Predictability vs. Agility

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TOTW - Predictability vs Agility
0:01 Hello Buddy Grant Hunter here with product growth leaders and welcome back to another topic of the week Great Panel today with regulars Greg Fenton Jason Vince let John Harmer Steve Johnson in Myself talking about predictive ability versus agility before we even get into it I you know I don't Steven John you Guys had a conversation with a whole bunch of SAS software companies and their executives about predict the band agility First we all gave us them the motivation for this topic where were there any key takeaways from that from from those people
0:40 some of them really appreciated the reframing the We provided a week it will get into here and a little bit ah some of them were definitely stuck on I need to tell my sales team exactly what they're getting my new investors exactly what they're getting and what this tells him exactly is going to sound like they just needed this level of certainty about the future that is impossible and I don't think we ever when that guy over time as her and you know I started off with a number of things consultants say which seem to loosen everybody up a little bit but you know it's like how's that working for it you know in a in the past every time we do this bad things happen well then Okay stop doing that right I'm Gonna do I I have to somehow get the transcripts of all the calls I think that Steve saying how's that working out for you is probably going to be the number one phrase of the of of our part of our conversation so well and Johns Johns good at saying it depends
1:47 a curious irony is if the government is a good thing and Yeah people are like well yeah how was the answer in your life it's pants you know oh shoot you know and and one things that we talked about our we'll talk about is you know every time you change the team working on something you reduce it's productivity and so you know how in the world if if you hear even in a in a car trap you know if you keep changing your destination or you keep adding requirements are saying oH well we want to stop and see the world's biggest ball of twine all those things impact the end result recalculating
2:28 a a A A a a a so well look forward to this conversation and I expect we're Gonna hear a lot of depends
2:37 if not from John from everybody as well so we have our first question and do Jason you last week you said you were going to learn and you're Gonna stay and be the last person and then you come in with a great friend type essay on predictability verses agility i just copied and pasted the whole thing at like nine oh
3:00 I again I get started early been working in providence
3:04 own saw you know Ahmed I'm actually Gonna just her instead of reading your dissertation that greg would be jealous of Like Yeah I'm like you
3:18 I will say that I read it and I'm like okay that that's my there is one within what is a product I put my answer out first and Jason just what Yeah that's it In Jay's Jason you you did a great job I'd love to get you to talk about it oH my Gosh I'm trying to read what I wrote
3:37 out here let me make that big so people can see that area my days have gone by after all Yeah I mean a lot has changed blooded Yeah Yeah Past Jason was very smart Friday Jason wondering what past year from starting Monday Jayson redditors are two different Jason's for treatment this weekend injuries and I pay my nails I still I still secretly region
3:59 are out here I don't think that predictability in agility need to be mutually exclusive in planning agile thinking just allows you to make adjustments based on current information management of both of these require proper Medication with Stakeholders up front and with measurement and communication as plans are executed make sure the stakeholders understand that the teams will use data to adjust as necessary ideally the plan goes goals are centered around customers Problems require changes still take that into consideration
4:29 that Jimenez all Yeah so ultimately I mean like I said
4:35 predictability raises agility I think that has to do with communication Right I mean we have to allow our development teams to be a be able to respond to challenges that they have during the development cycle I think a lot of the communication I have done through executive stakeholders Nine development Stakeholders sales that is to say that development is not manufacturing and as much as it says computer science I actually think a lot of it's computer art and I'm in almost every problem is a unique problem and with unique problems there is a unique solutions and sometimes the initial idea of solving the problem are going after it is not the one that ends up being the idea that is ultimately that you know When it goes into the development of it's own so we have to allow developers to be creative in order to find the best way to go in not tie them to their initial thoughts so there's the agility but again dumb you know there is predictability of a longer term like We're Gonna get this nest nest needed for your stakeholders and saw a little bit like a said is a little bit of a mixed there by in and at times great or Stakeholder conversation from last week Ah
5:50 Am I Video is fine Yeah
5:54 I I resonated a ton in I I love the alignment at issue right if you're aligned on what the goals are we are trying to get the endpoint sort of in road mapping
6:05 to me that makes a ton of difference for this because we can align inimical communicate around those and like any stakeholder or launch plan have the agreement that if something comes up that will change it Major communication the Stakeholder are are engage at where this actually tied perfectly with the Stakeholder Communication from last week Greg I'd love to get your Ten I mean I would add onto that is that you know that part of that communication in what Jason was saying is that stuff is Gonna happen and also new ideas will come on and you know you may want to make adjustments and it may adjust the goals or may not dependent upon the situation's going on but putting out that that clear communication that
