Posted by: Eric Lefevre-Ardant | August 3, 2009

Meet Marcus, Program Manager

“I’d like to learn how to manage a portfolio of software products using agile concepts. My concerns seem bigger and more complex than user stories and backlogs can handle.”

Marcus is responsible for a group of closely related software products, each with its own manager. While the product teams that have started to use agile methods are performing well, he’s still got big problems to deal with, including: planning across products with architectural dependencies, making and keeping commitments to sales and marketing, being responsive to existing customers, and reacting quickly to his company’s inevitable strategy changes. Peter wonders if agile thinking offers some strategies he can use.

Marcus is looking forward to Johanna Rothman’s talk Increase Your Capacity and Finish Projects: Manage the Project Portfolio. He will also be present at Take No Prisoners: How a Venture Capital Group Does Scrum, a session by Jeff Sutherland and Igor Altman.

Does this story sound familiar to you? Marcus is a persona, a fictional character used to focus parts of the conference. Come and meet like-minded participants at Agile 2009 Conference. And check out the top sessions at the conference for Marcus.



  1. Agile, especially Scrum, focuses on results, the end product and constantly adjusts toward the end result, day by day.
    Aside from the mechanics of Scrum, communication , especially with disparate, virtual teams, calls for more advanced tools for realtime collaboration than currently exist.
    Asynchronous tools are too slow, inefficient, and most realtime tools lack enough dimensions to meet the needs of Daily Scrum and other meetings specific to Scrum.
    I feel like a voice in the wilderness, wondering when better realtime team collaboration and communications tools will become a reality.

  2. I’m interested in the top sessions for Marcus The Program Manager but the link on this page goes to “Peter the Programmer.”

  3. Oops, sorry about that.
    The link has been fixed. Thanks for letting us know.


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