Solving the Distributed Team Working Challenge (A ProductCamp London Discussion)

Last month I was one of more than 200 product people who got together for this year’s ProductCamp London. To make the most out of my first time, I proposed and ran three sessions. They all provided a safe space to share insights among peers, but I’ll focus on just one of them – a group discussion on remote/distributed teams.

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6 Principles for Truly Effective OKRs (Part 2)

Well-crafted OKRs require a team and organisation context that fosters collaboration and learning

In Part 1, we have seen 3 principles for effective OKRs, focused on the OKRs themselves:

  1. At least one of your Objectives should be cross-functional and stable.
  2. Its Key Results should express the outcomes that show your progress towards your Objectives (not the work you’re willing to put into it).
  3. Key Results should be unequivocally measurable.

Let us now look at 3 more principles, focused on the best team and organisation context for OKRs to thrive as an alignment and learning tool.

6 Principles for Truly Effective OKRs (Part 1)

How we use cross-functional collaboration and focus on outcomes to maximise the impact of product teams at Onfido

At Onfido, we work in cross-functional, mission-driven and long-lived teams. For almost 1½ years, I was the Product Manager for the Hire team (and product line), whose mission was “Scalable, repeatable and trustworthy verification for high-volume recruitment”.

We also use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) across the whole company (not just Technology) to create alignment around each team’s mission and goals — both within the team and across the company. As we grow more and more, this last bit is harder to achieve without a simple and effective way to create global visibility on how 200+ people are contributing to Onfido’s core vision.

Natural Intelligence

Learning about Machine Learning Through a Toddler’s Eyes

Nothing amazes me more than the wonder of our existence. And nothing ever cried louder about that wonder than having become a parent. First it’s the whole marvel of generating a new living being. But later, another wow appears: the way that this brand new living being learns.

A technological mind that I am, it’s inevitable to see parallels between a) how he (somewhat mysteriously) learns to identify items in the world around him and b) Machine Learning—despite how superficial my knowledge about the latter is. Let me take you through his journey (and ours, as parents) of learning.

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My 2018 Product Retrospective

Winding down for the New Year in a remote village in Alentejo (Portugal), I thought I might give it a try at being radically open about how 2018 went for me as a human being doing Product, and what I’m expecting for 2019. Regarding 2018 I’m not only showcasing achievements, but also being open about what I’ve struggled with and what I’ve learned anew — in the hope you can also benefit from that.

Let’s go?

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A Product is a Product: Product Management Is Not Just Software!

When defining the job of a product manager, at least one of two definitions always pops up. The first one (chronologically speaking) is from Marty Cagan’s indispensable book Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love; Marty describes it as “to discover a product that is valuableusable and feasible”. The other one is Martin Eriksson’s Venn diagram, supporting his definition of “product management as the intersection between businesstechnology and user experience”.

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Marty Meets Martin: Connecting the Two Triads of Product Management

When defining the job of a product manager, at least one of two definitions always pops up. The first one (chronologically speaking) is from the original edition of Marty Cagan’s indispensable book Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love; Marty describes it as ”to discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible”. The other one is Martin Eriksson’s Venn diagram, supporting his definition of “product management as the intersection between business, technology and user experience”.

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“If you find me, hand me at the nearest cafeteria”—Said no ID card ever

Today, I went out for a Sunday morning stroll and snack/coffee around the neighbourhood. Sitting at the table outside a street-level cafeteria (oh, the perks of September in Lisbon), I look at the clear glass window next to the entrance door, and see no less than three Citizen Cards taped to the glass. A girl’s card, a man’s card, and an old lady’s card. This is a strangely common thing here in Portugal. Behind it lies the assumption that the person who lost their card lives in the neighbourhood, might return to the cafeteria, and gets their card back without the hassle of asking for a replacement (or someone recognises the person and contacts them).

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Scrum in Agencies: Where Does the Product Owner Live?

Implementing Scrum in a standalone organisation (such as a product company) derives directly from the framework. Yet some aspects are open to interpretation for Scrum teams in an agency providing software development services to clients. Both The Scrum Guide and most literature on best practices of implementing Scrum lack the notion that the so-called “organisation” may be, in fact, two separate legal and business entities: the agency and the client. How do you apply The Agile Manifesto’s “Customer collaboration over contract negotiation” when the underlying “organisation” exists precisely because of a contract?

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