6:49 you know we have decided they were going to change and everybody nod their head couldn't the Stakeholder we agree we're changing and then moving on and and you know it's not a secret it's not This is what We're doing and this is how We're Going you know predictability is all based on past past performance and as you know as was said it you know when you change teams out or you change out things then pass performances out the window so you know both of those really come into play and that's this is you not Jason this is perfect
7:22 and and you and I agree with you that software development is what this is really an art form it's not you know you're not build in widgets know you are it is it is crafting things in you can do something really fast in an ugly to get it out or you want something that actually has some longevity to it
7:44 exactly Great Steve this had me thinking about conversations we've had we've had on this call where we talk about outcomes versus you know the the who and why verses though the how and how if we set outcomes you're at a corporate level we've got certain objective are looking forward we buy at a project level of got certain objectives and key results were looking for it to me talk you what's your thought on how almost ridiculous agility goes into everything we talk about product management and having a non chaotic process
8:23 You're on Mute Steve
8:27 and I wasn't saying anything yet how about those that I you know I'm still stuck on saw the comments of today and the last few days about what can we now
8:43 and you know I think to your point we know who were building something for we know What outcome we want to achieve we have no idea how we're Gonna do it and the the equivalency that I've used it to get people come out of there there point of view if you will is what whatever you say about development can be said about sales
9:14 and so you say well you know we want to predict our cost of development for the year while you can do that but you can't predict the cost of a feature likewise you can predict your revenue forecast but you have no idea what clients are Gonna generated so the equivalency is saying well I want single sign on Ah I wanted Angel in June preferably on the twelfth
9:47 and that's like saying I Wanna close ATM T for this package on April fourteenth and you know at the beginning of a quarter The sales team has no earthly idea how they're Gonna make their number and so the issues were folly of all time was this equivalency that a feature is a is synonymous with a client Whereas you know the initiative is you know we wanna build this product we're Gonna devote ten developers to it they're Gonna deliver some thing by the end of the quarter and the same is true with sales you know we're going to give them some sales nanomaterials and Seiko sell this bang and We're Gonna expect to see this kind of revenue but not from which clients yeah see I would I would counter a little bit too that if I throw in on the hardware side if you're actually building Something that is hardware related you have specific sales cycles in and even like applications
10:52 in bomb mobile apps and things like that you definitely have
10:57 When you talk about like hardware you're Gonna put something in home depot you actually have to you know you have to work really hard to get onto the end you know the end of the aisle there is a there is a timeline you are in that slot you will deliver I would argue that it's not just hardware it some industries right if you're I've done some consulting in the tech space and if you don't have your stuff you're going to sell all your stuff it it closing in June July because the The cycle of the year right so people fiscal years ended June you have and you only have the summer to implement stuff right because the way it goes just like it in
11:39 getting in for school at the stores are getting in for Christmas at the stores due to your analogy there greg Jot
11:47 question for you it just hit me while we had this conversation is scope creep The biggest issue it seems like scope creep is a major issue when it comes to predictable avers agility what what your thoughts mean that is among the big issues for sure right so if you say I'm in deliver x I what why date
12:10 hopefully leave but built in a ton of buffer into that so the the analogy we used earlier this week Stephen I was the airlines like air planes are Gonna go from JFK to her Billy or whatever and can take X amount of time they think the book that amount of time for that but sometimes you're late and sometimes you get if diverted to another airport made and so there's a number of things that could go wrong they will ruin the predictably of that they start with a whole bunch of extra buffer in the process so that they can get there on time numbers another reserve they're setting expectations in terms of Stakeholder management they're setting expectations of stakeholders is Gonna take two and half hours even though it's only an hour the air or whatever right so I think it's the same thing here if you commit to some end result or outcome and you know that if you work perfectly you might hit that outcome another thing you can do that's like setting yourself up for failure even without scope creep so you gotta Like it always takes on a new think because again this is creative work not science and even science is actually creative work to eat on how the experiments are in turn out right so it's like this confluence of known unknowns and unknown unknowns Scope Creep is a known unknown that can come in an alternate timeline series have to be careful yeah anymore change the way you predict things yeah like with the airline analogy tear I remember I was flying somewhere and the playing bro well we were not flying yet we were on the ground waiting to board the plane was broken and the person next to me said well are they gonna go get another plane and I'm like no they're not there are no extra plane they use a hundred percent of their plight and when they need service the plane you know what happens you wait an extra hour and a half on the ground while they change the oil they're even building you know maintenance they are then they'll just let me sit in the airport all that time aH so it's not like anybody's got any extra resources in a win win a fly when a flight is delayed In denver for snow guess what they just cancel whole bunch of flights they don't say well we'll just yeah it will bring in a different crew bring in a different plane bring in a whatever cause that's just that they're running at one hundred percent capacity and as is John's wort be sick for
