Agile contradiction for product management?

I decided to take some time off work this week with a cruise in the Caribbean with family. It gave me some time to further explore some thoughts on Agile as a popular approach especially for product development companies like ours. This is just a rough draft of some thoughts, but hopefully it will foster some good discussion. Yeah…it turns out I am not so good at taking time off from work J

I keep hearing and reading that Agile allows you to be responsive to changing needs, but it strikes me we need to be careful how this is interpreted. This does not mean you should change your product priorities every week.

Ok, agile allows us to be responsive to changing needs, but you need to remain disciplined about product management. In my product management roles I remember fighting against the constant “must have feature requests” from our sales team on a regular and often weekly basis, or an important customer that was demanding some new capability be our top priority. This may sound familiar to those of you in the product management role, or even business analyst role within IT organizations.

A key responsibility for Product Management is to take in all of the different product ideas from multiple sources and combine that with an internally driven vision for the product to craft a product roadmap.

The point here is that you need to be careful not to get caught up in the agility of agile to the extent that you are changing you product roadmap too frequently, or you will end up with a confusing bloated product.