Product Management

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  • It Takes A Team To Launch A Product

    The Accidental Product Manager
    drjim
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    The success of a product may depend on how it gets launchedImage Credit Any time the company completes the creation of a new product, or a new version of an existing product, it’s time to launch the new offering. Hmm, now exactly how should we go about doing this? There’s nothing in the product development definition that tells us how to do it correctly. All too often the new product just gets “thrown out there” and we all keep our fingers crossed that it will be a success. It turns out that there is a much better way to launch a product that will boost your…
  • Marketing the Product Marketer

    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product PerformanceBrainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance
    Sean Richards
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:51 am
    The Ultimate Value Creators and Customer Advocates The process of promoting a product is fundamental for any business, but it is surprising how uncommon the role of Product Marketer is in many Australian organisations. Often, the task of launching a product or owning a go to market plan is shared across numerous roles like sales, marketing, product management and engineering. This is the challenge that needs addressing. How many of you have experienced this scenario? A new product version is ready for release. To promote it the Marketing and Communications Manager gets a copy of the product…
  • Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager

    280 Group » Product Management Blog
    Brian Lawley
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:48 am
    Written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group. 10. Talk More Than You Listen If you are a Product Manager and you haven’t learned to be quiet and listen to what is really being said by customers, engineers, salespeople and executives then you are destined to fail. Learn about active listening and practice it constantly. Or take a class like How to be a Phenomenal Product Manager to learn how to communicate, negotiate and influence more effectively....[continue reading] The post Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Ask About the Past Rather Than the Future

    Product Talk
    Teresa Torres
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    At SXSW this year, I met a startup founder, a former fitness trainer, who was about to launch an online business offering personalized gym workouts. I liked that he had first-hand experience as a personal trainer and wasn’t just a gym rat. But I was surprised when he struggled with my first question. I asked him, “Who is it for? Who are you targeting?” He replied, “People who already go to the gym.” I said, “Good. That’s much easier than trying to convince people who don’t go to the gym to go to the gym. But that seems broad. Men? Women? Runners? Weigh-lifters?” He stared at…
  • Meeting Product Goals is Pure Luck

    On Product Management
    Saeed
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:49 am
    By John Mansour Unless your sales team is given quotas for each product, there’s no conceivable plan product managers can execute to meet revenue goals for their products. When they do meet their goals, it’s pure luck. There’s a better approach that doesn’t rely on luck and is more conducive to the success of the […]
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:48 am
    Written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group. 10. Talk More Than You Listen If you are a Product Manager and you haven’t learned to be quiet and listen to what is really being said by customers, engineers, salespeople and executives then you are destined to fail. Learn about active listening and practice it constantly. Or take a class like How to be a Phenomenal Product Manager to learn how to communicate, negotiate and influence more effectively....[continue reading] The post Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Management Rule #24: Salespeople Don’t Just Want to Make Lots of Money

    Brian Lawley
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Product Management Rule #24 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dave Dersh, Former VP of Consulting and Training, 280 Group Helping salespeople win is a primary role of the product marketing team! Marketing often refers to salespeople as being “coin operated.” While it’s true that a large portion of a salesperson’s income is tied directly to what they sell, money is not the only thing that motivates them. First and foremost, salespeople want to win! Salespeople...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #24:…
  • How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps | Tips and Best Practices for Success

    Brian Lawley
    4 Aug 2014 | 4:34 pm
    How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps was written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group and is included in the Product Roadmap Toolkit™. Product roadmaps can mean the difference between success and failure when delivering and marketing products. Product roadmaps can be one of the most effective tools in a Product Management professional’s arsenal. Done correctly they can help win and keep large customers and partners, and can guide the engineering and strategic planning efforts of a company. Unfortunately...[continue reading] The post How to Create Compelling Product…
  • Product Marketing Rule #23: Successful Channel Plans Start with Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder and Principal, Pivotal Product Management Success in channel planning requires near-perfect alignment with company strategy Successful channel planning consists of managing distribution channel partners and developing channel marketing programs. In working with both large and small product organizations, I’ve found that novice Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) tend to view the scope of channel management as a series of promotional programs to be planned…
  • Product Management Rule #23: Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities

    Brian Lawley
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Product Management Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dan Olsen, Co-Founder and CEO, YourVersion The best product teams are crystal clear about their priorities at every point in time and are adept at quickly changing their priorities when they need to. Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities We’ve all seen PRDs that list ten (or more) “high priority” product features. What are feature lists like this really saying? They’re really saying, “We weren’t sure...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule…
 
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    Rocket Watcher - Startup Marketing

  • Marketing Planning for Startups

    April Dunford
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:52 am
    I gave a talk a few weeks ago at OneEleven in Toronto. The audience was mainly early stage startups looking to learn a bit more about marketing and sales. I covered some of what I consider to be the bedrock underlying principles of building a revenue or growth engine for an early stage startup. You can scroll down for the slides but I wanted to give some color to the slides here in the blog. You Can be Awesome At Tactical Execution and Fail There is no shortage of great resources that explain how best to execute a particular tactic. If you Google “How to run a great adwords…
  • The Strengths of Startups versus Big Companies

    April Dunford
    20 Jul 2014 | 9:04 pm
    I gave a talk recently on startup sales and marketing where I covered some of the ways that startups are naturally stronger than big companies. You can scroll down for the slides from but what follows is a bit of color you can’t get from the deck alone. The natural strengths of startups aren’t always obvious. Often the idea of going head to head against a company that has much deeper resources than you do, seems counterintuitive, (particularly for marketing folks who are often overly focused on budget size – more on this later). Normally the comparison seems something like…
  • Be Awesome at Startup Marketing and Sales: The Only 2 Things You Need to Know

    April Dunford
    26 Nov 2013 | 11:43 am
    Last night I gave a talk for a group of startup folks focused on startup marketing and sales. Like most of the talks I’ve done over the past year, this one tried to break away from focusing purely on tactics (i.e. tips on optimizing things like SEO, social media, lead generation, etc.) and instead focused on what an early-stage company should do to figure out what tactics they might want to choose in the first place. The slideshare below focuses on the 2 things I believe are the foundation. If you get them right, everything downstream works better. If you get them wrong, everything…
  • 7 Steps to Better Startup Value Propositions

    April Dunford
    14 Aug 2013 | 12:13 pm
    Marketing messages and value propositions are notoriously difficult to create for startups. Startup founders have a tendency to focus too much on features and not enough on the value those features deliver. They also often spend too much time talking about features that don’t really differentiate them from their competitors or are simply irrelevant for their target markets. When working on marketing messaging for startups, it’s often harder to get agreement on what NOT to say than it is to decide what should get talked about. Here’s a method for getting to a simple set of value…
  • 6 Ways to Speed Up a B2B Sales Process

    April Dunford
    2 Aug 2013 | 2:23 pm
    I’ve spent my entire career working in or with startups that have sold to businesses. I love B2B. Businesses have burning problems and the money to solve them and I like revenue a lot. However, separating that money from those businesses is often difficult. The process a business goes through to make a decision about a $20K per year investment isn’t the same as the one you went through when you bought your last iPod. There are multiple people involved in making a decision, there are distinct stages in the buying process and hoops to jump through at every step. Closing a sale can…
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    Tyner Blain

  • Classifying Market Problems

    Scott Sehlhorst
    1 Aug 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Theodore Levitt may have developed the whole product model to help companies compete more effectively with their products.  We wrote about the whole product game based on Mr. Levitt’s work.  Recently, I’ve been using a variant of this model as a way to view a product and upcoming roadmap items.  It is a powerful way to share a perspective on your product with the rest of the team, and frame conversations about where best to invest. Whole Product Model As a quick review, Mr. Levitt defined the following model: Which works in that the center of the bullseye is the heart of the…
  • Agile Cadabra

