Two Fundamental Sources About Why #Mobility Is Changing The World

Understanding mobility and what it does right now and in the future to our environment is huge. So I’d like to share two sources of  presentations which explained the challenges and situations very sharp and brief to me. The first one is from Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) who is a partner at A16Z about “Mobile is eating the world”:

Really recommend his weekly email newsletter as well, great insights: http://ben-evans.com/news/

If you are more interested in video presentations, here you go:

The second presentation was another one from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB):

There are plenty of more sources about explaining mobility and its implications to IT our there, but both of them inspired and changed my view. I am very thankful about the content, that’s why I want to share this again. Hope it has a similar or another effect on you.

All the best and happy reading!

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The right attitude for #scrum and #life – #Inspire

This week I am inspired by two posts I have found from my social network which made me think about the right attitude to scrum and life. So I’d like to re-share them in a post.

I love this letter from a Product Manager’s view to the engineer. Right now I am facing similar challenges, like whining about testing & automation due to the massive technical debt or continuous delivery. The main thing I’d like the team to focus is to make the product better for users and make sure our customers get use of the product due to a release (hotfix, patch or whatever). So everybody from the team has to make sure to do the right things to ship the new things to the customers. It is not only about focusing on writing code and developing features. Focus on what is needed for delivery and get your hands on!

 

This statement originally from Maryl Streep is a bold one. I like her attitude and am able to identify the same values for life.

 

Both articles correlate for me when I think about scrum, teams, individuals and values in a daily life at work. It is all about our attitude! So work on it, to deliver the best of you.

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7 Dos and Don’ts of Communication: Shared Understanding and Alignment are the Objectives of Collaborative Work

This week I made an experience again which reminded me at one of my favorite movies “Groundhog Day” – the topic is about communication. There is plenty of literature written about communication out there, and I’ve decided to add my experiences as well. This is for me a continuous learning trying to get better in communication.

Last year I’ve learned from Jeff Patton about a major principle in communication when talking or creating User Story Maps. Jeff shared a picture about square, triangle and circle where I’ve found myself discussing with my colleagues about the same subject but a different understanding and level. Communication is never easy due to different perceptions of the sender and the recipient. Often when you are talking about a specific subject it looks like this:

Communication about a specific topic

Three people are talking about the same subject, but have different ideas in their mind what the want to communicate to each other. The idea behind it is very easy, and not always easy to achieve: “I am glad we all agree then.”.

Once you’ve exchanged your ideas the picture formula should become more like this:

Shared understanding

So how do you get there? Here are some ideas and experiences I made to get there:

  1. Write down your ideas as sharp as possible. If people don’t understand what you mean re-phrase it more concrete and sharp. But write them down!
  2. Writing is only one dimension of communication. Start to add sketches about your thoughts. Pictures tell more than words. Start sketching on the whiteboard or post-its, whatever helps to make your ideas visible.
  3. Don’t interpret that much. Interpretation always relies on assumptions. If you think you understand your counterpart, rephrase and ask about your interpretation and assumptions to find the same denominator.
  4. Ask yourself: If I am going to talk now, how much value do I add to the discussion or conversation.
  5. Listen, listen, listen! Try not to talk that much.
  6. Ask if you don’t understand what your counterpart has presented.
  7. Make sure everybody has the same level of conversation. Save details for the right time and type of conversation.

Something to add? Let me know about your experiences.

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#VMware continuous momentum in End-User Computing and acquired #Immidio #EUC

Again, VMware did another acquisition in the market for End-user computing and bought Immidio. There have been rumors before on several sources like for example Gabe Knuth from BrianMadden.com in his post back in October 2014 “If VMware wants into the UEM space, should they build or buy? A look at who they might target and why.“. So we now phase a new marketing term “Workspace Environment Management”:

The interesting piece is that VMware is continuing to invest and grow their solutions for End-user computing. If you look back to the end of 2013 VMware’s footprint in the EUC market was decreasing with no real focus in this market segment.

In fact within 1.5 years VMware’s position totally changed and Immidio is a great next step to complete a End-User solution for the market. The challenges I see for VMware are the different technologies and user experiences due to different products from their acquisitions. The pace of VMware and EUC is extraordinary fast, but I believe customers expect a more unified user experience of VMware’s products. VMware is doing a great job so far in harmonizing their product portfolio, but still a way to go.

In contrast, Citrix did several acquisitions between 2010 and 2014 and now released their restructuring program for 2015:

Citrix also announced the implementation of a restructuring program designed to increase strategic focus and operational efficiency. The restructuring will affect approximately 700 full-time and 200 contractor positions, and is expected to result in annualized pre-tax savings in the range of approximately $90 million to $100 million. Citrix expects to incur pre-tax charges in the range of approximately $40 million to $45 million related to employee severance arrangements and $9 million to $10 million related to the consolidation of leased facilities during fiscal year 2015.
“We hear every day from customers about the dual pressures they face – to deliver business results, while creating an engaging work-life experience for their people,” said Mark Templeton, president and CEO, Citrix. “Our focus on enabling a software-defined workplace is putting Citrix in front of this strategic challenge through the unique integration of our delivery networking solutions, workspace services and mobility apps. I’m proud of our 2014 performance, but we’re not satisfied. We are looking ahead to 2015 with a focus on innovation that delivers a better experience, more flexibility and greater security to our customers, and a more focused organizational footprint that enables profitable growth.”

