Forget Bimodal IT


Nickel sitting on its edgeThere has been a LOT about bimodal IT being written and everyone is chiming in on how to manage bimodal teams. Bimodal IT is something Gartner keeps pushing, claiming 75% of IT departments will be operating bimodally in 2017 (pdf). They also claim that half of them will make a mess of it.

Why is that? It’s simple really.

Going bimodal is an unnatural way to run a team, group, or product.

If I’m an aging business in danger of being disrupted then sure, I’ll spin off a newer, more agile team to try and disrupt myself. Better to disrupt myself than to let it happen to me. Let the new team innovate and create new things while I try and get as much revenue as I can from the pre-disruption market.

Running a more rapid, innovative set of teams alongside separate teams that are essentially keeping the lights just doesn’t work long term in a healthy organization.

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Empathy in Product Management


Swiss Army Knife with too muchI’ve discussed the need for us to use more empathy in our projects. One easy step in is to stop talking about users and remember that people use the solutions we create. There are fellow human beings trying to get things done with what we deploy.

This consideration needs to be taken back another layer. We are people as well. The products we are forced to use, from the standard Content Management System (CMS) to the most complicated Information Governance suite, needs to be easier to use. It shouldn’t take a week of training to just start using a system, much less being productive. Mistakes made in the beginning shouldn’t doom us to years of pain.

Enterprise software User Experience matters.

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A Release Note For Legacy Systems


I’ve often said that older systems haven’t innovated as much as they should have the past decade. Sure, the systems change and evolve, but have they really improved? Here is a quick look at what just about every release made in the last 10 years could have looked like.

imageAnnouncing SuperOld CMS 8.5!

We are proud to announce our newest version of SuperOld CMS. Right off, you will be impressed with the bigger version number which means more goodness for you.

For this release we listened to you and heard your concerns. In version 7.5 we placed our new critical features in a menu that our customers said was too hard to find. Now that you have had three years to learn exactly how to use those features, we have moved them to a more intuitive location. You won’t believe how easy it is to use now once you break three years of ingrained behavior!

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The Allure of Selling Product over Services


imageA few weeks ago, Peter Monks asked the twitterverse the following question:

Does anyone else think that services companies claiming to be product companies is weird? Seems like a rather difficult pivot to execute.

I agreed that it was a difficult pivot but that it wasn’t weird. In fact, I did it once. Ten years ago, when I was with Infodata System, I transitioned from a consultant to a Product Manager for about two years. My team took the results of a consulting engagement and created the AnnoDoc product. It was an annotation tool, similar to the current Documentum PDF Annotation tool, but with less overhead.

Why did we do it? How did we do it? Why were we successful? Let’s dive in and look.

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