    Scott Sehlhorst
    12 Jun 2014 | 9:08 am
    Agile is not magical. Changing from a waterfall process to an agile process changes how your team works, and helps eliminate inefficiencies. Adopting an agile process does not let you magically have a more successful product. What makes agile powerful is also makes it dangerous. Triage and Urgency One tenet of agile is to make decisions at the last responsible moment. Following this powerful and easy-to-remember mantra reduces the risk that you are wasting time on unnecessary work. This approach also maximizes the opportunities to better inform your decisions and actions. By delaying when you…
  • How is SaaS Changing Product Management – A Research Thesis

    Scott Sehlhorst
    7 Aug 2013 | 9:10 am
    Paddy Barrett in Ireland is preparing his Master’s thesis on Product Management and would like to interview (USA) state-side product managers for his primary research.   It would be awesome if you could help him, and help us all. My Connection I am a visiting lecturer as part of the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Product Management degree program.  Paddy was one of my students, and is now pursuing an interesting research topic for his master’s thesis.  Many of us here have anecdotal data about our personal experiences in product management as our employers develop…
  • Whole Product Game

    Scott Sehlhorst
    1 Aug 2013 | 9:07 am
    How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap?  I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams. Whole Product Game Background In 1980, Mr. Levitt published his article through the Harvard Business Review  - also available for sale as an eDoc through Amazon. Gamestorming has an article describing the Whole Product game and a link to Innovation Games’ online version. Back in 2011, Luke Hohmann introduced me to this concept…
  • Why Write Requirements

    Scott Sehlhorst
    17 Jul 2013 | 7:59 am
    There is a lot of advice out there for how to write requirements. There is not as much discussion about why to write requirements. Spend some time thinking about why you write requirements before you make decisions about how to write your requirements. Why Write Requirements? Whether you communicate requirements through conversation, user stories with acceptance criteria, or traditional structured requirements and use cases, or diagrams and commentary, you are sharing them as a means to an end – creating the right product.  Don’t just follow some prescription and go through the…
 
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    ProductMarketing.com

  • 99 vs 97 – Can You Help?

    Mark Stiving
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    Tweet Here is a recent question by email. Thanks Mark for great blog and insightful book. I’m currently working my way through a Kindle edition, learned a lot about pricing that’s for sure and will definitely recommend to clients. One thing I didn’t see you talk about on your blog is the 9 vs 7 pricing gimmick. In the real world, most prices will end with a 9 or 5 occasionally (9.99, 99, etc.). But, online and especially with info products, there has been a trend to end price with a 7. For example, most ebooks and programs are 17, 27, 47, 67, 97, and so on. What’s your…
  • Is My $20 Book Worth $236?

    Mark Stiving
    11 Aug 2014 | 9:50 pm
    Tweet Last week, the least expensive paperback version of my book on Amazon was $236 even though the cover price is $20. Wow. The Kindle version was reasonably priced at $9.99. But $236? And it wasn’t just one company. There were multiple vendors offering my book in that price range. What happened? You may or may not know there are software applications vendors can use to automatically reprice products on Amazon, eBay and other online retail sites. These applications monitor competitors’ prices for products and then adjust the vendor’s prices up or down based on the situation. As…
  • August Box of the Month: Buy, Build or Partner

    marketing
    5 Aug 2014 | 4:11 pm
    Tweet Determining the most effective way to deliver a complete solution to an identified market problem can prove challenging. It’s important to analyze whether it is most effective to buy, build or partner to complete the solution for your market—especially when you have gaps in your offering. This month’s deep dive offers some great best practices and real-life examples to help, and here are some resources to get you started: • Two to Tango: The Art of Crafting, Building and Maintaining Business Partnerships • A Fact-Based Approach to Outsourcing for Product Managers •…
  • Should You Try Two-Part Pricing?

    Mark Stiving
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:46 pm
    Tweet A student recently asked, “when does it make sense to use two-part pricing?” First, let’s define two-part pricing. It is when you charge one fee up front, and then another fee as the product is used. For example, popular bars have a cover charge and then charge for drinks as the night goes on. Health clubs have initiation fees then charge monthly rates. Country clubs have large initiation fees with monthly or annual dues. In each of these examples, a customer cannot access the facility or the product without paying the up front fee. This works because customers get two different…
  • Should Sales Have Pricing Authority? 4 Tips to Make It Feasible

    Mark Stiving
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:20 pm
    Tweet Those of us not in sales often make fun of salespeople, well … because it’s fun. Our first gut reaction says of course we can’t give pricing authority to sales. They will only sell on price and we’ll be giving huge discounts to too many clients. Unfortunately, a lot of salespeople do sell on price. Besides, every customer asks for a discount and it’s easiest for sales to give them one. However, who better to figure out how much a customer is willing to pay than sales? They have the relationship with the client. They have direct knowledge. If only we could find ways to keep…
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    On Product Management

  • Rules for customer visits #2 – Moderation is key

    Saeed
    21 Aug 2014 | 10:04 pm
    by Saeed Khan While understanding things like “a day in the life” of your users can be very useful, most people have better things to do than recount the minutia of their job duties to you. If you can’t get everything you need in one visit, try to get commitment for a follow up call […]
  • Meeting Product Goals is Pure Luck

    Saeed
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:49 am
    By John Mansour Unless your sales team is given quotas for each product, there’s no conceivable plan product managers can execute to meet revenue goals for their products. When they do meet their goals, it’s pure luck. There’s a better approach that doesn’t rely on luck and is more conducive to the success of the […]
  • We Don’t Need Another Manifesto

    Saeed
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:10 pm
    by Saeed Khan First of all, thanks to Tina Turner for inspiration for the title of this post. Secondly, this post is my response to the following tweet by Melissa Perri (@lissijean). I don’t know Melissa, and I have nothing against her in any way, so my post should simply be viewed as a response to the […]
  • Onboarding for Product Management

    Saeed
    18 Aug 2014 | 7:28 pm
    by Mike Smart A few years ago, a friend of mine recommended the book Topgrading by Brad Smart, Ph.D. One “a-ha” moment for me was the cost of hiring and retaining a team member that doesn’t work out (or is retained for less than two years). The costs are staggering; $100,000 for every $10,000 of […]
  • Experience or Vision — How to make great products

    Saeed
    17 Aug 2014 | 8:01 pm
    By Anders Lisdorf Reading Steve Jobs’ biography set in motion a train of thoughts that took me from the Jobs/Gates controversy over history of religion and philosophy to what we need to do to make awesome products. Jobs vs Gates In Steve Jobs’ biography a chapter is dedicated to Bill Gates. Jobs and Gates initially […]
 
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    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product PerformanceBrainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance

  • Marketing the Product Marketer

    Sean Richards
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:51 am
    The Ultimate Value Creators and Customer Advocates The process of promoting a product is fundamental for any business, but it is surprising how uncommon the role of Product Marketer is in many Australian organisations. Often, the task of launching a product or owning a go to market plan is shared across numerous roles like sales, marketing, product management and engineering. This is the challenge that needs addressing. How many of you have experienced this scenario? A new product version is ready for release. To promote it the Marketing and Communications Manager gets a copy of the product…
  • 5 Minutes With Sean Richards, Product Marketing Coach & Facilitator of “Ready Set, Go To Market”

    Adrienne
    17 Aug 2014 | 6:00 pm
    We recently interviewed Sean Richards, Brainmates’ latest facilitator who will be training the Ready, Set, Go To Market course. The training choices for product marketers and go to market professionals were very limited in Australia and since Sean has a wealth of knowledge and experience about product marketing, we decided to create Australia’s only face to face product marketing training course. Here’s what Sean had to say. You have held leadership positions across product management, product marketing and field marketing for a number of years now.  What advice do you have for…
  • “How To… Be An Impactful Product Manager”

