Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

As a Product Manager I’ve always been fascinated by reading job descriptions. For the same role, I’ve seen so many responsibilities and key skills — some, at times, contradictory. After all, are Product Manager and Product Owner interchangeable? Is a Business Analyst the first step in becoming a Product Owner? Are they all the same thing? A quick search for Product Managers on LinkedIn will show you that there are so many different flavours of Product Managers, and a myriad of ways to get into product management.

Having come from an arts background prior to working in Tech, job descriptions…

No one day of a product manager is the same. This is what I usually tell people who ask me what I do. This of course can be true for many professions, but working in this role has taken the meaning of this sentence to a whole new level.

This means that when I am mentoring aspiring product managers, or coaching people on product ways of working, it’s difficult to tell them exactly what it is a product manager does, step-by-step. This doesn’t mean that the responsibilities of the role are ill-defined, it just means that they are very comprehensive…

Firstly, I must admit the title is a bit click-batey. Secondly, that the act of writing this post is inherently narcissistic. This post is about the lessons I learnt applying to jobs during the pandemic (aka COVID-19; aka a year I’ll never forget). However, it’s specifically about the lessons I learnt about myself.

As agile practitioners, we’re constantly talking about the need to inspect and adapt our ways of working; looking back and identifying what went well and what can be improved. From those reflections, we take some actions forward in the hope of doing it better next time. I…

Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash.

In my previous post, I talked about the first steps the Agile Team at Cancer Research UK took to improve its basic Agile training. The initial discovery involved context-setting, defining and fleshing out the problem, and exploring potential routes to test and validate the initial hypothesis. This post will explore the training module’s learning objectives and interviewing participants to deepen our knowledge on their needs and expectations.

Drafting the learning objectives

The overarching goal of this project is to identify why, if and how Agile training at Cancer Research UK can be improved. As an initial result, we wanted to develop a prototype for…

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

Starting up a new team is a fundamental step towards fostering teams that work well together. Sounds obvious, right? However, it is an often overlooked or forgotten step, meaning that teams go head-first in the work to be done rather than thinking about how they would like to work together as a team.

This post will address one way of starting up a new team (aka team lift-off or kick-off). This applies to teams who will work on a dedicated project or product, or even teams that have already worked together. …

Sometimes, my mind feels like this…​

Source: abc News

Mainly it is because I feel like I’ve lost sight of all the tasks I need to complete. Sometimes, it’s because I have a lot of complex, moving parts, it’s difficult to know where to start.​

At times, this even manifests itself in the physical world… I find myself in the middle of a messy house and messy mind, and tidying up really helps me think clearly!

What I’d really want to see…

When I arrived at Cancer Research UK, the Agile team were preparing to use Objectives and Key Results (OKR) for the first time.

One objective the team was keen to work on was improving their agile training offering. I spent some time with the Agile Coaches to gauge the motives behind this and to understand what they needed out of training. I also had the opportunity to shadow my colleagues delivering one training session — Agile Fundamentals.

Two weeks in, as a team, we decided that we would try out the goal-setting methodology with two OKRs. I asked to take…

Written by Julia Godinho and Taruna Robinson, Agile Coaches at Cancer Research UK.

Describe your role in three words?

Collaborative. We work with individuals and teams across the whole organisation, enabling them to work better together.

Experimental. Cancer Research UK is a learning organisation. We are open for experimentation and want to foster an environment where it’s safe to fail — we’re interested in resilience and our ability to bounce back. We learn from both our successes and failures.

Diverse. No one day is the same!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Agile Coaches at Cancer Research UK work across different products and initiatives in the Technology department and beyond. …

Are you looking to try out Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with your team, or want to improve how they are put into practice? In this post I will address practical tips I have picked up whilst working with OKRs. I’ll start off with a recap, so skip to the bottom if you can’t wait to read the tips!

These tips come from my experience working with OKRs on a team level (small, cross-functional product teams who work in quarterly cycles), but the principles can apply to other types of teams at different levels of an organisation.

What are OKRs?

Objectives and…

Julia M. Godinho

Product Manager based in London. ✨ Product thinking 🚀 Team building 🎯 Facilitation 💪 Women in tech

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