This post is a part of a series discussing Agile Product Management responsibilities. Click here to start from the beginning.
In my last post, I addressed the need to continuously inform stakeholders of development status. Sooner or later, a team will have to decide on a precise date and set of features, capabilities, and architectural elements. At a realistic point in the release cycle, a team should hold a commitment meeting to ensure that every member is committed to getting the software shipped – and that the work being shipped is suitable for the market.
At this meeting, the rest of the company can also commit to their plans and finish off whatever remaining work needs to be done before the product can go to market. Moreover, sales teams and executives will need to be positive about communicating upcoming products and their final release dates in their own presentations and external roadmaps, gathering interested customers to participate in early trials and getting the word out in publicizing the product overall.
Agile product managers improve their ability to incorporate this information into higher-level planning artifacts, such as release plans and roadmaps. This means they become more able to pass on precise and decisive communications concerning the product, market, customers, and team in their portfolio planning sessions. Gradually, portfolio managers will come to appreciate just how clued-in an Agile Product Manager really is, perhaps even recognizing him or her as the most capable person at helping the company make sound financial decisions.
As an organization transfers all of their teams to Agile, each with its own veteran Agile Product Management team, a company can re-balance their portfolios more often based on the new factual information available to them through the Agile process. This portfolio re-balancing, in addition
to assuring a higher quality of incoming information, means that a technology company can better allocate scant resources by sinking them into the highest value opportunities.