Product Management Essentials for ProJECT Managers

Rich was June’s guest speaker for PMI Silicon Valley, on ProDUCT Management Basics for ProJECT Managers. We talked about product management as a murky role: poorly understood and inconsistently practiced across tech companies. And how to bridge role/goal/terminology gaps…

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6 Lessons for Non-Development Executives at Agile Software Companies

In many conversations over the last few months, I’ve see executive teams grappling with the positive effects of agile software development on their non-development processes and organizations. If you’re a VP of Marketing or Sales or Finance or Operations or Support at an agile software company, or one that is becoming more agile, improvements in how we build software will be shaping how you think about the software business and non-engineering departments. Here’s a short list of items that you need to consider in the face of increasing agility.

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Profitably Pairing Software and Professional Services

Wearing our software product management hats, it’s easy to think that all problems should be solved with software. (To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.) Software PMs need to be looking for opportunities to combine professional services with software – because services can be highly profitable, meet customer needs more quickly, and market-test ideas for future products. First, let’s set up an example. You’re the product manager for a financial application for businesses.  Customers and prospects provide an endless stream of requests that need sorting and ranking.  You’re inclined to tackle the most frequently demanded items and ignore the rarities, since development time is scarce and you want to meet the broadest set of needs. If you have a…

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Customer Input and Planning Horizons (Haas Executive Education)

Rich Mironov returned to the Haas School’s Product Management Executive Education series, “Product Management: Translating Market Opportunities into Profitability,” for a lecture on product management titled “Customer Input Approaches and the Product Planning Horizon”.  This session included an in-person version of the Innovation Game “Buy A Feature.” In a program primarily taught by Haas’ distinguished faculty,  Rich was (at the time) the only product management practitioner on the program’s teaching staff. Where: Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, CA When: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 (the full program runs Nov 3 through 7) The Berkeley Center for Executive Development draws on the rich resources, talent and perspectives of top-level business educators and researchers from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of…

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Insider Thinking

Product managers and other product champions spend a lot of their time driving internal processes and decisions — the daily incremental struggle for progress on pricing, packaging, release schedules, upgrade policies and other bits of the production puzzle. This relentless motivation is indispensable, the tech equivalent of keeping the trains running on time. PMs should also be spending time with customers, refreshing their sense of needs and marketplaces.

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