14:34 so many teams it seems to me schedule hundred percent of their capacity and then expect to be able to do additional things as well in the spare time that they have
14:46 and you know I do wonder for those crazy places that have ping pong tables and a the developers are all better now doing stuff I wonder how many people Walk through the and go oh well this is why I can't get my feature because the developers are playing ping pong and you're like well they can't work twelve hours a day I get a break every once in a while there like I work twelve hours a day rule and I'm like drinking Does not work
15:16 but it's just interesting the I keep i keep coming back to the equivalency let's whole development of sales up to the same level of precision I think is reasonable and one other thing that that John Soda one Leverage and that is I've become a ship on time guy like I can guarantee Damn to you when it's coming out I don't know what it will be but it will be coming out then and I think the whole release train metaphor is absolutely the way to go now I make some parasites network precision right we talked about predictability of the question but predictable and precision arse are interrelated but the same thing right I can predict something with a margin of error right to get precision you know we used to talk about when you're doing your pro Forma I don't know it I say it's thirty million but that's just me do know unscientific wild ASS guess and you know I'm never Gonna hit thirty million you know you're never going to get exactly what you projected it's it's you're giving a ballpark you're predicting verses being precise about it right on the other hand though as shit day approaches I we get goes to a hundred percent Yeah yeah write a year in Advance I can tell you will probably have a new release next year at I was working with a big god what a big fin tech boom mean really really big attack and they have part of their product management apart the organization makes the software cores that run banks right are banking statements and another part was doing more mobile bill pay in that type of stuff and you had two different cultures one was a very agile culture with somebody you probably know John O'Brien's Honor guard
17:04 and then you had a more waterfall because the big banks that we said who try to do road map and we're like what level of precision you know what what level of confidence you have at one quarter out to quarters out a year out you know and the banking corp people are like we're at ninety five percent confidence for sit for eighteen months from now
17:25 Because they're a waterfall thing that's been building a massive course software that's running stuff that that doesn't have a chance for you to fail in iterate right when it has probably much more clear requirements and ways of us addressing those requirements is yes very few announce yeah exactly but it goes to the depends right then you have a more web based mobile based app which is able to iterate on the fly and they were having confidence level at like ninety five percent for this quarter
17:58 right in it was you know but to your point see the closer you get to it ah the the more you more confidence you have and what are we to do so
18:10 I love this castillo came in with a rant and his answer whether you'll have to wait until friday to get to steve ran right as a private manager I just wanted everybody to shut the hell up and let me do my job without interference or help as they called I learned to be forthcoming with status including robots completed work and so on combine was your career savers taught Steve let's let's dig into this
18:37 I think that's it that's half happened there's no negative Yeah
18:41 well now I mean
18:44 you know I think when you cut when you start in product management it's like unless you've had a good mentor or a good coach You're kind of on your own I mean you go off to maybe a training seminar and up
19:02 and learn some things but you know your ear you're an idiot it's the same like early on you're just like Leave me alone let me do my job and then as you mature in the job you start realizing you know you're number one cut contribution is to say no to everybody
19:21 but all said that with reporting and for me being able to show the combine and say look there's a whole bunch of ideas here in the planning que I haven't been research they haven't been vetted we have no idea if anybody other than the person who thunk it up once this day and until we done a little bit of research on I devote resources to it but here's the stuff that's ready here's the staff were working on here's the stuff it's done here's the stuff is released and suddenly you've got a visibility to what's really going on with the product and I think the the biggest issue I ran into was because I wasn't keeping my stakeholders informed the age they basically started micromanaging me i like you know what did you what have you done for me lately you know what are you what are you working on today and in I'm again I'm back to the wood everybody leave me alone I'm trying to do my job but it turns out
20:24 A lot of the job is keeping everybody else informed about what's going on yeah with you found leave me alone is ignoring stakeholder management in indeed have you found that when Oh where's that Stakeholder conversation or developer or anyone else that you're very very clear on what mean what priority means what are the factors that come into priority
20:48 so that you know here you have a camden that's great here's the list of things or were you know working bottom this is priority one because of these specific factors in making those factors very clear in on emotional sue the stakeholders they understand what it means for them to get into higher priority queues monge activity and transparency transparency and the privatization in decision making is a man's land security man there's a term transparent as sincere transmission charity know I'll love it but you know that the only helps it helps with the sales guys at house of the business leads at house with all the technology Guys because the check in oak bluffs not Downplay technology as a stakeholder because you're Gonna have in our tech debt or you got new technologies to put in to make life a lot easier that mean that Sales Guys Gonna be like I don't care about that know what you're Gonna You're Gonna really care about it you know sometime later we can't deliver anything from now and you know i remember having a similar conversation with one of my directors and directors of sales and I said you know you hear these things that were doing so we can have a better product next year and he said I'm not gonna be here next year
