Elements to intentful companies

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Company System

Lots of companies struggle from not being able to act act as intentful companies. They can not do what they want or need and are held back, are too constraint by everyday work. What I mean by this is the symptom that in many companies know what should be done but simply can not do it: […]

Ep. 27: Luke Hohmann – First Root – Participatory Budgeting in Schools

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“Calm down, take a deep breath and just talk to me“ Luke Hohmann’s new mission: Participatory Budgeting in Schools Luke Hohmann founded FirstRoot to advance participatory budgeting in schools. Let me get straight to the point: You can invest in this company in this early stage. You can also support the cause by talking about or by […]

Ep. 24 – Markus Andrezak: Strategie Machen!

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Marker, Optionen, Arbeit

Strategie Machen! Henning Wolf hat mich im Hotelzimmer bei einer Konferenz interviewt. Es geht um mein Thema Nummer eins, neben Produkt: Strategie Machen! Wir erklären, was an Strategie kaputt ist und wie man es fixen kann. Subscribe on iTunes RSS Feed Overcast.fm    Wir erklären, was die drei relevanten Ebenen in Strategie sind und wie man sie […]

Treat Your Digital Products Like Things

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TL;DR Humans are bad in imagining the impact of things. What we are good at is looking at and touching things and then understand them. It’s how we became who we are. We created tools not by thinking of them. We created them by needing them, working on them as things, trying them and then […]

Dan Vacanti – Rightsizing

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  I met Dan years and years ago in my active time in the Kanban community. Dan was part of the very beginning of Kanban in 2007! Since then he’s been deep into Lean and Agile. Dan authored two books, “Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability“ and “When will it be done?“. He is also the […]

Ep. 22: Jabe Bloom & Marc Burgauer – Designing Systems Pt. II

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Bildschirmfoto 2019-01-28 um 21.59.26

Designing Systems This is part two of the conversation I had with Jabe Bloom and Marc Burgauer during the Devops Conference 2018 in Munich on the bigger topic of Designing Systems.. All information can be found in the show notes of part 1, which is Episode 21 of this podcast. Subscribe on iTunes RSS Feed […]

Ep. 21: Jabe Bloom and Marc Burgauer – Designing Systems

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Last week, beginning of December 2018, I happened to be guest of the DevOps Conferencein Munich. The nice people from the organising companygave me the chance to actually make it a family meeting with my pals J Paul Reed (a giant in the field of DevOps), Marc Burgauer (from Scotland, doing Agile consulting in Banking) and Jabe Bloom (co-founder and chief […]

Ep. 20: Matthew E. May – Winning The Brain Game

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I follow Matt since years. He has a couple of great books out, his latest one possibly being the top pick. It is called “Winning the Brain Game”. In “Winning the Brain Game”, Matt explains 7 fundamental flaws of the brain which hold us back from being the best problem solvers we could be. He […]

Story Telling At Work

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Story Telling at Jaama El Fnaa

TL;DR Stories are second nature to humans. Somehow, stories in work life were pushed into the corner by supposedly scientific models and “objective” data. By rediscovering the power of Story Telling and working with it in companies and teams, we can help transcending boundaries in companies enforced by silos and hierarchies and finally improve understanding […]

Instant success is the wrong incentive

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TLDR As humans, we love instant success and instant results, but it is the wrong incentive. We just love the story of the prodigy as a hero, running over the established with little knowledge but an insane level of skill and smartness. The problem: Instant success and overnight success are one in a million, random […]

Experiment: An hour of intense collaboration every day

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 TL;DR Communication and intense collaboration inside and across teams can be difficult. The reasons are manifold and hard to get over. This leaves lots of excuses, why we shouldn’t and couldn’t improve. By just committing to cooperate intently and closely with someone each day for one or two ours, we can make an immediate change without having […]

Ep. 17: Courtney Hemphill – Psychological Safety at Work

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Courtney Hemphill

I met Courtney years ago at the Lean UX conference. At the time there was a lot of talk of yet another round of inclusion. Where DevOps was going on in one part of the universe, this was the universe, we were talking and discussing inclusion of UX, User Research, Design and other disciplines into […]

Properties of Products

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The guitars in the picture above from left to right cost ca: 3.500$, 1.200$, 500$. They serve completely different models of interaction between producer and consumer: Custom, Product and Commodity. The following article explains the difference and why it matters. Warning. This is long. Hence a “TLDR” in the beginning and a “Bottom Line” at […]

