Every CPO/VP Product I talk with is in a battle for product talent… so we’re in a “candidate” job market rather than a “hiring company” job market. What are some do’s and don’ts for product managers and first line product directors looking for their next adventure in this market?
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.
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
Everyone wants innovation, especially if we can plan and schedule into each sprint.
But innovation is uncertain. Can we shift the discussion to planning and scheduling and funding of discovery that can (often) lead to innovation?
ProductFocus’s Ian Lunn and I will talk through how software product companies make money, and how that’s in direct contrast with how software outsourcing and custom development companies make money. Then we’ll apply that to B2B/enterprise software vendors who may have conflicting business models.
Most agile conversations are about morale, velocity (aka throughput), quality, predictability, and team dynamics. But we rarely address actual customer/user vale or business outcomes — instead hiding behind story points or vanity internal value metrics. This discussion will be about how strong product management bridges the outward customer/market view and inward development view.
After years of struggle, I’m advising all of my clients and product leader coachees to stop using the term “MVP”. Not to stop doing validation, discovery, prototyping or experiments they may associate that that acronym, but to remove the label from all of their docs and presentations and talks. To delete the letters MVP from roadmaps and product charters…
I’ve seen some patterns in how companies recruit their Heads of Product (aka Chief Product Officer, VP Product, Director of Product Management, or Group Product Lead). This post unpacks some fundamental misconceptions — and how to get the strong product leadership we need.