22:12 I live for this day I live for this week I live for this month and if I don't make my number i get shot and I can't live for the future and I'm like well okay I'm here for the long haul right move he's also looking to you to help him stay there the on what her one would hope that particular Scenario I think was not a VM is different but anyway I but you know a similar to to support your point there greg I also had a case where I was in front of the sales team while the sales Guys decided to hold my feet to the fire in public in a steve I won't let you leave this room until you tell me that my feature it's Gonna come out in two weeks and I'm like okay I'm not Tyler Ah and he's like horror and I said well hang on leashes open it up to the room is this the most important thing Yeah and the other sales reps reliant now I couldn't care less about that my customer wants feature acts all my restaurants feature why and I said guys this is what I'm living with democracy sox let's come up with A System for prioritization that we can all get behind answered this is the method that I use and is it where you're pet projects have fallen in my Prairie it's interesting because you made me think my my my late uncle was a worldwide Audit manager for IBM largest printers like the ones that sold to mailing the building companies that IBM the new Annie renting in it what he he would have those bargains at the end of the year he's already hit his number and he's got a sales person trying to get discounting right but for him it was the predictability I know that that that million dollar deals going to come in the first quarter why should I move it for right I've already hit my number and so it can go both the development and sales to your point in in both ways it's a two way street John I wanted to get to your answer by planting different things and funding different things don't find a project with the date on a team the set goals and promises of I love that the simplicity of that talk to me about your work where you were where you where you're sick simple sentence hard to do especially if you're moving over like a bunch of the clients we worked with in the past have been project based like I'm going to form a team from scratch it's a bunch of humans will come together they're a project I will find them for eighteen months in like that's how the work gets done and it's not a super efficient way to do things but it's the world it's it's a waterfall mentality and it's your radically predictable set of outcomes there but it's not feel good for being agile in any way agility works really well and you have people who are subject matter experts and am familiar with the problem space right and so with a license to do what they need to do precisely item whatever independent
25:07 teams agency basically have anymore it is you give them the better the results will be generally if you give them enough broad corporate context all of those teams will then March in the right a broader area okay hours and trickle down okay is exactly how you do that and so yeah if you if you can keep the teams atop a coherent and together they will become inherently more predictable anyway and then if you don't say I'm Gonna Give you whatever that future that sales Guy wanted two weeks you instead say we're Gonna Focus on the set of problems and make the Yeah customers ice better over this timeframe and will inevitably make it better till some point were released to customers That's that's how agile works Yeah it is just like it's Gonna goes back to last week and stakeholder management and what Jason saying the beginning of the call is finding commit to something or directional commit to something a quarter out to court his out a year out with the understanding that it that if whatever that time horizon is based on your history the further out it is the fuzzier it is and then you make sure you communicate stakeholder management with those people as those plans change yeah that makes total sense
26:17 with that said let's move onto our poll and I'm Gonna
26:22 make it bigger so you guys can see it Ah then get rid of me for a second so I ended we actually had a pretty good
26:31 Discussions and the crowds the question was what department has the greatest need for predictability in finance was the overwhelming one and Greg Gonna let you do your defense of that I would share the notes executives An other the other was operations to keep things running and I guess depending on the type of business you are operators baby more predictability especially if it if you're manufacturing you're doing things where operations and logistics are reliant on those types of things Gram row actually came out with a perfect question which we may have changed my answer
27:05 what department has the greatest need or what what has the what depart has grist want for predictability right Sales more wanting of predictability worse the eating of predictability I would have considered switching to sales you know some people need that some people want it you know I'd love to get your take on that Jason