    Adrienne
    10 Aug 2014 | 11:03 pm
    In small business, every person, every resource counts. Every activity needs to make an impact on the business. If it doesn’t,  stop it immediately. Course correct, identify and work on activities that help us reach our desired goals. If we don’t, we are simply wasting limited resources doing something of no value, which may have huge consequences on the business such as cash flow. In small business, it’s always a race from the bottom. Whilst the cusp of failure may not be as apparent for large business, I would hypothesize that a large business is equally concerned about…
  • 4 Steps to Creating a Product Roadmap (Part 1)

    Nick Coster
    27 Jul 2014 | 7:24 pm
    The idea of a Product Roadmap is a simple one. Provide a prioritised list of the New Products or Product Enhancements that the business will deliver to the market and show roughly when to expect them to be release/launched. Easy! On the surface the process is a simple one too. List all products and enhancements. Prioritise products and enhancements. Schedule products and enhancements. Share the roadmap with others. But here are some of the problems that we commonly hear that make the roadmapping process hard: Problem #1 – Not all of the items have been planned. Problem #2 – It is…
  • Confessions of a Small (But Mighty) Business Owner

    Adrienne
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:11 pm
    The 10th anniversary of Brainmates is fast approaching. What I would love to report is that it’s been a phenomenal success and the market has responded positively when we’ve tried to sell professional and experienced Product Management consulting services. But alas…. it never plays out as one imagines. In some cases, success has been easily achieved … and at other times, it’s been like treacle, difficult to get any traction. There are ups and downs, and the only way to climb out of a ‘down’ time is to: Grit your teeth and bunker down for hard work, Integrate more closely…
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    The Accidental Product Manager

  • It Takes A Team To Launch A Product

    drjim
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    The success of a product may depend on how it gets launchedImage Credit Any time the company completes the creation of a new product, or a new version of an existing product, it’s time to launch the new offering. Hmm, now exactly how should we go about doing this? There’s nothing in the product development definition that tells us how to do it correctly. All too often the new product just gets “thrown out there” and we all keep our fingers crossed that it will be a success. It turns out that there is a much better way to launch a product that will boost your…
  • What Twitter Has To Teach Product Managers

    drjim
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Twitter has some important lessons for product managersImage Credit By now, everyone should know what Twitter is: the very popular Internet service that allows users to send messages that can be up 140 characters in length. Combine this with the ability to follow interesting people, resend what has been sent, and use #hashtags to identify interesting content and all of a sudden you have another one of those wildly successful Internet businesses. However, take a closer look at how Twitter operates and there just might be some lessons in all of this for product managers to learn from… How To…
  • 9 Ways To Deal With The Competition

    drjim
    4 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Product managers need to know how to strike back when competition shows upImage Credit Product managers want their products to be successful. One big challenge that we all face is that the world is filled with competitors – companies that offer a product that solves the same customer problem that our product development definition solves. In order for our product to be successful, we’re going to have to find a way to deal with all of this competition. Step #1: Analyze Your Competition Before a product manager is ready to deal with the competitive threat to his or her product, you must…
  • 5 Ways For A Product Manager To Deal With New Competition

    drjim
    28 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    When new competition shows up, product managers need to know how to get aheadImage Credit Just when everything is going your way as a product manager, that’s exactly when something always seems to go wrong. One of the most common things that can happen is a new competitor shows up. Customers that you thought were a “sure thing”, now want to take a little bit more time to check out what new guy is offering. Your product and its product development definition are under attack. What is a product manager to do? 5 Ways To Handle New Competition When new competition to your…
  • Product Managers Need To Know How To Make Word Of Mouth Work For Their Product

    drjim
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Word of mouth is the most powerful type of communication about your productImage Credit As product managers, it is our job to make sure that our products meet the needs of our customers. As part of our product development definition we spend a lot of time trying to find ways to get the message about our product out to our customers: we run ads, we attend tradeshows, and we create a great deal of collateral. However, it turns out that the most powerful form of communicating about our products is out of our hands: it’s word of mouth. Why Is Word Of Mouth So Powerful? Television…
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    How To Be A Good Product Manager

  • Prototyping Myths; Aligning Marketing and Product; Why Healthcare Needs Product Management

    Jeff Lash
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:53 pm
    6 Myths about Prototyping Prototyping provides many benefits in terms of idea generation, obtaining customer feedback, streamlining development, improving coordination, and ultimately improving the end product. However, many organizations do not regularly prototype new offerings before beginning development, and many have never created a single prototype. As I talk with product management teams, I hear many implicit or explicit objections to prototyping. These are usually myths based in misunderstanding — beliefs that, for example, it’s too costly, too time-consuming, or that…
  • Avoid Lowering Your Prices; SiriusDecisions Summit; Product Management Festival

    Jeff Lash
    2 Jul 2014 | 10:11 am
    How to Avoid Lowering Your Prices Even prospects who are enamored with your offerings and eager to buy may ask for a discount. Too often, companies (or sales reps) immediately cave to the request because they’re afraid they will lose the sale or that customers will leave. Instead, as I write in my post on the SiriusDecisions blog How to Avoid Lowering Your Prices, there are other techniques to use to get around the “discounting” issue. Even if they don’t set pricing, product managers should be involved in the decisions about discounting, concessions in negotiation, and…
  • Leveraging Marketing Automation for Product Management; Product Mentorship Interview; SiriusDecisions 2014 Summit

    Jeff Lash
    1 May 2014 | 6:41 pm
    Leveraging Marketing Automation for Product Management The concept of marketing automation and marketing automaton platforms as a technology are things about which many people only have a vague understanding and awareness. This is especially true of product managers, which I think is a shame, because there are some great ways that product management can leverage a marketing automation platform. In particular, they can help building understanding of customers and their needs, influence the future roadmap, and identify potential persona and customer interviews. Marketing automation isn’t a…
  • Product Management Is Not User Experience; Key Traits of Innovative Product Managers (Boston, April 7 2014)

    Jeff Lash
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:42 pm
    Product Management Is Not User Experience I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions lately around product management and user experience. In particular, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the scope and nuances of the product management role, where people are implying (implicitly or explicitly) that product management is little more than user experience. In this post on the SiriusDecisions blog — Product Management Is Not User Experience — I argue, as the title suggests, that as important as UX is, it’s not product management, and confusing the two belittles the importance of…
  • What Olive Garden Can Teach Us About Innovation; ProductCamp Update

    Jeff Lash
    12 Mar 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Innovation with a side of unlimited breadsticks I’m always interested in learning stories of innovation. I find it fascinating to see how people and companies have looked at a problem in a new or different way, and then pulling out some lessons or principles that can be applied in other areas. A great example of this is in a recent promotion from Olive Garden — the casual Italian dining chain — and it’s the subject of this post of mine on the SiriusDecisions blog. There are some great principles that I think are relevant for all types of companies and some lessons that…
 
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    Lead on Purpose

  • Six Channels of Influence: How to Navigate Them Effectively

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    9 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Guest post by Willy Steiner “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float … Continue reading →
  • How deep is your desire to succeed?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    2 Aug 2014 | 5:28 pm
    As I’ve gotten older and seen more the of what the world offers, I’ve come to realize that success depends as much on the desire of an individual as anything else. Hard work, persistence and intelligence also factor in, and … Continue reading →
  • How are you using your time?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    19 Jul 2014 | 4:30 pm
    A common response when you ask somebody for their help or their input is “I don’t have enough time.” This is an interesting response given that we all have the same amount of time – 24 hours in a day. … Continue reading →
  • How can leaders use 360-degree feedback to boost employee engagement?

