Category: Organizations

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Exiting Gracefully

Most of us don’t get much practice resigning from corporate leadership positions, but it’s important to do this gracefully.  Plan it the way you’d plan your next product: clear communication, succession plan, helpful transition. And be a mensch: you’ll be working with many of these people again.

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Product Management Helps Us Build the RIGHT Things

Product Management Helps Us Build the RIGHT Things:
Strong product managers spent up to half of their time talking directly with customers, buyers, and partners. And the other half of their time with their teams: framing problems, collaborating on solutions, translating features into benefits and vice versa. Making sure that we’re building the RIGHT things as validated directly by users and buyers so that we deliver customer-defined value as well as increased velocity. That’s different from the narrow scrum definition of product owner, which is mostly internal-facing.

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Angels dancing on head of a pin

Selling Problems (and Then Solutions) Instead of Philosophy

We know that external customers must recognize a problem before they consider buying our solution. But I often see product managers / product leaders forget this when dealing with internal stakeholders and executives. We push for product-side practices and processes without clearly framing the underlying problems. I think of this as ‘selling philosophy.’

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Podcast: What Do You Do With a HiPPO?

Rachel Obstler, VP Product at Heap, invited me in for a two-part conversation on her Product Therapy podcast.  This is the second portion, where we talked about: Can we schedule innovation?  No, but start with hypotheses… Insights are in the heads of our users: we have to discover things that they don’t already know What

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How to Manage Misaligned Stakeholders

Prioritization is hard, and we HOPE that a clear corporate strategy plus well-considered OKRs will get our internal stakeholders to agree on what’s most important: unambiguous #1 and #2 and #3 priorities. That our spreadsheets and analysis will sell everyone on our plan. But that rarely happen…

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WOW!

Merchandizing Product Management

Product management work is much easier when the product team is well-respected: when stakeholders believe that we’re smart and hard-working and good at product stuff.  So an under-appreciated skill of product leaders is merchandizing good product work and good outcomes from our teams.
What does that look like?

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Podcast: Why Finding Insights is So Painful

Rachel Obstler, VP Product at Heap, invited me in for a two-part conversation on her Product Therapy podcast.  This is the first portion about why finding insights is so painful – and what you can do about it. We had a free-wheeling chat about common analytics pain points for product teams and how digital experience

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old assembly line

How Weak Analogies About Software Can Lead Us Astray

Company leaders who aren’t steeped in how software is designed and built can apply less-than-useful analogies for how software products are built. These analogies tend to highlight predictability, scheduling and cost management… but may not be that useful. This post unpacks a few of them.

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Difficult Product Discussions with CEOs

CEOs may not see their role in systematic product/development problems, and product leaders may not know how to frame their concerns so CEOs can hear them. Can we get past buzzwords to difficult organizational discussions?

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