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Product Led Engineering
Ben Ross | Propel Ventures Co-FounderJan 22, 2024 7:14:00 PM1 min read

Product-Led Engineering - Better Results Than Agile Alone

In the past two decades, Agile methodologies, notably promoted by Thoughtworks, have been the standard for enhancing software engineering's productivity and reliability.

However, as a product and business manager, I've observed significant shortcomings in companies' Agile implementations. You can read my previous comments here.

Often, theory overshadows practice. For example, team members frequently demand empowerment and autonomy but fail to assume the necessary responsibility for delivering tangible customer and business outcomes, resulting in a disconnect between 'doing' Agile and 'being' Agile. Paul discussed this in detail in this blog post last year.

Large consulting firms have contributed to this issue, imposing a rigid, theoretical Agile framework that hinders rather than helps, leading to what I term 'agile wokeness.' This approach has proven detrimental to many companies, and Propel Ventures is often called upon to remedy these 'agile gone wrong' situations after large consulting firms have done their damage.

Propel Ventures collaborates with leading Australian software development companies, such as Papercut, Netwealth, ReadyTech, Nuix, and MYOB. Our goal is to guide them beyond Agile, towards a more optimized phase of their engineering teams towards product-led engineering. This post-Agile approach, rooted in Propel's five pillars of product-led engineering, ensures that engineering efforts are not only efficient in software development but also effectively aligned with market needs and business values. This strategy integrates Agile principles with a focused, product-centric mindset, driving companies towards greater operational excellence and innovation.

McKinsey's recent article, "The Bottom-Line Benefit of the Product Operating Model", aligns with and re-iterates Propel’s product-led engineering theory. The article stresses the significance of a mature product and platform operating model in enhancing business performance. The key insights from the article include the importance of a mature product operating model for performance.

At Propel, we're actively embedding our five pillars of product-led engineering success into our client's processes, specifically:

  1. A compelling vision, principles, and focused strategy.
  2. Theme/outcome-based roadmaps.
  3. Team topology aligned with customer value.
  4. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  5. Shared success metrics and a flywheel effect.

To learn more about how Propel is helping engineering teams transition beyond Agile to a product-led approach and create market-resonant, business-driving products, feel free to contact us. We're eager to share more stories of how we've helped steer the course towards commercial success.