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Project to Product
How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework
Value stream network pioneer and technology leader Dr. Mik Kersten introduces the Flow Framework, a new way of building an infrastructure for innovation that will change the way enterprises think about software delivery.
by Mik Kersten
foreword by Gene Kim

“If you want to get rid of obsolete practices and succeed with the new digital, read this book.”

—Carlota Perez, author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages

As tech giants and startups disrupt every market, those who master large-scale software delivery will define the economic landscape of the 21st century, just as the masters of mass production defined the landscape in the 20th. Unfortunately, business and technology leaders are woefully ill-equipped to solve the problems posed by digital transformation. At the current rate of disruption, half of S&P 500 companies will be replaced in the next ten years. A new approach is needed.

In Project to Product, Value Stream Network pioneer and technology business leader Dr. Mik Kersten introduces the Flow Framework—a new way of seeing, measuring, and managing software delivery. The Flow Framework will enable your company’s evolution from project-oriented dinosaur to product-centric innovator that thrives in the Age of Software. If you’re driving your organization’s transformation at any level, this is the book for you.

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“Every now and then, a body of work comes along with such timely precision that you think hallelujah! Mik’s book Project to Product is the perfect antidote for those businesses struggling with digital transformation, broken Agile implementations, and the onslaught of enterprise disruption." 

—Fin Goulding, International CIO at Aviva and co-author of Flow and 12 Steps to Flow
About the Author

Dr. Mik Kersten started his career as a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC where he created the first aspect-oriented development environment. He then pioneered the integration of development tools with Agile and DevOps as part of his Computer Science PhD at the University of British Columbia. Founding Tasktop out of that research, Mik has written over one million lines of open-source code that is still in use today, and he has brought seven successful open-source and commercial products to market.

Mik’s experiences working with some of the largest digital transformations in the world has led him to identify the critical disconnect between business leaders and technologists. Since that time, Mik has been working on creating new tools and a new framework for connecting software value stream networks and enabling the shift from project to product.

Mik lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada, and travels globally, sharing his vision for transforming how software is built. 

“With the introduction of the Flow Framework, Mik has provided a missing element to any large-scale Agile transformation. I recommend that anyone involved in complex product delivery read this book and think about how they can apply this thinking to their value stream.”

—Dave West, CEO Scrum.org and author of Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum: Continuously Delivering an Integrated Product with Multiple Scrum Teams

"[Project to Product]provides the motivation and the toolset necessary to help create a product portfolio based on a value driven approach. For me it is a must read—and indeed it is also a fun read.”

—Ralf Waltram, Head of IT Systems Research & Development, BMW Group

Articles By the Author
Project To Product, Software, And Safety: Getting In The Same Plane
by Mik Kersten
Project to Product tells a story of what we can learn about building software by walking down the BMW Group Leipzig plant production line. The other wonder of mass production that makes repeated appearances throughout the book is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has long been an inspiration to me and whose silhouette graces the cover of Project to Product. Not only is it a marvel of engineering and beauty, it is a marvel of supply chain management and a mind-bogglingly complex integration between business strategy, design, and production. In fact, the entire concept of Value Stream Networks in the Flow Framework™ introduced in Project to Product was inspired by the fact that the flow of value across software delivery teams is more similar to airline networks than car assembly lines.   
The Three Epiphanies

by Mik Kersten

My career has been dedicated to understanding and improving how large-scale software is built. I spent nearly two decades working on new programming languages and software development tools, and have had a chance to work with some of the best technologists in the world. But I have come to realize that, due to where we are in the Turning Point, technology improvements are no longer the bottleneck. Technology improvements will be relevant but incremental, yielding productivity gains of less than ten percent to organizations via new programming languages, tools, frameworks, and runtimes.

The Turning Point
by Mik Kersten

For the majority of our careers, those of us involved with enterprise IT have been dealing with change at a frenzied pace. Technology platforms, software development methodologies, and the vendor landscape have been shifting at a rate that few organizations have been able to match. Those that manage to keep up, such as Amazon, and Alibaba, are further driving change by redefining the technology landscape around their software platforms, causing the rest to fall even further behind.
The Seven Domains of Transformation
by Ross Clanton, Amy Walters, Jason Zubrick, Pat Birkeland, Mik Kersten, Alan Nance, and Anders Wallgren

Implementing a digital transformation in any enterprise can be dramatic and daunting, but essential for continued success. In particular, moving from a project-based delivery model to a product-centric model can be a game changer. In this post, leaders can learn how to grasp the complexities and difficulties of implementing organizational change and digital transformation through seven key areas, or domains.

Project To Product Transformation: How To Get Started
by Ross Clanton, Carmen DeArdo, Mik Kersten, Alan Nance, Karen Person, and Jason Zubric
In this post we provide some recommendations on how to get started on your project to product transformation, but it should be noted that this is not something where “one size fits all.” Every organization has its own culture and will take its own path to success. Consider the following as advice on things that have worked at other enterprises rather than an exact blueprint for your organization.

What Is Product-Based Software Delivery?

by Ross Clanton, Carmen DeArdo, Mik Kersten, Alan Nance, Karen Person, and Jason Zubric

So, you want to move from a project-based to a product-based software delivery model. How do you start? In a large enterprise, there is likely an embedded culture of working in a project model. Roles such as project managers and portfolio managers will be impacted. Business leaders who previously may not have directly concerned themselves with IT’s implementation of Agile will now need to be more involved.

"This book is spot on the journey Volvo Car Group is starting up right now. The insight Mik has in our industry and the way his book describes the Age of Software makes this our new “go to” book for our product journey in our digital landscape!”

—Niclas Ericsson, Senior IT Manager, Volvo Car Corp

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