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Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework
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Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  28 reviews
As startups disrupt every market, the software complexity crisis continues to undermine large organizations’ ability to compete. Mastering large-scale software delivery will define the economic landscape of the 21st century, just as mass production defined the landscape in the 20th. Unfortunately, business and technology leaders outside of the tech giants are woefully ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published November 20th 2018 by IT Revolution Press
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Bjoern Rochel
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Basically a different spin on taking ideas from the LEAN movement and theory of constraints into the world of software producing companies. People who felt inspired by „The Phoenix Project“, „The Devops Handbook“ or „Accelerate“ will likely also enjoy this book.

It introduces a new generalized model - called the Flow model - to surface and reason about end-2-end value streams and align the operational AND managerial center of companies around them.

I especially liked the ideas of Flow
Alan Fahrner
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Book that Demands a Decision

DevOps guru Gene Kim rightly introduced this book with, "Every decade there are a couple of books that genuinely change my worldview. ... This is one such book."

Mik Kersten provides ample evidence that the project and cost center orientation of so many software producing companies doesn't fit the Age of Software, and suggests a way becoming product-centric via a focus on value flow. The book is a an appealing combination of real-world examples of those who got it
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I felt it was very hit and miss.

From the title, the book is screaming to treat software items as products and not just projects. The key takes from this are to focus on supporting a piece of software through its lifecycle - but the how to focus on that seems a bit left up to the reader to decide (create service teams that stick with it forever).

There are other aspects that I missed how they're connected to treating it as a product but I do think them worthy of commenting.

I liked the idea of
Olivia Liendo
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

The book argues that the companies that master the new means of production will displace those that take more time to adapt. "No business or sector is safe from digital disruption, even though the pace of the disruption will vary across sectors and businesses," Kersten explains.

"An insurance company that provides a first-rate digital experience will displace the one that does not. And if the insurance sector itself does not move fast enough on the digital front, one of the tech giants could
Raphael Albino
The book has good insights into the difference between project and product. Besides that, the author shares important aspects about why to measure flow and businesses metrics when you are dealing with software products.
The issue type classification is another good contribution.
The final part didn't deliver valuable knowledge of value stream mapping. The content was superficial, didn't have consistent examples and the link with the other chapters was lost.
If you are looking for some inspiration
Larry Burks
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mik ties together many different threads I have been following over the last several years, from lean manufacturing to lean team work, and places it within the value stream context. I look forward to working these ideas into my daily practice.

PS. I liked the book so much, I decided to get a job at Mik’s company, Tasktop.
Tim Dugan
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Some small confusion which could have been fixed with editing

The ideas seem good

But like many of these books it doesn’t seem to be adequate information to actually implement them
Chris Esposo
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book outlining a new workflow management process for software (and other analytic) development, that promises to extend either DevOps or Agile to include "business value", and not just technical KPIs related to code development. The process is called "flow framework"/"value stream".

The author does a good job outlining why such a system is required, by going through a grand tour of technology that segments history in the usual way, via modes of production. According to this view, we now
Vivek Gupta
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are in Enterprise IT, you are probably already aware of the buzz words such as “Projects to Products” and “Digital Transformation”. And chances are you are in a middle of one.

If so, I will highly recommend this book by Mik Kersten - “Project to Product”. I ended up highlighting every other page in the book as it resonated and hit close to heart. A lot of them were common pitfalls we all fall for. Mik goes through many case studies and examples (BMW, Nokia, a large bank, Microsoft,
Bartosz Pranczke
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I find it hard to rate this book. I think that the proposed diagnosis of the problems in a complex software product is good. It made me think a lot about software delivery as a whole.

But I didn't understand the proposed solution. I think I have now some basic understanding of the Flow Framework introduced in the book but I'd not be able to implement it in any project. Some of the concepts were too abstract to me to be able to imagine how they can or should be implemented in real life. Maybe the
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-learning
I really loved the first part of the book. It puts the current trends we are seeing in IT (agile! devops! disruption! FANG!) into broader historical perspective & answers pertinent questions like:

What's wrong with the current way we manage IT?
Where does the disconnect between management & software delivery teams come from?
What can we do to better inform management of relevant information to base strategic decisions on?