27:25 well I think OH earnings I don't know who would want that predictability more I generally believe as I voted here that finance needs it I mean they're paying bills you need to keep their supplier solvent they didn't know where the revenue streams are coming in you know there's a lot at stake for them not being old Pay their bill their employees they need complete predictability and see the revenue streams sales likes it because they have to because they're putting finance is putting pressure on them down so they they don't really they want to hit their numbers were they're on Commission before the wrestler company they they really don't care cause it's about their deals on the of the be Russia and was financed needs a predictability of income read the Ain't against all sorts of the finance on it In where where was thinking but sales with the want and mine was steve talking about sales always wanting well what did back in a bit more that can be when can I start selling that and those types of things steve want versus need do you have a difference in opinion on I am versus who needs it the most Ideal I know that sales wants to know and don't we all i mean come on who's Gonna win the superbowl who's Gonna win the next election he's Gonna is it Gonna snow this weekend I mean we all get one's Gonna buy game stop Yeah exactly went over and when is that whole thing Gonna a up but AH are there a lot of things we want to know but in terms of needs now I would say you're right it probably is financed a decent know it's sales that wants to now
28:58 and
29:00 the eye revenue is a want to know as well We We'd love I mean when it be interesting if you could say at the beginning of the year here are the six accounts were Gonna close this quarter or this half year and you know we could put all of our raises were four officers on that instead of on the ones we're not gonna close I mean it seems ridiculous when you talk about it that way
29:24 some yeah I think sales has I want to know not to be too now dead Greg Grenada any other comments on Finance you had written it up again the finance needs to know they're Gonna be accountable the executives are Gonna hold them accountable shareholders the whole nine yards Gonna Colden Holden you know directly accountable and you need to have set that information to be able to decide what you're doing for the business and executive the CEOS and all that are Gonna hold them accountable so this executive want A predictability but I agree with steve that a greater one is actually in the sales side they want that predictability and as you know developments gets closer and closer to their needed timeline They're Gonna there want is Gonna get in you know increase is used in as you're saying grant you know it's like okay if the if in our manufacturing of those printers worse you know behind sales guys can be like wait a minute no I I Gotta Deliver I Want I want these on all on my customers floor on this date in Oh Yeah saw it in it you know that two sales really wants to have their predictability to be able to figure out how they're Gonna satisfy each one of the customers that financed absolutely totally needs it you can't be have any ambiguity sitting in finance John How You eight for a second here greg he met initially point just then if I making printers and IBM or not let them a customer wants to get one of my big honking and printers on their floor at a certain time frame This is no longer engineering this is now manufacturer Yeah which we've done a thousand times with this crap and I think this is the dichotomy that John was bringing up the being of a call is when you start thinking of engineering and development and design as factory work you're Gonna become unhappy so IF If instead the sales Guy said hey they want our in ignore nor in our big mailing house printer thing but they wanted in a new color or they want it with a new feature or they want it whether in a zero gravity option
31:43 I can no longer tell you when that's available Yeah I can tell you it takes seven days for me to make this to manufacture of this pre designed fang I can not tell you how long it's Gonna take to do nude about new design
31:59 while and it also goes out including the cell what's on the truck yeah that was on the truck but but also that actually factors into In aggregate to more hard goods even with technology or not you get into supply chain issues and value chain issues and if if that boat from China gets stuck in the Los Angeles port because they're not be able to process as much that also creates more ViT predicted that that that's places where There's a need versus want I could get was sales job and they're done last question has the last question on this slide how different is this in a sas subscriptions model versus out the old fashioned enterprise or big ticket sales it would seem like when you're selling a repeatable a subscription right it a google workspace or whatever it may be if I got the name right thank you
32:51 you know all of a sudden there's a lot more predictability on the revenue side of the finance side we're not like people aren't holding up waiting for release Seven dot O doesn't change the need inside the organization for predictability
33:08 i mean at tickets serves the need for predictability better rate certainly finance her to know
33:15 bless at the beginning of a company's lifecycle then at the stage where google is right we have a bunch of recurring revenue already we have some estimates of the kinds of deals will close this year but not yeah none of those are The isn't hanging on on that one deal closing or something like that when I was a startup so ah interestingly says companies can more easily be predictable and agile at the same time because Collectible in terms of revenue because you have a base that occurs in turns at a semi predictable rate
33:48 and if it's like anything self serving like you have funnels and you know that if I put twelve dollars in the top and marking funnel fifty dollars shoot out the bottom Yeah so you can make much better get that way to more precision in the predictions gravity i and nobody is hanging on whether or not gmail is going to have a snooze option for an email it's like do you have email yes check do you have sheets do you have Flies Check Check check nobody says OH but I aM particular want to have a three dimensional notes capability until you get into the very large enterprise sales and then you should see Our ENCOde your Blockers less Yes Ah interest interesting I was on national sort of the same thing you know when it comes to like a cyber security thing how does it fit within agility and predictability
34:50 on especially in an assassin type of product for me Je PR hit
34:56 south companies super hard everybody had hard deadlines by which they needed to meet specific requirements
