It’s easy for CEOs to think that they personally are the best-informed people within their companies about what customers need and what markets want. In reality, product and design teams have the time, focus, expertise, and large numbers of non-selling interviews to do more objective validation of product ideas.
My year-end survey of 120 product leaders about their top issues: building the right thing, portfolio trade-offs, training/mentoring, capturing authority, and others – including getting products built and to market.
In this Product Leadership podcast, we talked about the evolution of tech product management; empathy as a core skill of product leaders; that we shouldn’t be envious of the biggest or shiniest tech companies; and why product managers shouldn’t claim to be the CEOs of their products.
Employees can deliver ultimatums (“I’ll quit unless…”), even if that’s not their real intention. Poor communication meets unretractable threats. As managers, we need to avoid panic, listen for underlying issues, and identify solutions.
Occasionally building something unique and small for a single customer makes sense. But enterprise software companies can easily fall into the habit of including custom work in too many of their major deals… with disastrous results. This (long) post lays out root issues and possible solutions.
Eric Boduch hosts Pendo’s Product Love podcast. In this episode, we discussed enterprise vs consumer; roadmaps; organizations; chasing competitor features; DevOps; the need for product leaders to “merchandize” what product folks do; and being students of human behavior.
Rich Mironov joins Business of Software Conference in Boston on Oct 1-3 for “What To Do About Your Audience’s Real Roadmap Questions.” Other speakers include Jared Spool, Tania Katan, Peldi Guilizzoni, Claire Suellentrop, David Cancel and Bruce McCarthy.
Product leaders need to push their teams toward regular direct user/customer feedback, unmediated by sales or marketing or support. I’m suggesting one live user interview per week. But how can we find time for that, and make it important enough to compete with other urgent work?
Many infrastructure development teams don’t have a product manager. That forces an architect or senior developer to manage a range of responsibilities they are not best equipped to handle: settling conflicting business priorities; internally “selling” the value of architecture; tying technical decisions to business metrics; making connections between software and end user joy.