At MojoTech, we’ve had many internal discussions about the line between project and product management in a client-services product management model. But there is a product practice area that we use for almost all of our clients: Discovery facilitation — also known as, how to communicate with people and get what you need from them. At some point, many product managers — even those who align with a single product or feature — will be in a position to facilitate a face-to-face Discovery session.…

As a product manager, our job is to shepherd the client’s vision to help make it a reality, and along the way make suggestions and improvements based on our research and our own experiences. It is the latter part that can expose when we bring our biases to a project. Which is to be expected — we are only human after all, so no one can fault you for these!…

There’s an old anecdote about a chicken and a pig. It goes like this: A pig and a chicken are walking down the road. The chicken says: “Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!” Pig replies: “Hmmm, maybe. What would we call it?” The chicken responds: “How about ‘Ham-n-Eggs’?” The pig thinks for a moment and says: “No thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved.…

MojoTech, like most companies, has the concept of a Project Lead. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took on my role as Project Lead, so I’m writing this post to shed a little light on the responsibilities and expectations of the role, as I approach them. Typically my morning and afternoon look the same, so to avoid redundancies, we’ll take a look at a typical morning schedule.…

At MojoTech, we’ve worked on many projects. While each presents unique challenges, over time patterns emerge. Healthy projects ship on time and work as expected, and they are built by empowered teams who respond quickly to changes. On the other hand, unhealthy projects ship late (or not at all) and frustrate teams, clients, and users. Worse still, it’s often difficult to recognize a project trending toward unhealthiness. Bad habits and small changes without an immediately observable negative impact on the project often go unnoticed.…

Most software development projects fail. It’s an unpleasant truth, but a truth nonetheless. There are ways you can hedge against failure and set yourself up for success. For example, you can invest time in validating your idea before you get started, you can translate your idea into an MVP and build iteratively, and you can hire a development agency that’s built hundreds of successful products before yours. But still, many projects will fail, and there are hundreds of reasons why that happens.…

These days, more and more people are taking an iterative approach to development. And that’s a very good thing. We have an idea, we validate it with an MVP, and we keep building from there. But as a byproduct of the “baby steps” approach, there’s one thing that too many of us are ignoring: success. How will you define the ultimate success of your project? Rand Fishkin of Moz calls this “setting Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAG’s),” and he uses the example of the NASA moon landing mission to illustrate it:…

In our industry we commonly provide clients with some form of high-fidelity visual prototype of what they want to build. We use these prototypes to guide the discussion and gain feedback. However, these visual assets (often Adobe Photoshop Documents (PSDs)) can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. To be clear, a PSD can mean any high-fidelity visual representation of screens, regardless of software. Over the years we’ve learned the communications pitfalls, and as a result, the best practices for using PSDs.…

One of the big business cliches is the Project Management Triangle. The triangle has three points: Quality, Speed and Price. The idea is that for any project, you get to “pick two.” That is, you can have something done fast and cheap, but the quality will suffer. Or you can have it done good and cheap, but it will take a long time. “Quality, speed, price. Pick two.” Companies have often used this rubric to evaluate vendors and agencies for all sorts of projects; we come up against it quite often at MojoTech.…

A developer from a client team recently asked me why we would need daily standups for the team. “That seems a bit too granular,” he said. At MojoTech, we employ daily standups as an essential part of our development process. I’ve read a few articles and seen a few videos about the benefits of the agile/scrum process, but I’d like to share what we see here at MojoTech. As a quick overview: a daily standup (also known as a scrum) is a brief meeting that the Product Development team convenes.…

On paper, MojoTech’s resume looks pretty impressive. Since its inception in 2008, MojoTech has launched more than 100 products by partnering with clients to deliver software that solves their most complex business problems. MojoTech was ranked the 42nd fastest growing software company in America by Inc. Magazine, and was listed as one of 2016’s Best Places to Work for the third year running, by Providence Business News, who also awarded co-founder Chris Shoemaker “CTO of the Year”.…

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