Agile · Communication · Decision making · Planning · retrospectives

Facing facts

As 2017 winds down and I reflect on another year of blogging, I feel it is time to face facts about this blog.

I’m just not writing in it regularly anymore. My first year I added new content regularly – sometimes as many as two posts a week and in one case daily posts for a two-week sprint. But in the years since then it has been increasingly challenging to post new material even a few times each month. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. I went into blogging with a number of clear ideas I wanted to express and with the hope that posting these ideas would generate enough interaction to maintain this momentum. Unfortunately that is not what happened. I wrote about my most pressing thoughts in my first few set of posts that took me roughly a year to post; however, while I heard back from a few people both on line and in person, my blog did not generate enough replies to begin a real dialogue about the best ways to serve as a product owner in an Agile software development environment. And so, once I had written about the most compelling issues for me, I had a harder time creating consistently new content. My posts went from once or twice a week to only a few times per year.
  2. I tried broadening the scope of my blog to take in other topics of interest to me (everything from leadership to pop culture) but again found that even when I created consistent new content I failed to generate much interaction. There are a lot of folks blogging, tweeting, and otherwise sharing ideas in the world and my blog didn’t rise above the noise. I already spend lots of time talking to myself and without the community interaction I found it harder to keep putting material out there even on subjects that interest me.
  3. At the same time, my role shifted at work and I began focusing on issues beyond the scope of typical product owners. As I got busier and my role at work shifted, I spent less time focused on the issues that initially prompted the creation of this blog even as I simultaneously had less time to write about the new things on my mind.
  4. It is also simply true that the discipline of regularly blogging is not something my company prioritized for me to engage in. As long as it didn’t get in the way of my work they certainly didn’t mind, but it was never part of my “real job” to reflect on these topics and as my professional and personal life filled up with other pursuits this blog slowly slipped in my own priorities as well.

Facing these facts as I both look back on last year and think ahead to next year, it seems to me time to stop hoping to write weekly in this blog. I will continue posting occasionally – mostly I expect to reblog material from other good writers though at times I will likely share my own thoughts as well. I may start a new blog on a different topic, but this blog will shift mainly to being a repository of my (previous) thinking on the best way to serve as an effective product owner. I’ll continue to read and tweet about these kinds of issues and would welcome folks to follow me on Twitter to keep up with my thoughts if interested (@asbiv). But regular writing here will officially not be a priority for me heading into 2018. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts here over the past five years and would love to feel confident that I could generate consistent (and interesting) content going forward – but in truth it’s not that simple.

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