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    5 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Guest post by Steve Brown One of the popular approaches to improving performance and employee engagement is to set up 360-degree reviews. With this process, a person gets feedback from their peers, as well as their manager. Management people also … Continue reading →
  • The importance of leadership in effective management

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    21 Jun 2014 | 7:53 pm
    There are many elements that make a good manager, however, one of the critical qualities is leadership. Leadership and management must go hand in hand, but they are not the same thing. Leadership and management are complementary, but it is … Continue reading →
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    Software Product Manager by Gopal Shenoy

  • 4 reasons why titles matter in startups

    gopalshenoy
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:15 pm
    So you have just been offered a product management job in a startup, but the job offer does not mention any specific title. Should you bring up the title in your offer negotiations? I say Absolutely. In startups everyone is expected to wear multiple hats, but titles still matter for the following reasons: Equity offered is directly proportional to your title: Startups have what is known as a capitalization or a cap table. In its most simplified form, you can think of it as a two-column table – first column lists the titles in each row and the second column lists the % of ownership…
  • Effectively managing your communication with your manager

    gopalshenoy
    22 May 2014 | 1:52 pm
    In the past 4 years, I have had 5 different managers – CEO, CTO, CMO and 2 VPs of Product. By the time I had got adjusted to the style of my manager and established a working relationship, I had a new boss. This constant change has made me come up with a way that ensures my communications with my manager is effective especially given the different roles they have held. There are three elements I have proactively established with each one of them to ensure no surprises Depth of communication Channel of communication Frequency Depth of communication – given their different roles, I…
  • Communicating when “fires” break out – “We are on it”

    gopalshenoy
    22 Mar 2014 | 9:28 am
    As software product managers, we often deal with cross-functional issues from time to time such as projects that fall behind schedule and now risk making a release, creative designs not ready for implementation, serious production issues that require immediate swats to be released etc. When such problems crop up, keeping your cross-functional team including your management team updated with the latest information is of paramount important. You can take two approaches to communication when such “fires” arise: Try to gather as much information as possible before you communicate so that you…
  • Book Review: Cracking the Product Management Interview

    gopalshenoy
    29 Jan 2014 | 3:05 pm
    If you are a product manager thinking about your next career move or someone looking to move into product management, this is THE book you should read and have as your reference.  I have been doing product management for many years and I found the book so resourceful. Gayle Laakmann McDowell and Jackie Bavaro have done a great job covering everything from the definition of a product manager role (remember that different companies have different definitions of what we do), how to transition from a non-PM role to a PM role, how to write a cover letter and resume that gets looked at to…
  • How do I become a product manager?

    gopalshenoy
    10 Nov 2013 | 3:45 pm
    This is the most frequent question I get from readers of this blog. Folks who currently are developers, QA engineers, sales professionals, customer support specialists have all asked me this question. I have written how you could start making the move to product management. But here is a course that is now available from udemy. It is a 33-Video Lecture Course called, “Skillsets to Shift Your Career to Product Management,” is intended for beginning technology entrepreneurs, and for technology professionals with no background in marketing and product management. The course is…
 
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    Cindy Alvarez - UX

  • Customer Comments, Deciphered

    Cindy
    12 Aug 2014 | 10:07 pm
    Customer says: “I’ve been meaning to try [feature] but I’ve been too busy” The problem: It’s not clear what benefit I’ll get from using [feature] and therefore this fell below everything else on my to-do list. Solution:  Find out what your customers are already doing to confirm that [feature] genuinely IS beneficial.  Demonstrate the feature and have them explain to you why it would make their life better.  Use their words in your marketing and your in-product copy.  Use the verbs they chose on your action buttons. Customer says: “I’ve just…
  • Double Negative Leads to Proof Positive!

    Cindy
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:27 am
    Once we’ve formed an opinion, we tend to look for evidence that supports that opinion and minimize evidence that contradicts us.  This is called “confirmation bias”, and it’s probably the root of most bad products, bad hires, and bad relationships. So how do we avoid it?  In any situation filled with subjective information, we have plenty of opportunities to “believe what we want to believe”. In customer development, we may find ourselves subtly altering the questions we ask or interpreting responses in the most favorable light.  In interviewing…
  • The Myth of the Self-Starter

    Cindy
    23 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    Let me tell you about the best people who have worked on my teams: They’re insatiably curious.  That means they ask a ton of questions, which gives them deep insights into what we’re trying to accomplish, from a variety of perspectives. They’re highly biased towards action. That means that when they spot a problem, they don’t wait for permission – they start testing out solutions. They take ownership. That means I don’t need to keep monitoring the problem – they’ve taken it on and will continue trying new things until the problem gets…
  • Your Favorite Posts, Updated

    Cindy
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Markets and technology change so quickly that I find myself distrustful of blog posts older than a year or two. Is the information still relevant and accurate? Looking back at my most popular blog posts, I’ve noticed that many of them date back to 2011, 2010, even 2009. That’s half a decade ago! So I’ve been revisiting these entries and updating them to make sure they’re still useful for today. AND HERE THEY ARE. It’s like Christmas, people! 10 Things I’ve Learned About Customer Development (2014) How do Customer Development and Product Management fit together?
  • How do Customer Development and Product Management fit together? (2014)

    Cindy
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:03 pm
    There’s still a lot of confusion around how to define and how to use customer development and product management. “Isn’t customer development just product management?” Customer development is a task that some product managers do.  But customer development is not the secret to creating a great product.  Let me repeat that, because I’ve heard many people claim this: Customer development does not create great products. It’s also not true that if your organization has product managers (or user researchers or market researchers), you’re already doing…
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    Web Ink Now

  • The New Rules of Sales and Service - my new book - releasing soon!

    David Meerman Scott
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    I’m so excited I might pee in my pants!! (Don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to.) My new book, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business is nearly ready to ship. The New Rules of Sales and Service is about how the buying process has radically changed and how people who understand that change can grow business now. Buyers are now in possession of unlimited information so online content is quickly becoming the dominant driver for commerce. Unfortunately most organizations are still…
  • Are you telling the truth?

    David Meerman Scott
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:40 am
    When I see people on the sidewalk asking for money, most have the same business model. They have a hand drawn cardboard advertisement that reads: Homeless Veteran Family man Please help GOD BLESS!! I always wonder if they really are homeless, really are veterans, and really do have a family. I cynically doubt that the sign they hold is true. On the Las Vegas strip Saturday night, I ran into this gentleman and laughed out loud at his sign. I gave him some money and thanked him for the laughter. He told me that some people have a sense of humor and some don’t. He likes reaching those, like…
  • It’s still great marketing. Just don’t call it a blog.

