Product Development and Cognitive biases

Project Management and Critical Thinking

There are a good many cognitive biases that can impact discerning the truth or what is valid and true.  Yet knowing what is valid and true is important for any business decision, product development and especially for project managers.  Project managers are often part of decision arm and execution arm of the business objectives.

If you do not think cognitive biases do not impact you, and that there are so many of them, perhaps you should shuffle on over to Wikipedia an do a search list of cognitive biases[i].  There you will find a long list of biases that can get in the way. These biases are so subtle that you may not even be aware that it is affecting how you think. Cognitive biases are shortcuts for us to make decisions.

For example; let’s consider a few of those biases starting with confirmation bias.  Confirmation bias impacts product development and project management … Continue reading

Learning Organization and Corporate Mastery

We have been exploring the connection between the learning organization, organization development and project management, in fact, if you visit the Learning Organization training area you will find the class that ties these concepts together with project management.


In this exploration we have reviewed some of our favorite works by Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline. In our rumination we have considered that personal mastery is helpful for the individuals growing their ability to perform for the company. However, personal mastery from one person is not the best solution for the organization, just as one great player on your football team will not make a great team good enough to make it to the super bowl. To this end we have though of a term to describe how this mastery could apply to more than just one: apply to the Group, Department, Project, and even the Corporation. To that end we have divided Mastery into two … Continue reading

Product Development Event In Gatlinburg?

I have long had an affinity for nature, having camped with my family when I was a child.  For years, I have been visiting Gatlinburg Tennessee. For someone who has spent much of his time in North Carolina, it is sad that I found this place accidentally when my wife won a three-day trip.  Since then, we have gone back at least once a year.  It is a great balance of nature, a cool town with plenty of things to do and wonderful restaurants.  I have many favorites for breakfast and for dinner.  I will give you many ideas for things to do and restaurants to go based upon my years of vacationing in Gatlinburg.

I have hiked the park, and when my son was younger we explored the myriad of small creeks in the area, looking for salamanders and crayfish.  On a hot day, there are few things more refreshing than sitting next to one of these rocky creeks … Continue reading

The Power of Do, Do, Do

We take a break from our requirements management run for this blog.  I was talking to an executive about some training for his organization.  He wanted the training to focus on action, on doing (he, in fact, said do, do, do).  He emphasized this very clearly and repeatedly, the action portion of continuous improvement.  This has led me to reflect on my experience.  To be sure we know that we can improve ourselves and our companies through constant learning.  However, learning on its own, will not improve your lot or your companies lot in life.

It is not enough to learn something new if we do not apply this new learning, the learning was an academic exercise.  Learning for the sake of learning is a good thing.  However, you could argue that the ultimate goal of learning could be to help you set and achieve your goals or the goals of your company.  It can be difficult to find time to … Continue reading

Quality requires more than Fix Your Own Sandbox

Recent events have prompted us to preempt our CMMI requirements management series for this waste of company resources that we can only attribute to an overly politicized work environment and fear.  The downside of functional or siloed organizations is demonstrated in the sentiment “fix your own sandbox”.

Complications of the Organization

In general, the work of our organization is not getting less complicated.  For an organization to be operating at peak capability and delivering a quality product or service, may require numerous exchanges between a variety of departments (at least if you are functionally structured) and people.

Fix Your Own Sandbox (Quality)

I have heard, at least once from managers regarding quality and process improvement, that we should focus on our own part of the sandbox and fix only those things that are directly under our control.  That is all well and good, perhaps, when the quality concern or dysfunction is within our department only.  However, what if the problems … Continue reading

But our ISO Documentation Says…..

Documentation and Rework

Once, a long time ago, I worked at a company that was having some difficulty coordinating their development work.  The product that was produced was a complex arrangement of mechanical and electrical / electronic systems.  The company was ISO certified and had documentation describing how they would work, including configuration and change management.  Funny thing, though this company shows major signs of a configuration and change managements system that routinely does not work.  For example, a previously agreed upon solution iteration constituent parts show up, and the parts are then put together to make the product.  However, the parts do not fit together and obstruct other parts in the system.  The typical symptoms look like:

extensive and costly rework over the interfaces represented by the departments extensive and costly rework at supplier at the last minute inability to put sub-systems together to make the entire system function Documentation and Organization Performance

When we take this to the person in charge of … Continue reading

Onboarding can be Costly

Onboarding Defined

First, we should probably explain or define onboarding.  Onboarding is the collection of activities associated with our present staff socializing and training our newly acquired talent.  The older employees take time out of their day to demonstrate behaviors and pass on specific knowledge and skills.

Onboarding New Hires

Recently a person that I know was hired for a job at a company.  This person has no experience with this company or this industry.  They do not know the clientele and they do not know their coworkers.  Many of you probably recognize this way of indoctrination to the company.  It often conjures the images of being thrown to the wolves.

This person is spending time going through the company training.  The thing is, the company training is not so much training as it a ride along with people that just go through the paces of doing the work, not explaining the reasons behind the actions.  There is no demonstration … Continue reading

Product Development Training

We have grand aspirations for this portion of the site.   We provide a review of Value Transformation’s growing Product Development University.  This online training area will have many topics on product development explained, such as agile, project management, product testing and many more.   Everything from the idea (cradle) through manufacturing and finally the end of product life cycle will be addressed here.

If you would like to check the courses out, please go to and create a profile.  If you would like to perhaps participate in the creation, please contact us directly.

Technical Talent, Management and Projects

Technical Talent Move and it is bad

I would like to credit this blog post to Tony DaSilva, since his tweet a day or so ago.  As I read it, I had instant reactions. That is right, reactions as I could see a range of ideas radiating from his post.  

My first reaction, because I know him to be a person of significant capability, I agreed with him.  Taking technical talent and moving them up into management or working them into management or project management positions can serve little to perpetuate the technical excellence in an organization.  That was my first reaction. Followed closely by, if technical talent would like their compensation package to at least keep up with inflation, they will at some point have to leave the strictly technical path.  

Technical Talent as Managers

Then I thought a little deeper about this.  Perhaps it is not an anathema to technical excellence.  Let us consider … Continue reading

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Email *
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO