Eight Mistakes You’ll (Probably) Make in Your First Product Management Job

New product managers have often studied the daily mechanics of the product development process, but tend to be light on soft skills, product strategy, organizational savvy, and market insight. Where do they get into trouble?

Read more
 

What Do Product Leaders Worry About?

Heads of product management teams worry about a different issues than their individual-contributor product managers. More organizationally focused, less product-focused. What’s at the top of their issues backlog?

Read more
 

This Is Why I Hire First for Product Experience

My #1 hiring criterion for (senior) product management roles is previous product management experience. Responding to a Medium post by David Cancel, here’s some of my thinking.

Read more
 

A VP Product’s Checklist

VPs of Product Management have to create the conditions for individual product managers to succeed. This includes organizational, process, hiring/mentoring and cross-functional leadership — plus buy-in at every level. What goes on a new VP’s checklist?

Read more
 

Ready Product Radio Podcast: Managing Products vs. Managing Product Managers

Ready Product Radio

Ready Product Radio’s Allan Neil talked with me about the difference between managing products and managing product managers; balancing one-off requests against strategic roadmaps; and whether more data is improving product decisions

Read more
 

Stone Soup and Leadership

Stone soup is a folk tale about motivation and cooperation. It applies directly to our work as product managers, since we don’t have the authority to force cooperation or alignment. We have to provide leadership, motivation, and clarity of goals.

Read more
 

Mentoring Product Managers: Case Method as Well as Tools

As mentors, we should be demonstrating context, judgment and decision-making models – not just sharing templates. Our mentees should be demanding that we give them the big picture.

Read more
 

The Power of a Few Customer Calls

rotary phone

Talking with even a few users/customers can make the difference between potentially good ideas and actual improvement. Between “I think…” and “here’s what I heard from live customers…”

Read more
 

We Don’t Hire Product Owners Here

Help Wanted, product owners need not apply

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.

Read more
 

What kind of politics is involved in a product manager’s job?

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?

Read more