    David Meerman Scott
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    Because blogging isn’t new and hip, many people dismiss this form of content as less effective. Some are even abandoning their blogs for the next big thing (whatever that is). I started my blog ten years ago (that’s seventy dog internet years). Chris Brogan began blogging (when it was called journaling) well before I did. And when I worked on Wall Street in the 1980s for Wrightson ICAP, a real-time economic research firm, Lou Crandall was blogging there (doing his syndicated real-time market forecasts through an old black and white video technology called Telerate). Lou Crandall has been…
  • Giving things away for free to build your network and grow your business

    David Meerman Scott
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    At the Gathering of the Vibes music festival last weekend, besides the great live bands, I particularly enjoyed wondering around the camping area. It's fun to encounter interesting people who are part of the same tribe! On Saturday morning, I saw a bunch of tie-dye shirts and figured that somebody was selling them. Tie-dye is very popular at Vibes. As I paused, I was told they are free. Now, that’s interesting! So I got to chatting with Dave, the guy who made them. Dave told me he loves to make the shirts and giving them away brings back much more to him than money ever could. By giving…
  • Silver Oak Cellars builds passionate fans through social media “bottle stories”

    David Meerman Scott
    6 Aug 2014 | 11:55 am
    After I delivered a talk called “Business Lessons from the Grateful Dead” to a group of enthusiastic company leaders at YPO, I had a chance to spend some time with David Duncan CEO of Silver Oak Cellars, a producer of delicious and distinctive Cabernets from Napa Valley and Alexander Valley, California. Duncan told me about the importance of social media for his winery and how they communicate with the passionate fans of his wines. Like other CEOs active on social networks who I wrote about in my recent post The #Social CEO Drives Business for their Company, Duncan is an enthusiastic…
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    Product Management Meets Pop Culture

  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… Product Camp Boston’s Sarela Bliman-Cohen

    Christopher Cummings
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
    “Sometimes, even when you have the data to back your decision, you cannot change the outcome.” – Sarela Bliman-Cohen Today, we’re continuing our series of candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight this time is Sarela Bliman-Cohen, officer and organizer of Product Camp Boston, and a former president of the Boston Product Management Association. What advice does she have for aspiring Product Managers? And what did her biggest mistake teach her? Read on… Sarela, how did you first enter product management? I started out as…
  • Product Management Interview: 8 Questions With… Adam Bullied

    Christopher Cummings
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:56 pm
    “No one expects you to be Superman. You don’t need to carry the weight of the company on your shoulders…” – Adam Bullied Today, we’re starting Series Two of our candid, one-on-one interviews with product management professionals. In the spotlight today is Adam Bullied, a product management professional who recently transitioned to the role of CEO for content marketing performance platform provider SqueezeCMM. What advice does Adam have for aspiring Product Managers? And what’s it like to truly be a CEO rather than a metaphorical CEO? Read on……
  • Presentation: Welcome To Product Management… Hope You Survive The Experience!

    Christopher Cummings
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:58 am
    Startup Product invited me to speak at an event in Cambridge last night, hosted by Leaf. Based on my experience, Startup Product really cares about exploring and understanding what it takes to make great products and sustainable businesses. Watch for an event near you! Here’s my presentation: Presentation Description: Product Managers live in the nexus of business, technology, and design — and the resulting tension can harm the PM, the products, and the business if left unchecked. This presentation focuses on how the strategies product people use to understand markets, customers,…
  • Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back To The Theater: A Product Management Lesson In Innovation, Pricing, and Comedy From “Rifftrax Live: Sharknado”

    Christopher Cummings
    15 Jul 2014 | 7:30 pm
    There’s a lot of innovative work going on underneath the goofiness. Product people take note! Critics have been predicting the death of the movie theater experience for a long time, and even famed director Christopher Nolan sees a bleak future for movies because he feels movie studios devalue the movie theater experience. Could product management save the movie business? The gang at RiffTrax shows us the way. RiffTrax are comedic commentaries played in-sync with movies. Written and performed by the stars of TV’s Mystery Science Theater 3000, RiffTrax brings the unique humor of…
  • The Art Of Neighboring… In Product Management

    Christopher Cummings
    10 Jul 2014 | 12:08 am
    Even in jail, Roy Rogers can’t helping singing about being a good neighbor. Let me say up front: The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathack and Dave Runyon is not a book about product management. But I recently finished reading it, and think it does have implications for Product Managers. Hear me out. Everyone’s heard at least one version of the Golden Rule Almost every major world religion agrees with the concept of treating others how you would want others to treat you. The Art of Neighboring is written from a Christian…
 
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    The Product Pipe

  • Is the Future of Enterprise Collaboration Now?

    klgriggs
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:40 am
    People don’t share enough information.  It’s a well-documented behavior. Sometimes they horde because they have been led to believe that “knowledge is power” and centralizing data access will increase their personal value to the firm.  Luckily, the primary reason for lack … Continue reading →
  • Innovation of the Boring and Mundane Product

    klgriggs
    22 Oct 2013 | 11:23 am
    Innovation is defined as the application of solutions that, 1) provide new requirements, 2) address unarticulated needs and, 3) improve existing products in the marketplace. For most innovators it seems easier (read: less confined to previous product decisions) to innovate … Continue reading →
  • Enterprise 2.0 – The Business Value of Social Software

    klgriggs
    24 Jun 2011 | 4:39 am
    I just returned from the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. In 2006, Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee coined “Enterprise 2.0″ to describe how organizations could streamline business processes by improving collaboration between suppliers, customers and employees. And the social … Continue reading →
  • Are You Generating Creative Tension?

    klgriggs
    23 Nov 2010 | 7:17 pm
    Lately I’ve reading about leaders… people who find the best in themselves and in turn inspire, engage and mobilize others under demanding circumstances. Three weeks ago while on a flight to a west coast conference I was confronted with 6 … Continue reading →
  • So… who’s really your customer?

    klgriggs
    28 Jul 2010 | 5:20 pm
    One of this year’s “hottest” ad campaigns is for Procter & Gamble’s 72-year-old Old Spice brand.   During February’s Super Bowl, P&G launched a 30-second spot featuring the strapping actor Isaiah Mustafa, a former NFL wide receiver, as pitch man for … Continue reading →
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    A Girl's Guide to Project Management

  • Happy Anniversary Women in PM SIG! An interview with Teri Okoro

    Elizabeth Harrin
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:36 pm
    Teri Okoro Next month sees the APM’s Women in Project Management group holding the 2014 National Conference & 21st Anniversary of Women in Project Management in London. I spoke to Teri Okoro, Chair of the special interest group and part of the team behind the anniversary preparations. Teri, what’s on the agenda for the WiPM SIG now you’ve hit 21 years? And what celebrations are planned to celebrate 21 years? WiPM have taken time to reflect on past achievement as well as plan for the future. We’ve redefined our mission with four key elements: developing a powerful…
  • Book review: How To Be A Productivity Ninja

    Elizabeth Harrin
    17 Aug 2014 | 11:34 pm
    “Time management is dead,” writes Graham Allcott in his book, How To Be A Productivity Ninja. The old time management concepts don’t work anymore, he says, because we don’t have the same working environment. The number of information sources has gone up, and we’re expected to juggle more and manage more complex jobs while our jobs are less defined. “All of this means you have to come to terms with one important thing: you will never get everything finished.” How To Be A Productivity Ninja is apparently the answer to your time management problems. It…
  • Book Review: Healthcare Project Management

    Elizabeth Harrin
    12 Aug 2014 | 11:01 pm
    At first glance, Healthcare Project Management by Kathy Schwalbe and Dan Furlong is an ugly book. The cover isn’t up to much. However, open it up and you’ll quickly see how comprehensive this book is. It includes quick quizzes, learning objectives, team projects to carry out (for students), case studies, discussion question, links to videos and additional resources for trainers. And if that wasn’t enough, it has an accompanying website, healthcarepm.com, with more stuff. Healthcare is a very specific niche when it comes to project management, so a dedicated book for this industry is a…
  • Book review: Project Management Workflow

    Elizabeth Harrin
    10 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    “Project management is indeed a very exciting and rewarding profession, but at the same time, it is one of the most difficult jobs, often misunderstood by project team members and management alike,” write Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman in their book, Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach. I agree; it can be a challenge to get anything done as a project manager, and Epstein and Maltzman explain why: “The project manager will never win a popularity contest, because even though he or she is not usually a personnel manager of team members, he or she nevertheless sets work…
  • The Death of Project Management

