I started a new job and thought I’d try out OmniFocus for a change after using Things very intensively at the last job. Things felt a bit constricting and I thought I’d try out the alternative app for a change.
Turns out this was a huge mistake.
Don’t learn a new productivity application while starting a new job. This was a lot more annoying than I expected it to be. In part also because…
OmniFocus is extremely unpolished. I don’t know what they are doing with the monthly subscription pricing that they cash but developing the applications is not it. The tool is extremely bare and missing huge swaths of basic functionality out of some kind of misguided principle. Their quick add window looks and works terribly and is a bad parody of the one that Things has. The interface design looks like something I could also have whipped up (and I consider myself largely design blind).
OmniFocus is also very old and has gone through a bunch of version updates which makes all of the user guides and documentation hard to sift through. I’ve more than once been reading about stuff that didn’t exist anymore in the current app.
I will be switching back to Things as soon as I can find out how to purchase it in the correct way. And because both of these tools are fairly popular there’s an exporter/importer so I don’t have to type everything over manually.
Agile is setup as a bit of a straw man in this piece about scaling product delivery, but it is true that following the existing methods too rigidly will not get you where you want to be. I’d rephrase it to say that mature teams need to be able to reflect and create their own systems as they go.
The more experience you have, the more implicit authority you will have. It can be tough to understand that when you propose a silly idea over lunch when you have 5 years of experience has a very different impact than when you have 15 years of experience — someone might actually listen to you and go make it!Really, this is a great thing, a sort of influential power you gain. It needs love, care and maintenance though — always work on getting better, learning from your mistakes and improving on your experience. There’s nothing more dangerous for an organization than a person with terrible ideas whom everyone admires professionally.
but I like working with PMs who went into it through channels other than the official ones, and are motivated out of their passion for building things and solving problems. Not because they feel it’s something they’re supposed to do, or because they think it’s prestigious, or because it is the default path from whatever elite school they went to.
That is an excellent and very opinionated list of criteria of how to gauge a product organization. I’m not sure whether I’ve seen any that hit all or even many of these. If you know of one, let me know.
What is weird is that organizations that purport to be against risk will often do their projects exactly in this very risky way. Within an institutional logic, it often seems like there is no alternative but that is up to a few people to change.
“So if, as a product leader/CEO, you think your team isn’t 1 working on things that truly matter, or 2 achieving results that justify the investment, it is first ON YOU to figure out which of the 4 strategy problems you have, and fix them.”
A very solid thread on product as we are used to get from Shreyas.
A crucial part of effective teams is introducing slack like in this case removing the entire concept of a hand-off (which causes misalignment at best).
“Ultimately the truly great product manager ensures that everyone in their organization feels connected to the business, and shares an equal level of urgency and commitment to the customer’s needs.”
A lovely and long history of Nespresso a coffee I’ve hated to drink but it’s still been better than many alternatives.