Angels dancing on head of a pin

Selling Problems (and Then Solutions) Instead of Philosophy

We know that external customers must recognize a problem before they consider buying our solution. But I often see product managers / product leaders forget this when dealing with internal stakeholders and executives. We push for product-side practices and processes without clearly framing the underlying problems. I think of this as ‘selling philosophy.’

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WOW!

Merchandizing Product Management

Product management work is much easier when the product team is well-respected: when stakeholders believe that we’re smart and hard-working and good at product stuff.  So an under-appreciated skill of product leaders is merchandizing good product work and good outcomes from our teams.
What does that look like?

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old assembly line

How Weak Analogies About Software Can Lead Us Astray

Company leaders who aren’t steeped in how software is designed and built can apply less-than-useful analogies for how software products are built. These analogies tend to highlight predictability, scheduling and cost management… but may not be that useful. This post unpacks a few of them.

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Difficult Product Discussions with CEOs

CEOs may not see their role in systematic product/development problems, and product leaders may not know how to frame their concerns so CEOs can hear them. Can we get past buzzwords to difficult organizational discussions?

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mechanical heart

Coaching With Heart

When coaching our product teams (and others), it’s important to remember our objective: to build up skills and talent so that we can delegate as much ‘line’ product work as possible. Plenty of leader-level work left for us…

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Prioritization Beyond Algorithms

Prioritization is an essential part of product management. We want it to be a mechanical process: pick a metric, estimate ROI for the entire backlog, then do whatever scores highest. But that very rarely works in practice.

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Synchronized swimmers

Shoulder To Shoulder

VPs of Product and VPs of Engineering need a strong, trusting, collaborative working relationship so that their teams can succeed. What does that look like?

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The Hungry Man Parable

Sometimes we struggle to communicate important concepts that others don’t seem to get. So we have to try different approaches. Here’s a short post on framing the “shifting priorities” problem in non-technical terms.

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Book Cover - The Art of Product Management
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