You cannot compare the different situations both companies are in, but it will be interesting to see the market evolving in 2015.

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Mindmap of Ben Horowitz post about: Good Product Managers – Bad Product Managers

I am reading now “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” from Ben Horowitz which really touches me emotionally. In the chapter about train the people he sets some expectations to guide in a special direction, I found another post here. There you will find a list about good and bad product managers here. I wanted to give it a different view, that’s why I decided to post the list into a mindmap.

Good vs bad product managers

 

I believe in self fulfilling prophecy, so I like to focus on the good things which was the reason to split between good and bad. I don’t want to comment or rate the expectations about being a good or a bad product manager.

You can download the mindmap as well, it is created with Xmind.

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Business Assumption Worksheet for envisioning

This worksheet is originally created by Giff Constable to facilitate an assumptions discussion. I just wanted to add this to my blog to promote structured discussions about envisioning. There are plenty of other books and ideas out there, but I really like the easy way with this worksheet. Enjoy!

Business Assumptions

  1. I believe my customers have a need to _____.
  2. These needs can be solved with _____.
  3. My initial customers are (or will be) _____.
  4. The #1 value a customer wants to get out of my service is _____.
  5. The customer can also get these additional benefits _____.
  6. I will acquire the majority of my customers through _____.
  7. I will make money by _____.
  8. My primary competition in the market will be _____.
  9. We will beat them due to _____.
  10. My biggest product risk is _____.
  11. We will solve this through _____.
  12. What other assumptions do we have that, if proven false, will cause our business/project fail? _____.

User Assumptions:

  1. Who is the user?
  2. Where does our product fit in his work or life?
  3. What problems does our product solve?
  4. When and how is our product used?
  5. What features are important?
  6. How should our product look and behave?

Not every question apply to your project, but see how you are able to adapt. Next step is to priotitize these assumptions:

Business Prioritization Matrix

Prioritization matrix (source Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden p.22)

Create a chart like the prioritization matrix to identify project risks.

Better ideas or comments? Let me know.

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Reflections about #Microsoft and #Windows10

The press briefing on Wednesday January 21st 2015 was the start of Microsofts new chapter towards Windows 10. I was really overwhelmed after watching the Windows 10 Story regarding new devices and possibilities, which made me write a blog post about it: #Microsoft is back on innovation leadership after the Windows 10 press briefing.

Reflecting about Windows 10 this week I believe Microsoft is at the peak of inflated expectations when using Gartner Hype Cycle terminology with Windows 10.

Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.
(Source: Gartner Hype Cycle)

So why that? Because the Microsoft share of personal computing device sale is still decreasing as you can see in mobile is eating the world by Benedict Evans.

Microsoft Share of Computing Devices Sales from A16z.com

 

I do believe Microsoft made a great move in positioning HoloLens as the new desktop while protecting their customer base by giving Microsoft 10 to existing customers for free, at least if you are on Windows 7, 8 or Windows Phone 8.1. HoloLens might be a disruptive game changer like the iPhone release back in 2007. This technology might be attractive again for developers which moved to mobile platforms and different business models. And without independent developers and a working ecosystem Microsoft is struggling through the “mobile tsunami“. In addition, holographic devices are not really new, there are and have been plenty of different vendors out there before the announcement of Microsoft. I always remember my first experiences with Microsoft tablets back in 2006. And looking back the road, Microsoft was not able to bring tablets successfully to the people. The same happened with mobile phones in spite of buying Nokia.

So, why should it be different this time? HoloLens is a new hardware device which is not covered nor mature by any other big software vendor today. Even Google closed their Explorer program about Google Glas on January 19th (see their post on Google+). Gaining attraction to a new innovative market combined with the idea of a unified Windows 10 might be a good strategy to win back several market segments like mobility, browser and gaming in the future. But there have been a lot of critiques since the announcement of Windows 10 about a “one size fits all” approach which means “one OS for all hardware devices” won’t work out.

What do you think?

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about.me
Patrick Sauerwein

Patrick Sauerwein

Senior Product Manager | Certified Scrum Product Owner

My passion is building software to help people in their daily life. Currently I am working for an ISV as a Senior Product Manager and Product Owner of an agile team. Working as a Product Manager, I am also experienced in areas like Product Marketing, Sales Engineering, Customer Support & Business Development. From a professional view I am experienced in End-User Computing, ITSM & Client Management, Infrastructure Operations, Client Management, ITSM, Virtualization solutions, Enterprise Mobility Management and Cloud Computing. I had the chance to work in different industries like ISVs, Financial, SMB, Enterprise & B2B trade. I am grown up in an entrepreneur family environment with a Diploma in Business Administration.My personal strenghts based on the Gallup Institute are Ideation, Learner, Achiever, Intellection & Empathy. In my blog I write about building products, end-user computing, mobility, virtualization and cloud computing solutions. Please have a look at my Twitter profile and blog. I love to exchange thoughts, keen to learn more new "abstract" things - very analytical thinking.

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