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Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework Paperback – Illustrated, 1 March 2019
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- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1942788398
- ISBN-13 : 978-1942788393
- Best Sellers Rank: 31,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
"Project to Product is going to be one of the most influential reads of 2019 and beyond. One that connects work outcomes to business results. One that provides models to make better business decisions. One that gives technology leaders a framework to enable the change necessary for companies to remain relevant.."--Dominica DeGrandis, author of Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow
"During our transformation to a '100% Agile' BMW Group IT organization, we discovered early on that the former project portfolio approach did not sufficiently support our journey. Therefore, we started with a transition from 'project to product.' The exchanges with Mik on the topic of product orientation and the Flow Framework was very helpful and a real inspiration for me. The fact that Mik is now sharing his vast knowledge in this book makes me particularly happy. It provides the motivation and the toolset necessary to help create a product portfolio based on a value driven approach. For me it is a must read--and indeed it is also a fun read."--Ralf Waltram, Head of IT Systems Research & Development, BMW Group
"Organizing software development as a group of loosely connected projects will never lead to good products. Kersten explains how to tie work products to value streams corresponding to features, defects, security, and (technical) debt....A major contribution to the theory of management in the age of software."--Carliss Y. Baldwin, William L. White Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Emerita, and co-author of Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity.
"Every now and then, a body of work comes along with such timely precision that you think hallelujah! Mik's book Project to Product is the perfect antidote for those businesses struggling with digital transformation, broken Agile implementations, and the onslaught of enterprise disruption. In fact, it's a really important component in the world of flow which is at the forefront of business agility. Not only will this framework help your teams ignite their software delivery cadence but to do it at scale, with high quality, reduced costs, and increased value. And more importantly, with happy teams--with the metrics to prove it."--Fin Goulding, International CIO at Aviva and co-author of Flow: A Handbook for Change-Makers, Mavericks, Innovation Activists, Leaders: Digital Transformation Simplified and 12 Steps to Flow: The New Framework for Business Agility
"I had the pleasure of having an advance copy of Project to Product at my company over the summer--and what an eye opener it is. This book is spot on the journey Volvo Car Group is starting up right now. The insight Mik has in our industry and the way his book describes the Age of Software makes this our new "go to" book for our product journey in our digital landscape!"--Niclas Ericsson, Senior IT Manager, Volvo Car Corp
"If you want to get rid of obsolete practices and succeed with the new digital, read this book."--Carlota Perez, author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages
"Project to Product is a very insightful book, and the overall model Mik lays out for the Flow Framework is especially intriguing. Not only does Mik address the complexities of Agile transformation and moving to a product-based development, he also discusses how to get your architecture, process, and metrics integrated in a way to effectively measure value delivery. I got pretty excited about the Flow Framework and look forward to applying it to my own technology transformation activities."--Ross Clanton, Executive Director, Technology Modernization, Verizon
"With the introduction of the Flow Framework, Mik has provided a missing element to any large-scale Agile transformation. I recommend that anyone involved in complex product delivery read this book and think about how they can apply this thinking to their value stream."--Dave West, CEO Scrum.org and author of Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum: Continuously Delivering an Integrated Product with Multiple Scrum Teams
About the Author
The Flow Framework
The Flow FrameworkTM bridges the gap between business and technology. It is a new way of seeing and measuring delivery and aligning all of your IT investments according to value streams that define the set of activities for bringing business value to the market via software products or software as a service (SaaS).
This new framework displaces project-oriented management, cost center budgeting, and organizational charts, replacing them with flow metrics for connecting technology investment to business results. It allows enterprises to turn the black box of IT into a transparent network of value streams. The Flow Framework shifts organizations from project to product, thus securing their place in the digital future.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Anyways. The book consists of three parts: (1) the flow framework, (2) value stream metrics, and (3) value stream networks. The book starts with an introduction in which it introduces a thinking model which is referred to in the rest of the book, which is structures of technological revolutions. According to the model, these consist of an "installation period" in which the new technology rapidly develops and the "deployment period" in which is the new technology becomes widespread. In between these is "the turning point" and the author claims we are in at that point.