35:05 or logger shut down or Yeah or you see you tonight isn't regulatory is Yeah exactly compliance and regulatory like I completely agree with her and sabo features that were planned for first quarter were postponed second quarter because we ended our GDP are there and you communicated all the stakeholders and said this new thing is a mandate and therefore we can't do the other things IT makes sense the privatization clearly make sense to everyone yeah and so again stakeholder management will keep talking about that other transparency charity or is a transparent sincerity will figure that one out Steven megawatt out of so are our first question for this call what has been your biggest challenge with bouncing predictability in agility and I'm Gonna go back to annual budgeting
35:55 especially when at a big company I was at G E back in the day and we
36:02 the budgeting in the allocation of resources happened in october and We we identified we needed to be more agile this is back in nineteen ninety six ninety ninety etc like we don't call it agile then it was what happens if a new opportunity comes up that we think we should do in the strategy team put this great Three point process in place okay identify this compare this score this if we think it should go forward yes now then finance came up with this thing that was like a lost back and asher
36:40 Drying where everything led to each other and we couldn't get stuff done because they didn't wanna move away finance that will find it's these that predictability but also finance doesn't want to cheat they don't want to be agile so my biggest challenges been working with once you have an annual budget set in people said these are these are initial you're Gonna be working on getting people to
37:03 open their minds to changing when we learn something new or new opportunity comes along or new issue like cybersecurity
37:12 Jason biggest challenge of balancing image had a great answer to start with so you maybe you don't have challenges with it so it's paste
37:22 Oh Yeah interesting when I blew my load marketing for several years and with I'm a budgeting it my me of a conversation obviously an a lot with finance financing think I have breaks against finance like steep averaging in sales but corporate finance a lot and I said okay what's my budget for marketing because we need to know when you play marking events nine months out yeah over doing Seo marketing or any kind of major and I emailed outwards Yeah so I needed oh nine months from now married know from now on my budget is for something embedded in I must now in the finance person is like well you could have eczema budget but first we have to close the deal like so many deals throughout the year and like so I get my budget as soon as I close business activity dependent on sale it's not a budget like budget does it work after you got the money gets before you get the money and I'm trying to set things up for at least the next couple years interesting even Finance I think sometimes uS understand what budget actually means to set aside money to do some work with without that they're back at the G E that was the issue we had is we were yeah we always put away too aggressive number on that on the Lakers G made you and then come September when you're not hitting that number that's when they would do headcount freezes and cut your
38:42 variable expenses and it's like whoa so You're taking all of our marketing and lead generation out of the fourth and even some of the third quarter and then you Wonder why we don't make our number in the first half of next year you're right there there's a direct equivalency that that actually there was a reason me and my academic researchers a research study on marketing Myopia and it's it was research into secondary offerings and they were able to dig into the data say those companies that cut marketing and research dollars to hit quarterly numbers versus those who did not and because you got a unit you're trying to get you're even dots for your multiple secondary offering what they found was and I'm I'm drawn a blank on the numbers right now but it was like after one year the company that did not cut their budgets were something like twenty percent more valuable than those who did and after four years it was like fifty percent more valuable and forth and I find that study and put it notes ones we do it but I was the biggest thing you you finance doesn't understand the you predictive it's it's almost the mirror of that right they want the predictability from Us but we need the predictability from that new sedating Us easier to Predictive after the fact Anglo Indian predictions are hard especially if they're about the future and I like my girls well you know my recent experiences more along the lines of The expectation that agility means we can throw best practices out the window so in working with one team I had a very clear path We're going to do this and this and this and this and this order and the development work is Gonna take about this amount of time and then the the roll out work is Gonna take about this amount of time and then in I come to find that people are being pulled off those projects to work on other special projects and yet it's like leadership didn't see that if I have zero people working on my project my project is not going forward as I have not yet perfected the auto code capability that works in the background while the developers are elsewhere I would have been the machine learning a I start from a couple weeks ago yeah indeed answer it just seems to me that when We say to leadership you know agility they're like oh that means I can move people around I can change color requirements I can do everything that we know from fifty years of doing this is wrong with no impact and you know back to Stephen Stakeholder management is like okay I'm good with that if you I understand we need to do GDP are here's what that means here's all these functions that where or features we are not going to have and they're like how can you do that I said look
41:44 I'm a victim here I mean I've got the resources I got and the team can only do with the team can do and why is that so difficult to understand your cold You're making a conscious decision versus an unconscious decision we are consciously deciding not to these projects to be a Ledoux je PR Yeah totally not your head taller and in my case we were unconsciously making those decisions so that you know the the work was starting four months after it was agreed the work would start so that's Gonna kind of impact my roadmap right and this is also a place where scope creep would come in right