Ep. 16: Roman Pichler – Strategize

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Roman – one of the greats I don’t really dare to introduce Roman. He is such a big name in Agile Product management. Since his beginnings in Scrum, he was totally focused: Scrum it will be, Product it will be – and everything that belongs to it. No more, no less. Clarity. In the field […]

A chat with Jabe Bloom

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Jabe Bloom (@cyetain)

The other night, Jabe Bloom and I were preparing a podcast episode. We know since ages but don’t get to meet as often as we should and would like to. There was some gold in the preparation and so I thought I’d share some bits of our conversation on video. Here some topics we cover: […]

Ep. 15 – Fridtjof Detzner: Founders Valley

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Fridtjof „Fridel“ Detzner hat die letzten 18 Jahre mit seinen Freunden daran gearbeitet von einem Bauernhof aus die Voraussetzungen für Jimdo zu schaffen und dann Jimdo mit aufgebaut. Dort hilft er auch noch ein bisschen mit, er sucht aber nach neuen Feldern. Subscribe on iTunes RSS Feed Overcast.fm  Darum hat Fridel ein Jahr hinter sich, […]

When Process Makes Us Put Pressure On Each Other

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This is the first of two small pieces on the impact of process. This one is more about how processes can make us blind to the needs of our customers and colleagues. The next piece will be on the impact that process can have on who might work with us and who is left out. Choices […]

Episode 14: Christopher Avery – The Responsibility Process

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Christopher Avery

This episode is quiet. Quiet and deep. I am happy that Christopher Avery took the time and explained the Responsibility Process to us. I will let Christopher explain it in the podcast – the topic is complex, deep and sensitive. He’s much better in this than I am. I think it is important to try […]

Ep. 13 | Peter Bihr: Shenzhen – A future of unlimited speed

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Street Scene Shenzhen

“The future is already here, it is just not very evenly distributed” - William Gibson, of course, 1999   Welcome to the first Episode of the second season of Stories Connecting Dots. Listen to Peter Bihr, telling the tale of Shenzhen, where hardware is software is hardware. And everything is hardware is software is hardware. And […]

Embracing extremes

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Climbing Everest

Extremes that we approach define what will be normal tomorrow. Embracing extremes and finding room for them is the most normal and basic way to innovation: Personally, in companies and in society. 8 May 1978. I was 13 years old. Aldo Moro was killed by the Brigate Rosse in Italy. A military coup in Afghanistan […]

Ep. 12: Peter Bihr – Ethics for the Internet of Things

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Peter Bihr

  I was thinking for a long time on the title of this episode. No one short title would be enough. Peter does so many things in so many flavours. If you live in Berlin you would need to live under a rock not to be aware of some of the things that Peter is […]

Growing Teams with Team Meetings – Making Things Explicit

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Team Meeting

My last post was on the difficulty on identifying opportunities for team work. This one is closely related and is about growing teams. There are many things that make working on physical products and services much easier than in the non-physical world. But there are at least two aspects which make our work harder in […]

Level Up: Team Play Requires Zooming Out

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Once upon a time as a species somehow we discovered that breaking down big things and then collaborating on them makes sense and helps us do bigger things, have bigger impact. Fine! Great even! Not many species on earth can do that do the extent we do. (Of course that potential impact brings the burden […]

Ep. 11: John Cutler – Writing and Thinking on Product work

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John Cutler at work

This time my guest is John Cutler. He is the hardest working man in product business. At least he is the hardest and most writing man in product business. Since ages he writes, thinks and muses about things he observes and wonders about in what we see as our jobs in product work. John might […]

Why Methods Will Not Save You

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Talks and case studies don’t mention that Methods will not save you I’m not a nihilist. Neither am I against methods. At all. A few days ago, I made this observation: https://twitter.com/markusandrezak/status/874950419159580672 What I observe a lot is that people explain success stories. Teams get from zero to super great, companies go from stalling to incredible […]

Ep. 10: Denise Jacobs – Banish Your Inner Critic, Do Your Best Work

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Denise Jacobs

This Episode is about doing your best work, the role of creativity and how creativity can be trained. My guest today is Denise Jacobs. Denise has her roots in Project Management and Software Development. Denise’ first book was a bestseller on CSS and she made a speaking career out that profession.   iTunes RSS Overcast  […]

Buying time, depth and distance

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Dimensions of work A few years ago, I met Claudia Kotchka. She was responsible for introducing Design Thinking at Procter & Gamble. The two sentences I can remember today, even when waking up at 3am are: „When introducing a new approach, go where the suction is.“ „Basically, what I did was buying time for the […]