    Elizabeth Harrin
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:23 pm
    Bryan Barrow This is a guest post by Bryan Barrow. After several years we seem, at last, to be over our fixation with zombies. Again. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time that the zombie movie genre comes around, each time bringing a new generation into its cold, dead clutches. I am reminded of the zombie movie each time I have a discussion about project management versus project leadership. I’m not referring to the mental state of those on either side of the argument, rather the way that just when you think the discussion has died down and the argument is resolved it…
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    svpg blog

  • Profit and Loss Responsibility

    10 Aug 2014 | 10:02 am
    One question that I continue to get from many company leaders is whether or not product managers should be given P&L responsibility for their products.   The origin of this question comes from the days when companies had a portfolio of products where each product represented one or more SKU’s.  Think consumer packaged goods. In this world, each product manager would worry about the cost structure of their product, the marketing plan, sales forecasts, contribution and profitability.  This is still what many people out there think of as a product manager. Of course, in…
  • The Delivery Manager Role

    13 Jul 2014 | 2:51 pm
    I have always been interested in taking the holistic view of product teams and understanding and appreciating each and every critical role.  In a recent article I wrote about the dynamics of strong teams versus weak teams, and judging from the response to that article, many of you are interested in this as well.   I focus most of my attention on the product owner/product manager role because I view that role as the lynchpin.  However, of all the roles, I would say that I see the most grief associated with the various guises of project management (project manager, program…
  • Good Product Team Bad Product Team

    13 Jun 2014 | 3:02 am
    NOTE: My friend and colleague Jeff Patton is the author of an upcoming book on the general topic of User Stories and especially the technique of Story Mapping.  I was asked to write a foreword for this new book, and this article is an excerpt from the foreword.  I was also a reviewer of the book and it is definitely a must-read for any product person and fills a very big gap in the current library of Agile titles.  If you’d like to pre-order the book you can do so from O’Reilly. I’ve had the extremely good fortune to be able to work with many of the very best…
  • Milestone Swarming

    21 May 2014 | 12:03 pm
    In my last article, I discussed the power of milestones and I promised I’d talk about one of my favorite techniques for rapidly delivering on milestones.  First, as a reminder, by milestone I mean delivering on some significant achievement for your business.  This might mean achieving a meaningful improvement to a key KPI, or meeting the needs of a new type of customer, or getting the results of an important A/B test. Remember that the point of a milestone is the business result, and not the date. Another dimension to milestones is that sometimes they are specific to…
  • The Power of Milestones

    5 Apr 2014 | 1:03 pm
    In this article I wanted to talk about a concept that seems to be increasingly missing in product teams.   I find too many product teams just pounding away on the product backlog, story by story.  Too many members of the team don’t really know how and why the stories are even there, they don’t understand the customer pain they’re trying to address, and they especially don’t understand how their work on this particular item helps to move the needle for their business. Usually the product manager somehow tries to explain the context for each story, but the…
 
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    280 Group

  • Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:48 am
    Written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group. 10. Talk More Than You Listen If you are a Product Manager and you haven’t learned to be quiet and listen to what is really being said by customers, engineers, salespeople and executives then you are destined to fail. Learn about active listening and practice it constantly. Or take a class like How to be a Phenomenal Product Manager to learn how to communicate, negotiate and influence more effectively....[continue reading] The post Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Management Rule #24: Salespeople Don’t Just Want to Make Lots of Money

    Brian Lawley
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Product Management Rule #24 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dave Dersh, Former VP of Consulting and Training, 280 Group Helping salespeople win is a primary role of the product marketing team! Marketing often refers to salespeople as being “coin operated.” While it’s true that a large portion of a salesperson’s income is tied directly to what they sell, money is not the only thing that motivates them. First and foremost, salespeople want to win! Salespeople...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #24:…
  • How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps | Tips and Best Practices for Success

    Brian Lawley
    4 Aug 2014 | 4:34 pm
    How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps was written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group and is included in the Product Roadmap Toolkit™. Product roadmaps can mean the difference between success and failure when delivering and marketing products. Product roadmaps can be one of the most effective tools in a Product Management professional’s arsenal. Done correctly they can help win and keep large customers and partners, and can guide the engineering and strategic planning efforts of a company. Unfortunately...[continue reading] The post How to Create Compelling Product…
  • Product Marketing Rule #23: Successful Channel Plans Start with Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder and Principal, Pivotal Product Management Success in channel planning requires near-perfect alignment with company strategy Successful channel planning consists of managing distribution channel partners and developing channel marketing programs. In working with both large and small product organizations, I’ve found that novice Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) tend to view the scope of channel management as a series of promotional programs to be planned…
  • Product Management Rule #23: Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities

    Brian Lawley
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Product Management Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dan Olsen, Co-Founder and CEO, YourVersion The best product teams are crystal clear about their priorities at every point in time and are adept at quickly changing their priorities when they need to. Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities We’ve all seen PRDs that list ten (or more) “high priority” product features. What are feature lists like this really saying? They’re really saying, “We weren’t sure...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule…
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager

    Brian Lawley
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:48 am
    Written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group. 10. Talk More Than You Listen If you are a Product Manager and you haven’t learned to be quiet and listen to what is really being said by customers, engineers, salespeople and executives then you are destined to fail. Learn about active listening and practice it constantly. Or take a class like How to be a Phenomenal Product Manager to learn how to communicate, negotiate and influence more effectively....[continue reading] The post Top Ten Ways to Fail as a Product Manager appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Management Rule #24: Salespeople Don’t Just Want to Make Lots of Money

    Brian Lawley
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Product Management Rule #24 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dave Dersh, Former VP of Consulting and Training, 280 Group Helping salespeople win is a primary role of the product marketing team! Marketing often refers to salespeople as being “coin operated.” While it’s true that a large portion of a salesperson’s income is tied directly to what they sell, money is not the only thing that motivates them. First and foremost, salespeople want to win! Salespeople...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #24:…
  • How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps | Tips and Best Practices for Success

    Brian Lawley
    4 Aug 2014 | 4:34 pm
    How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps was written by Brian Lawley, CEO and Founder of the 280 Group and is included in the Product Roadmap Toolkit™. Product roadmaps can mean the difference between success and failure when delivering and marketing products. Product roadmaps can be one of the most effective tools in a Product Management professional’s arsenal. Done correctly they can help win and keep large customers and partners, and can guide the engineering and strategic planning efforts of a company. Unfortunately...[continue reading] The post How to Create Compelling Product…
  • Product Marketing Rule #23: Successful Channel Plans Start with Strategy

    Brian Lawley
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Mara Krieps, Founder and Principal, Pivotal Product Management Success in channel planning requires near-perfect alignment with company strategy Successful channel planning consists of managing distribution channel partners and developing channel marketing programs. In working with both large and small product organizations, I’ve found that novice Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) tend to view the scope of channel management as a series of promotional programs to be planned…
  • Product Management Rule #23: Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities

    Brian Lawley
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Product Management Rule #23 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Dan Olsen, Co-Founder and CEO, YourVersion The best product teams are crystal clear about their priorities at every point in time and are adept at quickly changing their priorities when they need to. Make Sure You Have Clear Priorities We’ve all seen PRDs that list ten (or more) “high priority” product features. What are feature lists like this really saying? They’re really saying, “We weren’t sure...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule…
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    MindTheProduct

  • Video: Pursuit of Product Happiness

    Eve Kekeh
    22 Aug 2014 | 3:06 am
    Derek Morrison,  Group Product Manager at Tesco,  has been part of the ProductTank community since 2010. He joined us for London’s ProductTank July to talk about what you can do to enable change within your company. Derek focuses on people, place and process when making a change. In this video, Derek (@allaboutproduct) uses examples from Reed Business, Blinkbox and Tesco to explain how one can go about introducing change. Pursuit of Product Happiness:Click To Tweet - Powered By CoSchedule The post Video: Pursuit of Product Happiness appeared first on MindTheProduct.
  • Video: Product at the Heart of Change

