Owning Agile by Jeff Patton

BY PETRA WILLE ON JUNE 8, 2018

Bashing agile is in vogue at the moment, so when veteran product manager and product design evangelist Jeff Patton suggested it as a topic for his keynote talk at MTP Engage I jumped at it.

If the audience was expecting a speech which shot down agile methodologies, they were wrong. Instead Jeff started to deconstruct agile from a product manager’s view. He explained how “broken” agile felt to him in the days when he was in a product role and what helped him to fix it. But he also made very clear that so far agile is the best thing we’ve got to get work done.

We got waterfall and we all complained about
it and now we all complain about agile. I’ve started to think the problem is us!Jeff Patton

He talked about the misunderstood term “customer” in the agile manifesto, and  talked about the customer/vendor anti-pattern, the valuable/usable/feasible part of the product manager’s job, and that all of us should focus beyond the next KPI to hit. We should really care about the results we are generating for our companies and customers.

All of this might be seen as basic these days. But it’s not!

What came to mind while listening to Jeff quote Marty Cagan and other product management and agile heavyweights is that it’s their thought leadership that helps us to get our work done. And bashing existing concepts like agile without having better and proven alternatives at hand is of no benefit to any of us.

Watch the video – and remember that we are standing on the shoulders of giants and see how Jeff draws most of his slides live. How cool is that?!

About PETRA WILLE

Petra Wille is an independent product management consultant and product discovery coach. She loves to help her customers build products and teams from scratch. Alongside her freelance work, Petra co-organizes and curates MTP Engage Hamburg and is always waiting for some windy days: she's a huge kite-surfing enthusiast.

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