Prioritization Requires Strategy

Team-level priorities and backlogs need to be anchored to broader technical and business goals. Here’s how one product leader is getting her various pieces lined up.

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Why (Agile) Program Management Tools Don’t Help (Agile) Product Managers

Program management tools need the output of a good product management process, but the same tools don’t work for both purposes. Some thoughts on what product managers need to make good decisions…

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A Strategic Tool Chain

Scott Sehlhorst’s thoughtful diagram of strategic steps for successful products. This picture is certainly worth 1000 words.

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Your Next Developer Costs $1M/Year in Revenue

Before you ask for additional technical staff for your product, give a thought to the revenue implications. Eventually, your development team has to earn enough to pay for itself — and a lot of other people.

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A Brilliantly Awful Customer Experience

Today’s example of a terrible product process, highlighted by a cheerful pseudo-personal note with instructions for undoing the provider’s ineptitude.

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Stone Soup and Leadership

Stone soup is a folk tale about motivation and cooperation. It applies directly to our work as product managers, since we don’t have the authority to force cooperation or alignment. We have to provide leadership, motivation, and clarity of goals.

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Who Is Your Internal Customer for Innovation?

If you’re a tech company executive setting up an innovation program, most of your initial focus is on generating and validating individual product concepts. Unlike at a startup, though, you have a major hurdle AFTER your validation team comes up with a viable concept: how to find an organizational home for that idea within a mainstream product group. Which prompts the question: who is your internal customer for a validated product idea?

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“Free” Sells (Business Model Required)

Taking a day off for tourism during my Brainmates/Australia tour, I had a chance to see the power of “free” in a non-tech entrepreneurial setting. Following along the business model literally and figuratively…

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Conway’s Law for Product Organizations

Conway’s Law is an old but useful idea: the organizational structure of software teams shows in their code. The technical architecture grows to look like the org chart. In broader terms, how we group people and delineate teams has a real impact on the products we produce. How does this apply to product management teams?

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Product Manager Shortage: Suddenly Sexy?

There are thousands of open product management jobs: suddenly product management seems sexy. Optimism and Pessimist argue about whether product management’s value shifts with the fashion.

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