    Eve Kekeh
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:08 am
    July’s ProductTank London focused on change management. Sally Foote, founder of product development consultancy firm FEB Digital, joined us to discuss the impact of a big product pivot on an organisation as a whole. In this video, Sally (@sallyfoote) shares her own experiences whilst working with The Times Online with a captivated audience. She talks about how a clear product vision helps to get all stakeholders on the same page regarding the ramifications of a new product introduction or modification. The post Video: Product at the Heart of Change appeared first on…
  • Change Management and Product Management

    Jock Busuttil
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
    Some people say that a change is as good as a rest. They’ve probably never had to change an organisation’s product culture, though.  For July’s ProductTank London, Marc Abraham (@MAA1) brought us three experts in making change happen. Derek Morrison (@allaboutproduct), Group Product Manager at Tesco Sally Foote (@sallyfoote), Digital Product Consultant, Founder of FEB Digital Craig Strong (@craigstrong), Director Global Product Development Lifecycle at Pearson The Pursuit of Product Happiness Derek Morrison (@allaboutproduct) took the stage first to talk about some of his…
  • Mind the Product’s New Mentoring Scheme

    Kat Matfield
    14 Aug 2014 | 3:30 am
    At the very beginning, Mind the Product was simply a few product managers who wanted to find a community of like-minded people. Now, with meet-ups in 21 cities and an annual conference, it’s easy to find fellow product people who want to discuss all that goes into making a successful product, from finding product-market fit to translating a vision into a roadmap. But sometimes you need more tailored advice than talks at your local Product Tank can offer. Perhaps you want the opportunity to talk with someone who’s been around the block a few more times than you, and get advice on the…
  • Moving from Data Analysis to Product Management – A Personal Journey

    Yoav Farbey
    12 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    The growing importance of data and analytics to Product Management has previously been discussed on Mind The Product by Edward Upton in Going Beyond Pageviews, and Simon Cast in Everything a Product Manager Needs To Know About Analytics. Articles like these may lead you to think that moving from a data role to a product management role should be pretty straightforward. But is that really so? My Story I recently moved from a data analyst role to a product management role and I wanted to share my personal story. Reading about my experiences may be useful for other people thinking of making a…
 
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    Product Talk

  • Ask About the Past Rather Than the Future

    Teresa Torres
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:06 am
    At SXSW this year, I met a startup founder, a former fitness trainer, who was about to launch an online business offering personalized gym workouts. I liked that he had first-hand experience as a personal trainer and wasn’t just a gym rat. But I was surprised when he struggled with my first question. I asked him, “Who is it for? Who are you targeting?” He replied, “People who already go to the gym.” I said, “Good. That’s much easier than trying to convince people who don’t go to the gym to go to the gym. But that seems broad. Men? Women? Runners? Weigh-lifters?” He stared at…
  • The Dangers of Thinking of Products as Features

    Teresa Torres
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:41 am
    It’s easy to spend the majority of your time talking about features. You track features in your backlog. You schedule features on your roadmap. Your customers request features. Your sales team complaints about missing features. Almost everyone thinks of products as features. But if you want to build better products, you need to stop thinking about products as a collection of features. You Risk Building a Me-Too Product A focus on features inevitably leads to an obsession with competitors and the features that they offer. You get caught chasing your own tail trying to keep up. Get off the…
  • The Ethics of the Data We Collect

    Teresa Torres
    10 Jul 2014 | 9:09 am
    Do you remember the uproar about cookies in the late 90s? I don’t mean the sugar-filled kind. I’m talking about web cookies – the bite-sized bits of information that your browser stores locally so that when you return to a website it already knows who you are. If you worked in tech at the time, you might have been confused by the uproar. Cookies make the web experience significantly better. They are used to keep you logged in to your favorite sites, they remember your preferences and settings, and they enabled one of the earliest forms of persistent identity on the web. They…
  • Moving Beyond Vanity Metrics: An In-Depth Case Study

    Teresa Torres
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    It’s one thing to read The Lean Startup and Lean Analytics. It’s another thing entirely to put these principles into practice. It can be a challenge to go from theory to practice. Sure, you might know that vanity metrics should be a thing of the past. But what do you measure instead? Even if you do know what to measure, getting accurate data introduces a whole new challenge. And even though we like to think of it as a science, building products is more a mix of art and science. Quantitative research helps us optimize the path we are on. But how do we know the path we are on is creating…
  • More on the Facebook Social Contagion Study

    Teresa Torres
    3 Jul 2014 | 10:01 am
    There are thousands of news stories every day. More than any news publication or news hour could possibly cover. Car crashes, robberies, heroic feats, international skirmishes, sporting events, political battles, traffic jams, fires, weather reports, personal interest stories. The list is infinite. Every day, editors curate which stories are worthy of front-page coverage, which should be included in the news hour, or even which are worth investigating in the first place. We like to believe that the news is curated based on what we need to know. But we know that’s not quite true. Do we…
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    Frank Lio: Practical Product Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Life - Blog

  • Litmus Test: Would You Buy from...You?

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:10 am
    "Instron" Test Instrument at Tufts Dental School I was walking to the pediatric clinic at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine on a personal day off when I spotted something familiar in the hallway.  Through a small window, I spotted an “Instron” in a research room.   (An “Instron” for those unfamiliar with the term is a test instrument for tension, compression, flex testing, etc. I happen to work at Instron, the company that developed these instruments; the name has become synonymous with materials testing instruments.) I became as…
  • Selecting & Prioritizing Features with Pugh Charts

    17 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    One of the most difficult tasks for product development is prioritizing features.  It can turn into a contentious task with disagreement from different stakeholders. Features are usually drawn from a wish list based on customer feedback, sales and service feedback, management, etc.  Unfortunately, some of this is biased. Management may not understand the market but insist on features discussed during their last customer visit or what they just read in the morning newspaper.  Sales wants features based on their lost orders.  Engineering wants to use this as an…
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (The Real Story)

    11 Jul 2014 | 11:20 am
    Jack should have been arrested. I’m asking all parents to stop telling the story about Jack and the Beanstalk.I told the story at bedtime to my boys last night and was struck by what a terrible lesson it teaches. Let’s review: Jack sold his family’s only cow for a bag of magic beans. His mother got angry and threw them out the window. The beans grew into a tall beanstalk that reached the sky. Jack climbed up the beanstalk, went to a Giant’s house, and stole a magic singing harp and goose that laid golden eggs.  The Giant chased Jack down the beanstalk.
  • Analyzing Competitive Alternatives Against Customer Buying Criteria

    17 Jun 2014 | 10:00 am
    At some point, after the information search process, a prospect gets down to comparing products and services based on particular attributes.  This phase is called the “Evaluation of Alternatives or Options”. Customers break down their buying decision criteria into basically 3 three interconnecting realms: A - Crucial – These attributes must be available or no sale, e.g. a family may consider side air bags to be a requirement in an automobile purchaseB - Important – Features or functions still considered as priorities but some substitution may be acceptable.C -…
  • Question Everything. Assume Nothing.