42:25 that that is the harder when I've had scope Cuban have had heads of tech technology development to have their own ideas what the product should be it we could never be agile and we can remember In that every time I talk about the thing if I have it hard for development in a while I add a little bit I add a little bit I mean you know what my executives have this infinite capability for extrapolating and so they had in their heads that we're going to live or twice what I ever agreed to because you know they've been talking so much about the John any thoughts on biggest challenge balancing predictability in agility
43:06 probably earlier in my career around salespeople selling futures and with a degree of certainty they did not exist in the world and which is like The sales wants predictable takes in a they can close a deal if they say you're in a cool feature X by June but we don't know they're actually we get that and that's where that's where I got hammered into the so what's on track so it's so it was it where those off road map things or those things that were on the road map that there were there are Pre selling largely things on the roadmap to their pre selling that we communicated
43:43 too much precision in the timing of largely Yeah Yeah that that's a critical thing was not that hard you just take the post it note off of flagstar and and off the road map and just move it over wine I mean Why is there never got exactly exactly are the next question Ah one of the best techniques and tools to help balance so We started with what what's the biggest challenge what are the techniques and tools to help balance that predictability agility you know we talked about a lot of theoretical things to do are there tools out there that you use other techniques you used to help to balance that Objective scoring of alignment meetings whatever it may be a Greg I'd love to get your take on this green Earth like that you know I've used my quarterly alignment meetings
44:35 and you know having that predictable score of each of the features so you basically it's just up in all you can do multiple different ways whether it's a simple spreadsheet or things like that it's a variation of risk management type of of valuations of know the importance of each of the feature sets and where we are and what we've done so you'd basically you know it's just like you know P I planning at the end of the day have reach one of those I mean i would go back to what you are saying grant about Budgeting and and agility a little bit is it budgets are budgets it doesn't give you a writer actually spend it so you have a budget and I lived in oak and you have to come up with like a basic spend plan and I think I are at any given time we may change that spend plan a move that budgets around so that's the that's the tricky part of like yearly budgets and saying this is what we're Gonna do for the year it's it's rarely ever Gonna be that way it was almost like we had to change the whole definition of annual planning to be saying we're we're putting a plan in place were only predicting a confident about what we're Gonna do in the first quarter first half and things are subject to change this is not a clear written in Stone This is a based on what we know now this is what's going to happen if we as things evolve as we learn things as judy PR comes out as something else We're going to continually evolve this and finance people hate you for that swap but but that's just reality but the finance people other shit there should be some definition of okay Here's what the budget Is here's what our target revenue as I either a sales leader one say when we had a big deal that we lost that we thought we were going to win and he said grant yeah it sucks you still have to hit that number so go figure out what the levers are you need the pool to get to that number and we you know we did some crazy stuff and we pulled some blood lovers and pulled some stuff forward but we needed to to hit the number that year
46:44 but those are some of the tools you were able to use the numbers are the numbers right here's the budget we're planning here's here's the revenue whitworth planning to hit
46:54 here's what we are as is like roadmap and with what we know right now this is what we're going to do but as things change and evolve we have the ability and I don't think most senior leadership teams or C E O's
47:07 communicate the plans with that level of agility right everybody wants to be agile but their plan is this is our annual plan and they don't take that into consideration I think that that is a big know it's a challenge but of the alignment of redefining what planning is and what the budget is I think could go a long way that steve love to get your take
47:34 I'm Gonna go back to combine road map
47:37 and take a little bit of John's point is well and that is build in a lot of slack in the in schedule him and I In a recent project I put too much precision in the roadmap and then it was like well you haven't achieved the saying so every time every time I was having a conversation their perception wise that I was describing it and I'm like well you know I don't have developers at the moment so I guess Yeah I am but ah being able to say
48:14 here's what's on the roadmap here's what's in the combine cues here's the visibility and ten sharing last early on so that when I'm in these meetings I'm I'm talking about success rather than failure
48:29 Awesome Jason
