t like me. Not sure why but I ascertained it had something to do with the unhealthy relationship between product and technology organizations and the fact that product was pushed by sales to make commitments on behalf of the teams that were essentially never met on time (more on that issue in a later post). So a contentious confrontation – read on…

Cost of delay and opportunity cost when you don’t build quality in

Let’s talk about cost of delay – the cost of having NOT done something. Basically the opportunity cost of choosing to do one thing over another. Seems simple enough but it’s not.

Let’s revisit the definition of done

Just when you think something is such a simple and basic principle, you realize that the basics are often the first to go and the first to be questioned. Let’s revisit the definition of done and dissect this…Including a very high level take on the GROWS idea.