While our functional/departmental co-workers are stuck in the issue-of-the-day or this week’s sprint backlog or customer escalation #847, there’s a need for someone (often a product manager) to look a few months ahead. To do scenario planning. To apply previous experience. To take the long view.
When it’s time to retire a commercial product or service, here’s an approach:
1. Get a list of all of that product’s users, if we know them.
2. Pick an end-of-support date and an announcement date.
3. Think hard about technical migration choices…
There’s an infinitely long list of things that product managers ‘should do.’ Take a look at any product management framework or job description. We rarely say, but clearly know, that it all can’t get done. How can we effectively delegate?
Dear JobLorn: I have a complicated relationship with my ex-company. We had a bad breakup about a year ago which included a two-year “non-compete” agreement – the office equivalent of a Temporary Restraining Order. I love my old niche market, but had to take a product management job elsewhere to pay the bills.
Completing a three-post skills model for product owners, partly borrowed from product management… For some projects, product owners need market-facing skills as well as core agile practices (release/sprint planning, story writing, prioritization, backlog grooming). They *may* need to tell economic stories, segment users, design incentives and take a portfolio-level view.
Rich: I’m a product manager writing PRDs, but my features are always de-prioritized when engineering allocates resources. (We have constrained engineering bandwidth). How can I get priority for my features so that my PRD will see the light of day?
— Generating Reams of Unfunded MRDs and PRDs
Basic product owner descriptions assume a best-case situation: clear sponsor/user alignment, obvious project value, willing subject experts, budget authority and rational expectations. What skills do product owners need for real world projects?
I’ve been doing some research into marketing automation solutions over the last month, both for myself and for a client. That included running several against my own website. My weekly email report from HubSpot included this surprising subject line: “Visits up 93,200%, Leads up 300%.” Maybe I can cut down to consulting only one day a month…
How do we reconcile the broad, market-focused scope of a technology product manager with the sprint-level attention to excellence of a product owner? In the first of three posts, I propose a customer diversity scale to identify how much “product-manager-ness” a product owner needs.