War

As promised I’m starting a series of articles on company culture and how it can affect the quality of your product and service. Checkout my first article “Don’t waste time looking for culprits“. Here’s the second article.

It is common to hear comparisons between the business world and war situations, combat or fighting. By the way, the word “strategy” itself, so common in business nowadays, comes from the military vocabulary. It derives from the Greek word strategos, a union between stratos (army) and agos (leader). In other words, strategos originally means the army leader, the general, the one who defines how the troop must act facing the situation.

One of the books that constantly appears on the list of most recommended administration books is “The art of war”, a military treatise written on the 4th century BC, by the Chinese general Sun Tzu. 

Everyone who met me knows that I’m a peaceful person. I hate fighting. By the way, if I accidentally get into one I’m even willing to pay to get out of it. That’s why every time I see these kind of comparisons between the business world and wars, combats, fighting or competition, I feel deeply uneasy. Checkout some images to remind us of what happens during a war:

Using war (combat or fighting) as an analogy for the business world does not make any sense. The goal in a war is to defeat the opponent. It is awkward to picture a company which goal is to defeat something or someone. 

Some people have said to me that, in a war, the battle itself is not the goal but a means to reach a goal. Ok, this makes sense but there are several means to achieve a certain goal. War is not the only one. So, why insisting on using war as an analogy for companies?

“A business, also known as an enterprise, company or a firm is an organizational entity involved in the provision of goods and services to consumers.” (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business)

From the above definition, companies exist for provisioning goods and services to consumers, who can be people or other companies. How can something that aims provisioning hold the analogy to something that aims destruction? The right way to look at a company and its goals is to think of construction, in win-win relationships, where customers, employees, owners and the society are always winning. Every time we head our energy to defeat the “opponent” (client, competitor, employee, etc.) we will be wasting energy that could be used on something constructive. 

Product Management: how to increase the success chances of your software

In 2015 I wrote a book on Software Product Management in Portuguese. In the beginning of 2016, Paulo Caroli talked to me about how he enjoyed the book and how this book could be useful to people in the software industry not only in Brazil but anywhere in the world. For this reason, we decided to create an English version of my book.

The book is organized in 5 sections:

  • Definitions and requirements
  • Life cycle of a software product
  • Relationship with other areas
  • Product portfolio management
  • Where to use software product management

This book is suitable for anyone working with software. Even companies that do not have software as its core business use software in their day to day and often have developed some software that interfaces with its customers such as a website or a mobile application. It is important for these companies to understand the software product management role and responsibilities, so they can better manage this software and increase its chances of success.

We are working on the translation but as we progress we are already releasing the content. If you want to see the work in progress, please visit the book page at LeanPub. Still in beta but already with valuable content. Feedbacks are not only welcome, but needed!

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