    9 Jun 2014 | 10:54 am
    This was recently posted on LinkedIn and people were "liking" it and making supportive comments. I suppose that the moral is that tenaciousness and continual follow-up are keys to winning the sale. No doubt, many sales managers and executives are citing this to beat up their staff.  My Spiderman senses start tingling whenever I see such statistics.  For one, the attributed source, "National Sales Executive Association" does not seem to exist.  Interestingly, a number of blogs have been posted in the past citing this list of statistics with only one person…
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    Under 10 by Steve Johnson

  • Which approach to take…

    Steve Johnson
    21 Aug 2014 | 6:03 am
    Rule #1: Whenever I’m unsure of which approach to take, I decide on the one that is best for the customer.— Steve Johnson, Under 10 Consulting. There are many times when employees need to use their own judgment. There’s no rule that seems to cover everything and no historical reference to guide their thinking. Unless you get everyone to agree to Rule #1: do what’s best for the customer. I’ve been in meetings (and I’m sure you have been too) where we’re discussing which approach to take. This would be better for the sales team and that would be better for…
  • Et cetera means…

    Steve Johnson
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:48 am
    Et cetera means, “I can only think of two things but I bet there are more.”—Steve Johnson, Under 10 Consulting
  • More on Branding…

    Steve Johnson
    14 Aug 2014 | 5:54 am
    Branding is what you do when your product doesn’t matter.— Steve Johnson, Under 10 Consulting.  I know this one’ll get the brand-oriented marketers into an uproar but there’s a big difference between brandING and your brand. Branding is a verb; brand is a noun. Branding is the exercise of telling your story to get people to buy your product. Your brand results from years of delivering great products and creating satisfied customers. In truth, I find that most teams worry way too much about brands and branding and not nearly enough about the user experience that…
  • Are you lonely? Hold a meeting!

    Steve Johnson
    8 Aug 2014 | 4:24 am
    (This wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t somewhat true.)
  • Ask Steve: Naming and Branding

    Steve Johnson
    7 Aug 2014 | 4:40 am
    A reader asks: When are branded names preferred over descriptive names? For your naming strategy, you should attempt to brand only one thing. Which will it be? The company, the portfolio, or the product? Or said differently, which are people buying? Large companies like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft are selling their entire sets of portfolios as a one-stop shop. However, for smaller enterprise players, positioning and naming the portfolio of products is often the best approach, with the “products” really being more like features of the portfolio. Small “utility”…
 
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    Product Business – Getting Real

  • Product Start-Ups: Don’t let your First Few Customers hold you Hostage

    N.P.Menon
    13 Aug 2014 | 1:01 am
    You’ve started a company to make the Next Big Product in your field, one that will delight customers and solve their problems in an easier, faster, more intuitive manner than anything currently available. You’ve done your research, you’ve spent the grueling hours in development and now you are ready with the prototype, and even better, you have a first customer signed up. Congratulations! Or, have we said it too soon? Even as you are ecstatic at signing up your first few customers, you find in the next few months that your product morphs into something entirely different.
  • User Centred Design – Tips from Shashank Deshpande, Clarice Technologies

    Confianzys
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:27 pm
    Shashank Deshpande is Co-Founder & President at Clarice Technologies, a product development company that provides User Centered Design and UI development services under one umbrella. He believes that user experience is a key differentiator for companies operating in competitive markets. In this interview, he discusses the growing interest in User-Centered Design in India, and shares his thoughts on how Product and Business Managers can move towards adopting the best practices when it comes to Design. 1. While User-Centered Design is now much discussed by business leaders as well as…
  • 3 ‘Beyond Design’ Trends That Influence How Customers Interact With Product Design

    Shrinath V
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:24 pm
    Like medical diagnoses, Product Design is one thing that everyone has an opinion on; and just as no two doctors ever agree on a case, every person on a product team, whether marketer, engineer or designer, has a completely different opinion. Part of the reason we react to Design in such differing ways is because our reactions are often deeply personal. These reactions are shaped by many things including age, life stage, the culture we come from and our previous exposure to product and other design. How then is a team to work together to create a product whose interface is not just…
  • Big Data: Why Product Managers Should Concern Themselves With It

    Shesh Vasudevamurthy
    8 Jul 2014 | 10:19 pm
    Big Data has been a buzzword for over three years now, but many still lack insight into what is the ‘big deal’ around it. The fact of the matter is that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg to understand what Big Data can and cannot do for businesses. It is not just a technological problem but a disruptive business problem to be understood. Just to name a few industries and academic disciplines, who are deeply looking into Big Data – space exploration, oil and gas exploration, energy, drug discovery, life sciences, education, manufacturing, transportation, retail, banking,…
  • Expert Speak: Natwar Mall, VP, Fractal Sciences Lab,Fractal Analytics

    Confianzys
    29 Jun 2014 | 10:15 pm
    Considered the next big thing on the technological horizon, Big Data is changing our lives today – whether as consumers of data, as enterprises seeking to make use of it, or as opportunity-seekers hoping to bridge the gap between the two. In this interview, Natwar Mall, Senior Vice President of Fractal Sciences Lab at Fractal Analytics talks about the opportunities available to companies seeking to build products around data, and the challenges involved in doing so.   1. With Big Data being an opportunity that is still in the process of getting defined, what are some of the major…
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    serendipity

  • Forget VP of Devil’s Advocacy. Where’s your BS Filter?

    Vikram
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:14 am
    There are a million reasons why a piece of innovation fails. In some cases, it’s great technology that just didn’t get the marketing gas it needed to make it mainstream. And sometimes, the product is just way ahead of its times. But most often, innovations fail because they just plain suck. I was reading an article by MG Siegler on Techcrunch recently, and a particular quote struck a deep chord with me: We’ve seen a lot of these launches in recent years. Microsoft’s Surface RT. Samsung’s Smart Watches. Google’s Nexus Q. Apple’s Maps. All great examples. Each was quite clearly a…
  • Announcing Flow Maps: Using germ.io for Life, the Universe and Everything

    Vikram
    2 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    The suckiest part of working on a project is worrying for days about a problem only to realize it’s not even that big a deal in the larger scheme of things. Our purpose at germ.io is simple: to help you get your ideas to execution. But sometimes when you’re in the thick of things, it’s easy to lose perspective. It’s called “getting lost in your thoughts”, and the only way you can get  home is if you took few a  steps back and looked at the big picture. With the last big Omega launch, germ.io helped you craft a new flow of thought for every project you…
  • Building your Product in Public: Omega Halftime Review

    Vikram
    17 Jun 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Exactly 93 days ago, we decided to go with a product launch cycle that would make the hardest LEAN methodology veterans go queasy in their stomach. No MVP, no private betas. Instead, we decided to launch germ.io as we built it, and we’ve been calling this our Omega launch. I’d say we’re roughly in the middle of our Omega journey right now – not from a timing point of view, but more from a “fulfilling that promise” angle. We’ve now roughly brought in about half of what we promised germ.io would be. So what have we learnt about going Omega? And would it…
  • How Important is the Idea?

    Vikram
    29 May 2014 | 5:40 am
    Ideas are cheap, fleeting things; by itself a business idea is worth less than a half-eaten sandwich. At least you can eat the sandwich. - Oliver Emberton Every project goes through an “ideation” phase where you nail the “what’s” and “how’s”, and an execution phase where you actually get stuff done. Ever since we decided to build a product that puts the focus of a project on the core ideas, there’s one question we’ve been hitting over and over again. How important is the “thinking” part of a project, really? Most tools and…
  • How we’re using germ.io to germ germ.io

    Vikram
    16 May 2014 | 8:03 am
    We launched the heart and soul of germ.io Omega earlier this week: Flows. I’ve personally been excited about this part from even before we launched, so over the past few days I’ve gone a bit crazy. A flow is a lot like a project you want to work on. Except, it’s centered around your ideas and how they evolve to execution. Why are flows that big a deal? When you work on a project, you aren’t just sitting through meetings or running tasks. You’re working on evolving a bunch of ideas and making them see light. If you’d rather watch than read, here is a…
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