‘..Concrete jungle where dreams are made of..’
That's my lunchtime project! When I do have time I still try to play my old piano type of thing, but unfortunately, don’t make enough effort to make it sound alright, so I thought how could I make people smile this week and thought to share the latest edition!
I can’t remember when the last time I wrote, I am sure it wasn’t too long ago, but it was enough time for some reality checks. I actually made a peace with myself that I can’t just know and learn everything overnight and I will take time to do it. There was quite a tricky week with lots of unknown. I have to say I did enjoy to work closely with all team and make decisions together collaboratively. They have been all so supportive and I couldn’t say thank you enough for every single one of them. Even though things went down the road we been aware of it and now when I look back — I wouldn't do anything differently. Even though some stuff still needs to be done and recover — it's better now than later!
This all-time was enough to understand as well that for one person to do everything and help everyone is impossible. It's actually unhealthy. The actions, books, and all that starting to put little pieces of the puzzle in place. Talking about books I just finished one really good maybe a bit more pointed to Product Managers and Senior management.
The line that caught my attention was ‘The product-led organization is characterized by a culture that understands and organizes around outcomes over outputs…in product-led organizations, people are rewarded for learning and achieving goals’. All book was very interesting and explaining how quickly you can be dragged in numbers and throughputs and forget what user cases are you trying to solve. Just mad about getting some kind of features out without thinking if anyone will use it. It is challenging to grow and become a very very successful business. There are many temptations to get carried away. But as usual, this has to come from the top down. It's very important that all organization is aligned and that product managers have time and place to explore the options and opportunities to say no. Not every single thing will work. Not every single feature is useful. Instead of blindly following ‘bonus’ we should start to think outside the box. A very interesting addition to the book list. I ordered my next 2 so will probably share a thought or two about it sometime in July.
This week is short as I am off for a holiday. Yesterday was lab day so I really enjoyed working with Diogo on our ‘How to ProLivery’ space in Gitlab! (Product — Delivery = hello?!) It was really cool. We basically tried to write up steps for things we learned so far which might be useful for other people as well. When we looked back it was quite a bit! It is always easy to work with Diogo if I don’t know something he always finds the answers! Magic I call it. Hopefully, we can keep this a nice tradition and even after Lab day we will keep putting stuff in there. Nice to test yourself as well if you remember all the steps when you have to write them down. When you do stuff usually without thinking it becomes a natural habit. But anyway, we tried to write in our own words so hopefully, it will make sense! We will see if validation will pass!
As well this week Josip is visiting so we had our BDD workshop with him, Diogo and Sehej. It was so so good! We tidy up our folders and then decided to look through new BDDs that were written down and oh dear did we improve. It is amazing how important is to involve people in writing BDD, I was surprised how much you can find out about the product just simply questioning scenarios. We all are in a book club and reading ‘Specification by example’ so it was definitely useful to sit down and try a few things. I normally don’t write acceptance criteria so it was extra interesting how we came up with basically completely new BDD afterward!
Going back to numbers and metrics and throughputs I thought about it a lot. We made such good progress from one to another month, but obviously, it will come a time when numbers will not stand out as much as they did in the past and there will be questions why. I like to present the metrics and how we did in the past because this is a really good way to start a conversation and usually that is a good way to get some ideas out. It becomes difficult when people concentrate on those numbers rather than overall outcomes. I see this team every day and see sometimes how painful some stories are, but not everybody gets that picture and sometimes it is not easy to tell a story that everybody wants to hear. Anyway, I am really excited that our SDR meetings resumed and we are doing well in general by meeting up and speaking about stuff. It is really good to see how people come together and help each other and it doesn’t matter what ‘team’ they are from. We are one team I believe and there is no harm in learning something new!
I was thinking about the book and especially opportunities where Product Managers get to try some stuff and explore before they make the final decision. Even though we are a startup, I do feel that we get opportunities to explore and bring results on the table. There is not always enough time to do it and we do have to stick sometimes with probably not the best solution, but I am really supporting the idea that no matter how far you are in the process if you feel that something is wrong you should bring this up. Otherwise, there could be great damage to overall processes. You can’t see the future. I mean if you have that power please share! But, shame and blame game is never fun. Things happen and instead of wasting time trying to understand who made ‘bad’ decision we should try to learn and take the best out of it.
A startup is like a car. A driver most likely first takes only a few passengers and with time he is able to afford maybe more fancy car or even a bus and take on more and more passengers on. To drive alone can be very tiring, to know every single problem and how to fix it can be impossible. But imagine if you take some passengers who know a thing or two about buses — it becomes easier and more straight forward and the journey might be a bit more fun and you might get to places quicker than expected. Sometimes you have to let people help you drive the bus-especially if its double-decker! On the corners, it gets sometimes really tricky, but somebody might be able to maneuver a bit easier than the driver. They might have an idea on how to approach it a bit differently, but it doesn’t mean that it will not work.
Overall it been a good few weeks, I have my short sessions on Fridays where Sam tries to show me some stuff that could possibly help me in day to day activities and to be honest putting this ProLivery stuff together did make me think that probably by now I should know a bit more, but I am very happy with the stuff I have in my head so far. I did make a promise to myself to go easier on myself. I still have some time (hopefully) to read many more books and build that knowledge and experience combining things together. Having such a great and supportive team is amazing and even though sometimes I think how they didn’t send me yet far far away — I am glad they didn’t! Have a lovely weekend and hopefully, the weekend will have some nice sunshine!