TBM 8/53: Product Initiative Reviews

Shorter post today.

Run product initiative reviews.

You can do reviews even for prescriptive, feature-factory-like work. Someone had an outcome in mind, even if it wasn’t stated explicitly. What happened? What did you learn? Did that “no brainer, we know we have to build this” feature have the expected impact?

You can also do more general learning reviews. What has your team learned recently? It is ironic that some high % of teams do retrospectives for their team. (process, output, blockers, etc.), but not retrospectives for their work.

The key here is vulnerability. Present as a team. Make sure to admit your challenges, and give a balanced assessment. Don’t play the blame game. Don’t do success theater. Invite other teams and people from across your organization. This is where you can have great impact. It sends a great message to other teams.

I met with a team that was contemplating a big re-org — real product teams, etc. “What is happening right now?” I. asked, “is anything getting shipped, and is it having any impact?” Yes, stuff was getting delivered. But no, no one had any sense whether it had any impact. That would be a good place to start, right? The new structure will not magically solve that problem.

OK. Makes sense. Easy enough. But you’re so busy!

And this is the beauty of reviews.

Just be showing up you’ll be ahead of 75% of other teams.