Agile Transitions: Good things …

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Observations and thoughts Some observations and hints (opinions?) how your „agile transition“ might not end like this Dilbert. If all ends badly, no one would tell you anyway. You’d have to listen to water cooler conversations. Exposition: A half marathon in 90 minutes – for once! Once upon a time, I had the goal to […]

Ep. 9: Jan Chipchase – Field Studies & What to do Next

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The Field Study Handbook

“And recognizing that I will probably never be able to do another project like this again and recognizing that I should probably enjoy the moment.“ Radical results require radical measures. In this case, the radical result is the radical beauty, clarity and applicability of “The Field Study Handbook” by Jan Chipchase. The measures to get to […]

Episode 8 – Stefan Roock und Henning Wolf

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Stefan Roock & Henning Wolf

it-agile und die Geschichte von Agil in Deutschland Episode 8 ist für mich eine ganz besondere und sehr persönliche Folge. Und das hat mit den Gästen zu tun. Ich habe die Folge mit Stefan Roock und Henning Wolf in den wunderbaren Büros Ihrer weithin bekannten Firma it-agile am Hamburger Hafen aufgenommen. it-agile ist für mich […]

Episode 7: Jeff Patton – User Story Maps

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Jeff Patton

Another one of the greats. I follow his work since years, I integrate lots of what he does in my work. Everyone knowing me, or having had a training with me, knows what he does with Story Maps. But having come up with Story Maps and having written the first book around is „this little […]

Episode 006: Luke Hohmann – Innovation Games

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Luke Hohmann, CEO Conteneo

What have the following things in common? Weasels, the San Jose public budgeting process, bootstrapping, disposable software, games and mods of games, figure skating, and a Nike sprinter show falling apart after reaching the 100m line? Well, it’s Luke Hohmann they have in common. I learned an awful lot from Luke. Years and years ago […]

Making Decisions Explicit

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Telephone Game

Decision are made all of the time – so often in fact, that they slip our conscious mind: better to be aware and care for making decisions explicit. In an episode of Ezra Klein’s podcast, his guest Denis McDonough (former chief of staff under the Obama administration, who comes across as incredibly smart and considerate […]

Episode 5: Dave Gray – Liminal Thinking

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Dave Gray - Liminal Thinking Book

Dave Gray – Liminal Thinking To be honest, doing this podcast is the treat of all treats I am giving away to myself. Already in the small, tiny history of this podcast – this has been an opportunity for me to connect and re-connect to all these people who’s ideas and work are so important […]

Ep.4: sipgate – Eine Gründungs- und Erfolgsgeschichte

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Tim und Jens

In der vierten Episode bin ich zu Gast vor Ort bei sipgate in Düsseldorf und habe sie dort in Ihren Räumen in Düsseldorf aufgenommen. sipgate macht Telefonie für zu Hause, unterwegs und das Büro. Und das macht es nicht irgendwie. Sondern sipgate macht alles selber. sipgate ist also eine kleine Telekom, aber eben vollkommen anders. […]

The enthusiasm paradox

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Table Tennis Party

The whole thing about enthusiasm is a bit weird. ‘Cause there’s the enthusiasm paradox. And it goes like this (and maybe it already happened to you?): You discover something new. Let’s say … a new sport. And you are all goosebumps because your hormones tell you: Enthusiasm! And then there’s this impulse. You want to […]

Ep. 3: Michael Foley – On Process Theory, Henri Bergson & Life

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Michael Foley

(Photo by Eva Vermandel) Michael Foley, author of the bestseller „The Age of absurdity – why modern life makes it hard to be happy“ is my guest in this episode. The book is a celebration of insight from the most diverse philosophers, and an examination of the states we’d like to achieve and desperately are missing […]

Ep. 2: Jeff Sussna – Designing Delivery

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Jeff Sussna - author of Designing Delivery

Episode 2: Jeff Sussna – Designing Delivery is, of course, held in English language. My guest is Jeff Sussna, founder and principal of ingineering.IT. He mainly works in the world of operations and is a well known speaker all over the world in the area of DevOps. Surprisingly, he approaches this field with the tools […]

Stories Connecting Dots – Episode 1

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Stories Connecting Dots

I’ll be publishing the Stories Connecting Dots podcast roughly in a monthly cadence. Stories Connecting Dots is born from my belief that there is not one way, but many. That an inclusive or is the best bet, most of the time. (As being inclusive is anyway.) Companies have to deal with all sorts of change and they come […]

