Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ship of State Metaphor

I recently completed Jim Benson's book "Why Limit WIP: We are Drowning in Work". It's a simple, straightforward read, in the form of a story around typical life pressures in a corporate running multiple projects, all with the same sense of urgency, but teams not actually shipping any product (that is, completing any work product and releasing to market).

Jim introduces a metaphor called the Ship of State, as a way to help the team's product and project managers navigate through the uncertainty, thus allowing the team freedom to decide (empowered) what is safe and within their control to make decisions and others where the team still need to act, but still keep the stakeholders informed of their thinking. The scene is around product features for roadmap, which I thought quite powerful and useful - with a much wider application than just roadmapping features.

So I created this little poster that captures the essence of the metaphor. Does it makes sense?
Think about what your ship of state would look like (personal or professional)....
Ship of State

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