I was honored to keynote Tolpagorni’s annual Market Insights conference in Stockholm. We talked about Silicon Valley’s strong network effect for tech companies and workshopped early validation of product ideas, waterfall Lean, Innovation Games and ways to get actionable insights ahead of full development commitment.
If you’re already a product manager and stepping in to take over an existing product (or parachuting in as a consultant), you need to find your feet quickly. Here’s my checklist for that first week, and the first month.
Rich Mironov joined SV-Forum’s Engineering Leadership SIG on August 21st to talk about tech product management, engineering symptoms that may be tied to product teams, and organizational challenges of building great products.
Agile/Scrum, Lean Startup, LeanUX, business model canvasses and growth hacking have expanded our range of tools, methodologies and vocabularies. They don’t specifically call out product management, though. So are product managers obsolete?
As a long-time B2B infrastructure product manager, I’m used to thinking about my customers as guys. IT managers and directors, 30-50, developers or sys admins who’ve been pushed up into management, frustrated, under-appreciated and under-resourced, pale from weekends spent inside… I’m exaggerating on purpose. Rrecent chats with three women who run IT groups reminded me that we (product managers) need to channel our diverse customer base — wherever it leads us.
This occasional public workshop was most recently delivered in San Francisco on June 24/25: two days of market-facing skills for product owners and new product managers. Beyond the mechanics of user stories & backlogs, we applied segmentation, software economics and user motivation to attendees’ own products in the marketplace. We learned-by-doing and turned participants’ products into live case study as well as working through prepared exercises and materials.
We’re filling product owner slots internally, without much regard to skills or long-term success. Or leaving these slots open for development teams to fill as they may. That’s a road to market failure. We need to be thoughtful, intentional and organizationally savvy about picking and mentoring product owners.
Quora question: What kind of politics is involved in the job of a product manager?
My answer: “Politics” has a negative spin to it. Let’s rephrase slightly: Given that no other groups/functions actually report to product management, what are key influencing approaches or styles?
There’s been a lot of good chatter in the PM-osphere about the need for mentoring. If you’re looking for a product management mentor, be clear about your needs and goals. If you can be a mentor, please pitch in.