Oct 23rd talk for “Products That Count”: Very early stage startups don’t have dedicated product managers / product owners. But once they get to 30 people or have a few big-revenue customers, lack of product management can be disastrous. We will talk about symptoms, what product managers/owners really do, and tips for scaling up.
If you’re already a product manager and stepping in to take over an existing product (or parachuting in as a consultant), you need to find your feet quickly. Here’s my checklist for that first week, and the first month.
I’m excited to be a keynote speaker at Tolpagorni’s annual Market Insights Conference, in Stockholm on 13/14 November. We will being workshoping on early validation of product ideas, waterfall Lean, Innovation Games and other ways to get actionable insights ahead of full development commitment.
As a long-time B2B infrastructure product manager, I’m used to thinking about my customers as guys. IT managers and directors, 30-50, developers or sys admins who’ve been pushed up into management, frustrated, under-appreciated and under-resourced, pale from weekends spent inside… I’m exaggerating on purpose. Rrecent chats with three women who run IT groups reminded me that we (product managers) need to channel our diverse customer base — wherever it leads us.
As data-driven product managers, we’d like to pretend that incoming technical requests are simply transactional. In the real world, though, real people and real agendas are involved. And that means there’s a personal and political context to consider when prioritizing demands on our already-overloaded development organization.
We’re filling product owner slots internally, without much regard to skills or long-term success. Or leaving these slots open for development teams to fill as they may. That’s a road to market failure. We need to be thoughtful, intentional and organizationally savvy about picking and mentoring product owners.
Motivating our development teams may be as important for product managers as writing good requirements. A first step is understanding what matters to devs, such as knowing that real users run/appreciate our products.