Michael Sippey on the Role of Product Management

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Michael Sippey

This morning on my way to work on the German Autobahn, I could listen to the last episode of the Track Changes Podcast by Paul Ford and Richard Zikade, which was, amongst other things on the role of product management. They had one of the great Product Managers of the internet, Michael Sippey, as guest. He is under suspicion […]

13 minutes of GaryVee

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Gary Vaynerchuk

13 minutes of GaryVee on fast forward. As if Gary Vee wouldn’t be fast forward enough in itself: born in 1975 in the former Soviet Union, todays Belarus, started in 1999 to bring his fathers wine store online.In 6 years he grew the business from 1 Million to 50 Million revenue / year. Later, together with his brother, he […]

Planning for component teams – the hell of it

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Planning for component teams - exercise -

Lately, by chance, in a workshop, I had to cover the topic of planning for component teams (vs. feature teams). And the hell of having to deal with all the dependencies just came back to me. It hit me like a hammer how hard this can be. I had to deign a little exercise to […]

It’s just all gonna be too expensive

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All too expensive

A little story on innovation hurdles In the next 40 to hundred years (not days ;)  Elon Musk wants to lower the price of a journey to Mars from currently $ to 200.000 $. That’s 5 less digitsor a reduction of the price by the factor 50.000 or 0.0002 or 0.002% It is something you can […]

Three levels of maturity – The invalidation maturity model

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The validation maturity model

Opening note: This blog post is already nearly two years old and out of any or no reason, I never published it. (Well, I actually thought it is too complex and not quite approachable.) Anyways – Marc Burgauer had a huge role in reviewing it and then bringing input into it. So, I found it […]

An Interview with Tomer Sharon

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Tomer Sharon Validating Product Ideas

An Interview with Tomer Sharon, January 2016 This week, I had the opportunity for an interview with Tomer Sharon. Here some background. A while ago, I read Tomer’s first book “It’s our research” and was thrilled by his approach of making User Research something you could just do, something that is really feasible and approachable by anyone who should […]

Some hidden features of Portfolio Boards

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Long call option

A little walk down memory lane – how Portfolio Kanban was discovered In 2009 Stefan Roock an me found out that it might be useful to use Kanban on the Portfolio level. We simply stumbled across the opportunity. Initially, we actually wanted to coordinate releases w/ a Kanban like system, but we felt it didn’t […]

Experience report ideation in innovation projects

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Ideation sheet

A customer experience report! It is not often, I can write about the details of one of my innovation projects. There are NDAs, and even without them, talking publicly of much of what I do would feel awkward. Now it’s lucky that  Sebastian Radics, a member of one of my favorite (and surprise!) teams of the […]

Crime and product research and exploration – same thing

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Crime Scene

Crime (writing) and Product Research are near identical twins. The parallel hit me end of last year while reading “Missing: New York” by Don Winslow. In the book, a detective is hunting down a group of people that have abducted a little girl (one of many twists and turns, of course). Despair in family is great, the detective loses […]

Impediments: Psychology Of Innovation – Stupidophobia

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Often when trying to find new products, we are in our own way and a difficult psychology of innovation results. An example: In my talks I often stress the point that work (amongst others) may be divided in two categories: To continuously improve the existing: Generating value and money with what we have (Horizon 1) Discover the new, […]

Lean is about the People – Talk at Lean Agile Scotland 2014

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Lean People

Lean is about the people This is a video of the talk “Lean is about the People” that I held this autumn at Lean Agile Scotland 2014. Many many thanks to  Chris McDermott for making the event happen and for sharing this video! The talk is a little bit on the soft side of the spectrum and looks […]

Job Stories – Burning the customer perspective in

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Disclaimer: Alan Klement has done a lot more for Job -stories than me. It seems we had similar ideas at the time. I left it with a sketch. he pulled through. I now think that he is the originator of this concept.   Requirements management is a hard business. There are meters og literature on […]

überproduct überpost May 2014

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über Überblick

Spring starts acting like summer – a hint that it’s time for a  quick summary of all our posts in 2014 so far: Out of the office now! Sticking glued to one’s desk is easy. But visiting customers early and often leads to better products. UX Utopia Having an own UX department is more or […]