Spoiler: part of both the problem & the solution are in the
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The value steam management idea is definitely interesting. However...This book is heavy on jargon, and if you're unfamiliar with the terms being used, can be quite confusing. For example, "... software modularity provides business value by increasing optionality." That's a bit of a mouthful and doesn't make this an easy read.

Most of the book is a problem in search of a solution, which the author refers to throughout, but doesn't elucidate until the final chapter. I was left wanting more, and
Andrey Alexandrov
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to all managers, officers and owners because it explains a few very important things:
1. What the difference between Project and Product and why you should shift to product.
2. Why the pipeline analogy for software development is wrong.
3. How to connect all work items in a company to one value stream network.
4. How you can find bottlenecks in your company by value stream network.
5. How Value Stream Network can help to manage company, priority tasks, make business decisions.
Carl Rannaberg
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid book about work processes that fit software age. Author introduces flow network framework which uncovers bottlenecks in your company’s value stream. Flow network makes work visible across the company the same way as kanban does it for development team.
It includes interesting examples from BMW, Boeing and several software companies.
This book is semi-practical. Definitely a good start to understand flow networks and value streams.
Justas Butkus
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The idea should be very interesting to anyone working on the software part of the technology at any number of companies. To an extent it’s easier understood by those with the technical background, but author does a good job at trying to appeal to people with sheer management background having some understanding at least of the Lean practices. In any case it should be a mandatory reading for all software teams.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is book built around Flow Framework. While there are many valuable references (for me also additions to further reading list) in this book, it is still more insightful and lightweight starting point, without tangible pinpoints ("how" part).

As I captured several ideas for myself to take further, then I rate it 4/5.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Application of Lean Principles to IT Management

This book has been tremendously helpful in helping to tie together many of the major themes of the IT industry. It provides an excellent reference for IT professionals who wish to understand how Lean principles apply to IT Management practices.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: armin, kindle
Highly relevant book, if you are either working in a large company or help these companies in their transformation. While I would have liked to see more concrete examples and tooling suggestions, the book doesn’t promise it and the overall concept is still so enormously important.
Jack Vinson
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
How to think about software development in the age where the development work isn’t really the point (or the bottleneck) - the point is to create value, and many software departments aren’t setup to deliver value. They are measured to milestones and efficiency instead.
Nikolay Theosom
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
there is nothing wrong with what he preaches, but i think the idea could use some better argumentation. at times it does sound like an unsubstantiated opinion. also, quickly degrades into self-promotion of his own methodology
Drew Ayling
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book makes a great argument for focusing on product based teams and management, but falls short on how we can move traditional project based management to see product based management is the way to go. Putting the value stream network together only solves part of the problem.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some good points, but mostly about big enterprises and trying to draw an analogy with manufacturing. Could probably be summarized in an article rather than a book.
Nacho Bassino
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, product
Too much IT oriented. It has some good examples. I find the proposed framework a bit simplistic.
Doc Norton
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Decent book. Not a lot of new information to me.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
should have been a blog post
John McDougall
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Almost four years ago, I was introduced to the concept of DEVOPS by meeting Gene Kim at Cisco Live and reading his book "The Phoenix Project". Since then I have been reading several books that align with this topic, (The New IT by Jill Dyche, A Seat at the Table by Mark Schwartz, Making work Visible by Dominica Degrandis) in order to see how these tools may assist those in the military in how to better manage Information Technology. I am by no means an expert and have many mistakes during my ...more
Luis Orozco
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The content is ok and it has some interesting ideas, but the title is very misleading. I thought it was about product management instead of software delivery.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for enterprise IT leaders and practitioners who are already familiar with agile and DevOps. It provides a framework for being product focused rather than project focused.
Nick Kuzmick
rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2019
rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2019
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“Specialization allows us to handle ever-growing complexity, but the benefits of specialization can only be fully realized if the silos that it creates can be connected effectively. Some of those silos rely on human collaboration and interaction, as is the topic of General McChrystal’s book. But others require an infrastructure and cross-silo integration to give those same people and teams a chance to collaborate and exchange the highly complex knowledge that they process in their daily work.” 0 likes
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