Book Notes: Project to Product

Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework by Mik Kersten
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Project-Oriented ManagementProduct-Oriented Management
BudgetingFunding of milestones, predefined at project scoping. New budget requires creation of a new project.Funding of product value streams based on business results. New budget allocation based on demand. Incentive to deliver incremental results
Time FramesTerm of the project (e.g., one year). Defined end date. Not focused on the maintenance/health after the project ends.Life cycle of the product (multiple years), includes ongoing health/maintenance activities through end of life.
SuccessCost centre approach. Measured to be on time and on budget. Capitalisation of development results in large projects. Business incentive to ask for everything they might need up front.Profit centre approach. Measured in business objectives and outcomes met (e.g., revenue). Focus on incremental value delivery and regular checkpoint.
RiskDelivery risks, such as product/market fit, is maximised by forcing all learning, specification, and strategic decision making to occur up front.Risk is spread across the time frame and iterations of the project. This creates option value, such as terminating the project if delivery assumptions were incorrect or pivoting if strategic opportunities arise.
TeamsBring people to the work: allocated up front, people often span multiple projects, frequent churn and re-assignment.Bring work to the people: stable, incrementally adjusted, cross-functional teams assigned to one value stream.
PrioritisationPPM and project plan driven. Focus on requirements delivery. Projects drive waterfall orientation.Road-map and hypothesis testing driven. Focus on feature and business value delivery. Products drive Agile orientation.
VisibilityIT is a black box. PMOs create complex mapping and obscurity.Direct mapping to business outcomes, enabling transparency
Flow MetricsBusiness Results
Velocity (items completed per time)
Efficiency (touch time vs total time)
Time (total time)
Load (WIP)
Value
Cost
Quality
Happiness

Flows for:
Features
Defects
Risks
Debt/re-work

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