Research and Design against Risk

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Abandoned shop

In my neighborhood, new shops open and close all of the time. It is quite a diverse neighborhood, fluorescing between low and middle and quite high income. The thing is: the rich don’t buy here. So you cannot sell fancy stuff around here. What is bought and sold here is: basic stuff. So, whenever a […]

The long run towards innovation (and great products)

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Paula Radcliffe NY Marathon

Looking at the development of the average life expectancy of S&P enterprises, it is evident that even large enterprises (considered stable) nowadays have a drastically reduced life span. This is the result of an ever-increasing evolutionary pressure, being caused by several factors, among them: the increased connectedness in the economic and knowledge world, the resulting […]

Good products lack vanity

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The waiter

A good waiter serves when you need him, but stays in the background at all other times. A good waiter has a clearly defined task that he fulfills in a seemingly effortless way – no matter who is the guest. A good waiter serves all guests and their wishes equally good, no matter how diverse […]

UX Utopia

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Magic carpet ride

Currently it is one of the hippest hypes to recruit some UX guys and build up a UX department, all the way with its own lab and all. And really, UX and design have proven their deep value contribution. Nice collateral benefits are good looks and usability. Examples of companies who look sharp, do the […]

Über-Trainings, now as cooperations!

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Training together

Diversity delivers depth and innovation – so we just self applied our knowledge to our own activities and decided to offer our trainings in cooperation with interesting partners. This year we will offer several trainings in which we combine our own knowledge with the complementary competencies of a select premium partner to create something, which […]

Out of the office now!

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Take a step back

Or: no matter how early you start testing, it’s always too late. „No plan survives the first contact with the enemy” – Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (aka “Moltke, the Elder”, 1800 – 1891) With this sentence, von Moltke wanted to express that he only thinks it is possible and makes sense to plan […]

übertalks 2013

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Ackoff and Markus

It is the end of the first calendar year after we founded überproduct. Here a small collection of the talks and interviews we gave in 2013 – where recordings are available. First we want to share the conversation that Markus that Markus had with Joe Dager in the setting of his brilliant podcast. We already […]

Tooltip: Ten Types of Innovation

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People love tools. Me, myself – I am a little cautious. Most of the time, people hope to get illegal help from tools, impossible short cuts, they  want to get to heaven without dying – which, you know, is not possible. Tools are normally derived in a very specific context and most of the time […]

Redefining the UX value chain: Tooling and Experiencing

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Leichtgewichtige Deliverables

A guest blog post by Max Wambach Integration of User Experience (UX) design in product management departments has been a topic for some time now. Discussions are ongoing about UX and agile development, lean approaches and therefore less of detail in UX design et al. UX designers confuse agile product development with just another high […]

Events that matter

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Main Events

No discipline we know of is as stagnant as Management. Although there is a rich body of knowledge of how to do knowledge work in a complex and rapidly changing world, the prevailing mindset of management is stuck in the tools of the 19th century. Command and control is still dominant in the work environments […]

Introducing Design Thinking To The Enterprise

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Last week I had the chance to watch a short, and precise Keynote of the d.Vision-Day at the d.school by Claudia Kotchka on her great work a Procter and Gamble, where she was responsible for implementing the change towards a design thinking centered culture. To be in line with her very condensed and simple but […]

The way out of the enterprise jungle

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The Spice Girls

“Tell me what you want, what you really really want”, Alignment and Goal #1 In one of the last blog posts we wrote about the need for constant innovation if and when companies want to be disrupted from the side. The example of Nokia mentioned in that post with the news of the last days […]

Potato Chips: Edeka – reinventing its roots

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Edeka Chips

(Warning and disclaimer: This article may be hard to completely understand in cultures not close to the German, the brand Edeka is heavily localized to our culture and I do not know enough of foreign food chains to come up with the correct comparisons.) When I was a little boy, Edeka grocery stores were everywhere. […]

Relentless, the only way that innovation will save you.

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The Knowledge Funnel

Who wants to be in Nokia’s shoes these days? Who wants to swap jobs with Stephen Elop? We see a steady drop in revenue. Also the strategic shift from Nokia’s own platforms towards Windows mobile and the Micrsoft coop did not result in a turn around. This chart shows one of the reasons: Apple just […]

überproduct is here!

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Bildschirmfoto 2013-07-26 um 00.13.47

Hello World, überproduct is here to be! überproduct, that’s Christian and Markus, well … there’s more. There’s a whole network of people around us on top. People, we’ve worked with well, successful and with fun in other situations and contexts and with whom we like to continue working. People who are close and important to […]