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Focusing On Projects Rather Than Products (Agile Transformation Pain Point #17)

Rachael Wilterdink Rachael Wilterdink  |  
Jan 10, 2019
This is a difficult transition for waterfall companies to wrap their heads around. It's a big mindset shift that needs to happen to be truly successful.

I'm not saying that you can't have an agile Scrum team that works on projects with a distinct beginning and end. That might be a good way to start with Scrum and agile, but ultimately you want to move from project towards product.
focusing on projects rather than products

Projects vs. Products

Projects are those that have a beginning and an end –they're temporary endeavors. Products are more than a project. Products do not necessarily have a specified beginning and end. They start as an idea, and they grow from there. They should continue to grow and mature and evolve throughout their lifecycle until they're eventually sunsetted.

Products need to be continually cared for, they need to be growing, they need to be evolving, and they should be ultimately growing based on the needs of the customers.

Product mindset keeps your momentum going

This is a very difficult concept for companies who are used to budgeting certain amounts for specific projects. In this case, they need to allocate enough funds or resources to support a product over the entire life of the product. That's a tough mindset shift to make.

When you're first transitioning, you might still be focusing on projects, and it's a good way to start. But then, if you want to keep the momentum going, you need to keep the team together. Otherwise, you lose that momentum when the team breaks up after the project ends. All the knowledge that you learned, the efficiency, all that gets lost.

Keeping your team together and focused on a product is the ultimate best idea.

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This is the seventeenth of 20 blogs on 20 Agile Transformation Pain Points (and how to avoid or manage them). To read them all right now, download our free eBook.
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