Tag Archives: Innovation

Agile and Product Mgmt – Year in Review

I committed this year to write 52 blogs and I did it!  There are 16 on my previous employers website and 36 on www.runyanconsulting.com.  As I look back and review and reflect on the posts, here are my favorites.

Product Management Blogs

I am very passionate about Product Management and I think it is sometimes an undervalued skill set.  Where I have a chance, I always try to share the strategic and practical benefits that come from having great product management resources.  This year, I wrote a five part series about how to Launch a Product and recently completed a 3 part series on how to sunset or decommission a product.

Image Source: http://www.greenbiz.com/

Image Source: http://www.greenbiz.com/


Agile Blogs

I am equally passionate about Agile because I have seen how it can improve people’s job satisfaction and raise the level of productivity and effectiveness for the whole organization.  This category was harder to choose my favorites, so I came up with four.  First, there was a series on creating an Agile Culture and what it really means for management.  This series generated some controversy, which I love because it means we are talking about important things.  Next, I am surprised that many organizations are not familiar with Fist of Five.  We use the Agile technique all the time and it is a difference maker in driving productive conversations.  Many organizations also  struggle with how to incorporate Agile into the day-to-day business, so I offered three options for incorporating bugs and maintenance into your Agile teams.  Finally, I am a big believer in the sacredness of the Sprint and I believe that organizations that are disciplined enough to honor a sprint commitment will typically be more successful than those who are loosey-goosey with the guidelines.


Finally, I care deeply about leadership and family so some of my blogs were dedicated to those topics.  One that has been particularly fun is documenting our evolution to an Agile Family.  We have learned (and laughed) a lot together.  Also, I spent some time really thinking about Innovation and what drives an innovative spirit in some people but not others.  This particular blog might be my favorite of the year.

I hope you have enjoyed some of these blogs and maybe learned something new.  I know that I have learned with each post and I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue growing and exploring new ideas.  What is in store for 2014?  Who knows for sure, but it is going to be a great year!


What drives innovation?


Image Source: http://www.jeffdelp.com/2011/07/05/21st-century-educating-part-3-innovation/

We are in the process of converting my 79 year old mother to a smart phone and as I watch her learn and ultimately embrace this new technology, it got me thinking about innovation.  What drives our great innovators to constantly create and challenge the status quo?


As a species, we are restless.  And innovators are more restless than the general population.  This restlessness manifests itself as a need to tinker, to improve, to always look for something better, faster, smaller, bigger, more reliable, longer lasting – whatever limitation exists, the restless innovator wants to conquer. For an example of this restlessness, we can look to aviation.  On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers flew the first powered flight.  Their dissatisfaction with the attempts at that time led them to envision flight differently and they were ultimately successful.  But the human condition of restlessness persists and we now have a plane  whose cargo bay is longer than that historic first flight in Kittyhawk, NC. (The first flight was 120 feet, the cargo bay is 143 feet). This quote from Thomas Edison sums it up: “Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress.”