Product managers need to talk — often — with actual end users and buyers. We need to listen, interview, understand and empathize with paying customers. Unmediated by marketing, sales or researchers. What organizational barriers block this essential work, and can we remove some of them?
For those who missed this year’s Agile Alliance conference in Atlanta (July 25-29), Rich gave talks on “Intro to Agile Product Innovation” and “Intro to Agile Product Management.” Both were for general agile audiences, geared to those working on (or coaching) agile development teams, and emphasizing the revenue-generating market side of the software business. LeanUX / Lean Startup practitioners will recognize many of the themes.
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.
Chad McAllister invited me to join his Everyday Innovator Podcast. We talked about coaching new product managers, organizational challenges and how to overcome them, making time to talk with lot of customers/prospects, and approaches to corporate innovation.
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.
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.
If all of the profits are in the nth copy of software that we sell, we need to understand the Law of Build Once, Sell Many. Building for market segments is different (better) than custom development or professional services.
Product management is about allocating scarce resources across existing products/services while exploring new opportunities. We need to combine top-down, bottom-up and market-in approaches to make good decisions.