Podcast: Mastering Business Analysis


In this “Mastering Business Analysis” podcast, Rich shares thoughts on product manager versus product owner; output versus outcome; getting out of our cubes to learn from lots of real users; and building the right thing (not just building things right) to deliver measurable value.

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The DIY Illusion


It’s easy to believe that broadly available commercial products don’t give us exactly what we want, but that our internal team can quickly whip up precisely the right thing. This ignores some fundamental economics of software commercialization.

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Four Laws Of Software Economics (Part 4)


There are a lot of inputs to product strategy including advisory boards, customer forums, sales teams and ROI prioritization algorithms. None are sufficient on their own: we have to develop and apply strategic judgment, and test that in the marketplace.

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Unpacking Business Value (AgileCamp Dallas Keynote)


The AgileCamp organizers have generously invited me to kick off the Dallas event with a keynote on unpacking business value. We’ll look at things from “the business side” ahead of a full day of Agile and Lean practices.

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Four Laws Of Software Economics (Part 3)


The software bits we release are not the whole product, but a part of the product. We need to make sure we ship a whole product, which includes a compelling story of interest to customers. Strategy, segmentation and customer joy matter.

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Agile2015: Intro to Agile Product Management


My “bootcamp” presentation at Agile2015 (DC) on agile product management: scope vs. product owner, assorted failure modes, and ways to re-bridge organizational gaps.

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Tuesday is Female Pronoun Persona Day


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.

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Enhancement Requests are Personal and Political, Not Just Analytical


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.

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The Power of a Few Customer Calls

rotary phone

Talking with even a few users/customers can make the difference between potentially good ideas and actual improvement. Between “I think…” and “here’s what I heard from live customers…”

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Panning for Gold in the Input Stream


Sorting through the chaotic mess of customer input streams is like panning for gold. Big rewards when you find a nugget, but a lot of hard work sifting through tons of obvious, repetitive, incremental suggestions.

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