on distributed teams

081111 It's challenging to build a great product even when you have a small team working in a single office. The bar is already high enough! But let's make it even harder, shall we? How do you build products with a highly distributed team? In my first job as product manager, I had a team located in LA while I was in DC. Once a month, I traveled to LA on the Monday morning flight, spent the week with the team, and then came home on the Thursday red-eye flight. After a while I started to resent it. I know, I know; they were a team of ten and I was just the one person, so it made logical sense that I go to them. When we added offices around the world, it seemed that I was the one who stayed up late to talk to one office and woke up early to deal with another office. I was burning the candle at both ends. It makes logical sense. You know, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one.” But logic doesn’t always work, does it? Luke Hohmann of Enthiosys may have the answer. You can distribute teams successfully but only if you also distribute the pain. Read his solution in Distribute the team? Distribute the pain!
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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