Yoda is full of wisdom. But did you realize that he was talking to Product Managers and dropping clear advice for them to follow?
Without question, being successful at Product Management can be viewed as a balancing act. This is true for any business function, but given the number of cross-team dependencies for Product Management, it’s incredibly important for Product Managers to be aware of this. Over time, balancing the needs of sales, marketing, development, support etc. are all critical to success.
It’s actually very easy to make plans. All it takes is a set of objectives and some optimism…
You almost certainly have read or heard the famous Einstein quote:
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
— Albert Einstein
I often cite an analogous quote, though I’m not sure of the source:
“The quality of your solution depends on your understanding of the problem”
We spend a lot of time talking about and thinking about problems — we talk about problem spaces, problem statement, market problems, customer problems, user problems etc. etc. …
Part 1 of this post is available here.
In Part 1, I covered:
In Part 2, I cover:
So, I’m going to wade into a bit of a minefield with this (and the next) post, but hopefully, by the end, we’ll have diffused the mines and cleared a safe path forward.
People either love, hate or don’t understand personas. I think the latter two are somewhat related. I want to try and clarify personas for readers and show how they can be of real value to you, your products, your company and your customers themselves.
And please don’t forget the feedback link at the bottom. Would love to hear your thoughts on the article.
Great article Andrea, though I wouldn't write off voting entirely. It is a tool, like many others, that has a time and a place. It can be misused and abused easily, and often is.
Voting as a tool, when done right, can provide signals (additional data) to use in decision making. It's not a democracy....i.e. where the things with the highest votes automatically win. I've used voting in very early stage discovery to get a sense of the key areas of concern of customers, but also to identify segments or individuals (not all voting is anonymous) to follow up with for additional information, research etc.
Is it just a strange coincidence of the English language that the words project, program and product all sound similar, AND are also so often conflated when it comes to the world of Product Management?
We have Project Managers, Program Managers and Product Managers. And despite the similar sounding names and some amount of crossover in activities, in reality, they are VERY distinct roles with different focus and responsibilities.
But often companies don’t see or understand the distinction, or the skills required to do each of the jobs well and end up conflating them or blending them in ways that…
The word “value” is thrown around a lot in product circles.
People talk about business value, customer value, and product value.
You can have value chains, value streams and value curves.
You can define value propositions, value maps and value-based pricing.
And people love to say that they are creating value, capturing value, and delivering value.
But if you ask people to drill down and define value in more detail, there’s often a lot of humming and hawing, and plenty of “it depends” and “you know it when you see it” statements.
If you read the Scrum Guide, for example…
A favourite topic of many entrepreneurs, product managers, marketers and executives is strategy. You hear it all the time. People talking about company strategy, product strategy, marketing strategy, sales strategy etc.
The interesting thing about strategy is that while everyone talks about it, many people have a difficult time explaining it.
If you look in the dictionary, you’ll see something like this:
Strategy n. a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result
OK…that’s not really helpful is it?
Two weeks ago, I published this article on Addressing The Challenges of Product Discovery. I received a lot of feedback from people about it and also received a number of questions about discovery. So I decided to answer them here as they are very relevant to the topic.
These two questions are related and have similar answers so I’ve grouped them together.
The short answer for both questions is: as much time as necessary.
Yes, I know that’s not a great answer, but it’s really the only correct answer. As I mentioned in the original article, discovery is not a…
One of the oldest adages related to product management is:
“All of the responsibility and none of the authority.”
I remember the first time I heard it. I was commiserating with a fellow Product Manager, Alex*, after a tough meeting with executives. It was my first Product Management role. And at that moment, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. There was no doubting it.
If I recall correctly, we had both been through a bit of a gantlet about our product plans and had to go back, review them with our teams and present back to the exec team…