48:33 Yeah road maps last communication like I said earlier I think it's important that you have to build trust with the product teams I think all stakeholders have have trust that what you Say you Gonna do You're Gonna do for the most part an however that works best for your teams to accomplish that and still the most important thing because what they we don't want a situation where no matter what the product manager says is Gonna happen on the roadmap nobody believes them down it I and so whatever Eda I don't believe in bloating a project schedule I mean i don't believe that because what ends up happening is like oh everything they do just give thirty percent more time whereas at thirty percent while The arbitrary but we monitor we have a buffer should be twenty five percent to be thirty five percent and what is happening is you trainees people with some rules in an a take that into account and everything is gone anyway so I was all be down to the estimates at the development level with the You know third and Archie know talk about Leonardo Fibonacci in sales there's uncertainty let's bring that up the numbers in the neck it's baked into your ethnicity your deliverables from the development Lovato I like putting up just a number on it but that's how I operated and it seems like train at the levels of people are doing the work for their uncertainty ah versus just a random number because I wanted to build that trust and I think decibels boring thing in in the organization I'm at right now is a lot of movies now it does moves a quarter in several quarters Yeah I think it just it some people don't trust the road map so it's diva but a roadmap front be like great but even next quarter like I have no idea because you move everything moves so much that they just you stop paying attention and you don't Wanna give that Scenario so whatever it takes a I agree it's it's because sometimes will put topics next to each other because of the Euro will we we did the breeding bring has been in no organization and then hiring a product manager back to back we didn't play and Stakeholder communications predictability agility back to back yet almost like work perfectly to do that John any take on this before we get to the lightning round
50:47 to Jason's point your Hedge is based on the level of uncertainty and your confidence in your solutions basically like it's not I'll just say I always bake and twenty percent it's situational yeah it it depends
51:02 to bring that back out on the outer layer easily that are developed level you are not your strong master or Product manager level that same litter dropped twenty percent on this because I think it's difficult work with an idea like that United Legend Peter and hearing team leader or that individual engineers assuming there is a testament and you're not Gonna have that for the Fisher building eighteen months from now Because you have level of detail handed to them they're so I think a different kind of road map steve mentioned road and Jason reinforced but you don't have that everything on a date Roadmap Yeah the stuff working on now suffer that's yeah sort of next and then this stuff is in the future so no idea there
51:46 was good I had another really great thought but I completely lost it so a go lightning right right so I'm Gonna put some specific framed with we've talked about a lot of advice for tools and techniques this is where you start was the first thing you do if you're Gonna if somebody is struggling with bouncing predictable and agility We talking before but take a step back what's the first thing you do breathe whatever it may be you know don't forget the tools and techniques but somebody's that you see him than mired in it was the first thing you going to recommence greg
52:17 go back to how did you how did you come up with a list that you working on now in what you're planning on doing next to go back to your fundamentals tick yeah she said take a breath back why are you doing these things watch your team telling you and then and then communicate that Awesome Jason I I agree with ray an author me a on when you know you've done always a plus also look at what you've done and young do you already have ah like I said UM predictability or you already pretty much reliable and you predict the belief wouldn't have done if you done anything in the past if not what were the causes of those things end up new shows up to be more critical feature so let's make let's look at everything adolescent how they got them in prioritize them let's also do a retrospective on the past what worked what Bennett okay to a good good yes ants john
53:17 it depends again so I guess the answer is you have to figure out where you have a sort of to Greg and Jason's point yet forgot where you are and what problems you have had with predictability versus agility An address it based on that and then the other thing I remembered was the other two on technique is no
53:34 saying no not allowing scope creep to happen making sure the priority state of price Awesome it steve a lot of pressure here because we have good yes and Yes and Yes and steve
53:48 mute
53:50 while mine is you know nothing seems hard to people who don't have to do it so I think you start off with where's the predictability was the current state of predictability I once sat down with my Dev team and I said Yeah why are you Guys always late and they said well because of This is isn't ask that all came back to scope creep so figuring out where the core is that is driving the lack of predictability gives you something to work to to address the predictability Lemon and I may have told this story before but I went back to the leadership team and I said I figured out why development sox it's you guys you need to shut the hell up and let them finish some work as you have a new idea every day and one idea from you is months of work for them will
54:40 also say thank you and I'm Gonna it just to kicked up didn't mean to go back to that one right there i die for my final Lightning Rod I'm going to go back to our new word we coin in its do all of that with transparency charity
54:56 and make sure you can hear your transparent with the people in make sure that people are aware of it you're sincere right I care about it of what I'm doing but at look at what you're doing right look at what could be going wrong Say no Ah it do it all with transparency there to make sure people are seeing it as soon as you start trying to hide stuff right it that's when people if you're hot hiding stuff people are assuming something's wrong When You're Done Something wrong and You're losing out on that game so I I Think I Think You Know I think again lot of great answers there Greg Jason John C thank you so much as we know Monday the question goes out Jason answer that normally first Wednesdays we got the pole and fridays we have these wonderful conversations and again week after week these are some of the best times I haven't a week in the best conversation So thank you Guys so much have a great Weekend I will see you next week in German model of test negative effects