The first part consist of an introduction and then chapter 2 which talks about the difference between project-based management and product-based management. I enjoyed this chapter, although I felt it confused some concepts and was short on details. For example, looking at projects as having a cost-center approach vs products having a profit-center approach. While they do often come hand in hand, they are not directly related. Also, the author missed the topic of pretending projects to be independent and the long-term effect of that which was curious even though he later talks about problems of technical debt at length. Here, our backgrounds seem to be related. He had spent some time in Nokia and shared his opinion on the reason why they failed (not the company, but the phone business, unfortunately, the author seems unaware they are separate things). Having worked in Nokia myself and seen the development up close, I felt his analysis was superficial. But that is a discussion for over a beer and not in a book review. The last chapter in this part introduces the flow framework, which the author presents as some kind of meta-framework for managing product development.
The second part is about metrics. The first chapter defines several product development metrics which the author refers to as flow metrics. These metrics were not bad just not sure where the author was going with this and there the project to product would come back. After attempting to convince the reader that these metrics are the ones for managing the development, the next chapter attempts to link them to business results. The last chapter described measuring and handling failures in development. The content was dry and theoretical. There were no examples of companies that adopted these metrics and neither examples of how they were used. The few examples throughout the book are either general stories that were read or examples of the author's own company. A lot more detailed examples and stories might have made these come to life.
The last part was about value stream networks (I gave up being irritated about the hijacking of the word value stream and giving it a different meaning). In this part, the author expands the flow framework with two more layers. This happens because the author attempts to make the flow metrics a reality in the current complex tool landscape in most enterprises. The author doesn't challenge whether the current complex organizations need to be that complex (and seems to forget about the project to product simplification for a moment). The author also doesn't wonder whether all these tools in organizations are necessary. He does interestingly conclude that the increase in specialization will continue... even though the lean thinking movement (which he refers to at times) actively encourages multi-skilled workers and less specialization. Therefore, the solution to this is to integrate all the enterprise tools together.... At this point, I have some trouble not getting angry as that has been the promised solution for all my working life and it has never actually worked or provided benefits. Instead, it usually led to management being further away from the development as they can just look at the dashboards, leading to less understanding of the actual work, leading to much worst development. It was really hard to follow the reasoning of the author. Anyways, when you decided that the answer is to connect all tools together, then you need two additional layers, the activity model that generalizes the concepts used in the tools and the integration model that explains how the tools are connected. The rest of the part tries to explain these, although it was hard to finish the book at this point.
I wanted to like this book so much! Unfortunately, I didn't. It made me angry at times when the author states that the data in the tools is the reality (gemba) of software development. There is nothing about development, teams, team work, or anything that I would consider the reality of software development. There was only the assumption that the tools reflect accurately what goes on in development, not an experience I have. Perhaps the disappointment wouldn't have been so big if the book was simply titled "The flow framework: flow metrics and linking tools in development." It would be a more valid title, though I would not have read the book then at all. Unfortunately, to me, the book did not follow what the title promised and I do not recommend anyone to read this book. That said, I did learn some new models and ways of thinking, so I'll leave this with 2 stars.
Mik Kersten provides ample evidence that the project and cost center orientation of so many software producing companies doesn't fit the Age of Software, and suggests a way becoming product-centric via a focus on value flow. The book is a an appealing combination of real-world examples of those who got it right (and who didn't) and practical explanations of what needs to be done to build measurable value networks.
Net effect for me? A mind that is racing on how best to distill it into something I can evangelize in my workplace. This isn't a "single read" type of work, and extra kudos to Kersten for the useful glossary and extensive index.
Get the book. Your company's future may depend on what it'll bring to light.
In this book, Flow Framework and 3 zones of Moore are the main contents, however, at last I don't find the mapping or anyway to integrated project to product in software (author said it can't) but this book is very useful for DevOps and any company applied Agile/Scrum to operations.
One-size-does-not-fit-all, this book only show some cases in (digital) transformation and sometime making disruption such as Telsa or Uber.
Note: if you had Make work Visible, A seat at the table, Phoenix Project...you have got a little as desired.