Product Management

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  • Product Management Is Not User Experience; Key Traits of Innovative Product Managers (Boston, April 7 2014)

    How To Be A Good Product Manager
    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…
  • 5 Rules to Make Better Product Prioritization Decisions

    On Product Management
    Saeed
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:18 pm
    by Juan Ramirez One of the most challenging questions that product managers have to face day to day is whether or not they should include certain features in the product pipeline, and even more, whether those features should be included at all. In other words, they often face the question of whether or not they […]
  • Football clichés for product management

    Product Focus Soapbox
    Ian Lunn
    17 Jun 2014 | 5:52 am
    It's a game of two halves... The post Football clichés for product management appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Do we really need product management?

    Under 10 by Steve Johnson
    Steve Johnson
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:47 am
    Product managers are in charge of whipping up all the other departments and getting them to work together. This is to make sure that the product gets pulled forward by a coordinated team of horses, rather than torn apart by horses running in different directions.—Donald S Passman, author Rich Mironov wonders: Is Product Management Obsolete? [link]People in product management roles—product managers, product owners, product marketing managers, and consultants—often talk about job responsibilities, methods, tools, and templates. We start from a presumption that product management is…
  • Good Product Team Bad Product Team

    svpg blog
    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…
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    280 Group » Product Management Blog

  • Webinar Recording Available On-Demand

    Brian Lawley
    9 Jul 2014 | 10:44 am
    You can now watch “Special Report: How to Massively Optimize Product Management at Your Company” on demand, at any time! A Multi-million Dollar Study About The Five Strategies You Must Use Now To Avoid Product And Career Failures The result of hundreds of hours of research compiled from over 25 research studies, this special report contains extensive data and analysis that will tell you what to do in order to dramatically improve the effectiveness of the Product Management function at...[continue reading] The post Webinar Recording Available On-Demand appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Marketing Rule #21: Help Your Sales Team Communicate Your Message

    Brian Lawley
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #21 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Tom Evans, Principal Consultant, Lûcrum Marketing Product Marketing Managers must own the message and make sure all market facing employees understand the message and know how to communicate it. In my 25+ years of business experience in both sales and product marketing roles, I have experienced too many instances in which the sales team was provided some marketing collateral and a product presentation. Then people wished them...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #21: Help…
  • Product Management Rule #22: Write It Down

    Brian Lawley
    12 Jun 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Product Management Rule #22 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Sarah Rosenbaum Gaeta; Senior Director of Content Product Management & Sales Enablement, Plastic Logic To be the product leader—which a good product manager is—you need a record Nothing is worse than a product manager who keeps everything in their head and shares nothing materially with others. Your job is to document, document, document, and then go back and clarify, clarify, clarify. Your PRDs (product...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #22: Write It Down…
  • [Webinar] Special Report: How to Massively Optimize Product Management at Your Company

    Brian Lawley
    11 Jun 2014 | 11:51 am
    A Multi-million Dollar Study About The Five Strategies You Must Use Now To Avoid Product And Career Failures The result of hundreds of hours of research compiled from over 25 research studies, this special report contains extensive data and analysis that will tell you what to do in order to dramatically improve the effectiveness of the Product Management function at your company. It will show you how to take your process, tools and team to the next level and set...[continue reading] The post [Webinar] Special Report: How to Massively Optimize Product Management at Your Company appeared first…
  • Product Marketing Rule #20: Generate Demand, Not Leads

    Brian Lawley
    27 May 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #20 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Christine Heckart, Chief Marketing Officer, NetApp Before you agree to be measured by leads or pipeline contribution, do the math! Marketing and sales often use “lead generation” and “demand generation” interchangeably. These terms overlap, but point to very different mindsets and results. Leads identify buyers at the right point of the purchase cycle so you can step in and make the sale while demand takes a...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #20:…
 
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    Rocket Watcher - Startup Marketing

  • 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…
  • A Startup Content Marketing Cheatsheet

    April Dunford
    29 Jul 2013 | 7:01 am
    In the past year we’ve seen a shift in the way startups are thinking about content marketing. Two years ago most of the content marketing conversations I had with startups started out as discussions about SEO, ranking and keywords. Content quality from a prospect point of view was largely an afterthought. A lot of that thinking has changed both because of apparent changes to the Google algorithm, as well as changes in the way buyers behave online where they are increasingly bombarded with not just too much content, but too much crappy, irrelevant and downright useless marketing…
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    ProductMarketing.com

  • 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…
  • Picking a Favorite Pricing Lesson

    Mark Stiving
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:13 pm
    Tweet This past Thursday I taught the first fully released pricing course for Pragmatic Marketing. The day was better than I could have hoped. The students were energized, asked great questions, contributed their own stories and I’d like to believe they all walked out with a smile on their face and several action items to help them in their pricing endeavors. However, about three quarters of the way through the class, I put up a slide and to emphasize its importance said, “this is my favorite slide.” A lady in the front decided to make fun of me by asking, “how many favorite slides do…
  • Freakonomics, Separating Equilibria, and Pricing

    Mark Stiving
    15 Jul 2014 | 6:36 pm
    Tweet Do you like Freakonomics? I sure do. Levitt and Dubner’s latest book, “Think Like a Freak”, is a fun read which I highly recommend. But I had to think hard about chapter 7, “What do King Solomon and David Lee Roth have in common?”. If you haven’t read that chapter, you should, but here’s a very quick synopsis. (spoiler alert) Both King Solomon and David Lee Roth used game theory to create separating equilibria. This essentially means they set up a “game” so that people inadvertently reveal their true identities. One of their examples was why David Lee Roth used to ask…
  • Assembling Your Armada – Creating Leverage for Your Product Launch

    David Daniels
    8 Jul 2014 | 7:21 am
    Tweet Leverage You have access to invisible leverage that could improve product launch success, but few tap into this valuable resource. They’re ‘invisible’ because we often overlook them yet they can have an important positive impact. In the flurry of getting the deliverables ready and activities completed for launch, I’d like for you to stop for a moment. Think about all the points of leverage that you could tap into that are beyond the obvious: your customer support team, sales engineers/product specialists, finance, partners, training, customer evangelists; anyone or any group…
  • Innovation and Pricing? It’s About Business Models

    Mark Stiving
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:11 am
    Tweet Pragmatic Marketing’s box of the month is Innovation. At first glance, what does pricing have to do with innovation? After all innovation is about solving customer problems. Usually with new technologies and capabilities. It’s about new products.  It’s about invention. But wait. Innovation is about solving customer problems. We sometimes have the chance to innovate using business models. When you hear the phrase “business model” you should think “pricing”. Netflix changed the business model for renting DVD’s from daily rentals to a monthly fee. They solved…
 
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    On Product Management

  • 5 Rules to Make Better Product Prioritization Decisions

    Saeed
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:18 pm
    by Juan Ramirez One of the most challenging questions that product managers have to face day to day is whether or not they should include certain features in the product pipeline, and even more, whether those features should be included at all. In other words, they often face the question of whether or not they […]
  • The most abused question when building new products

    Saeed
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:40 pm
    by Saeed Khan Everyone knows that when building technology products, one of the key tasks is to prioritize requirements —  what features are “must have” vs. optional or “nice to have” etc. It’s the skill and discipline employed in making these prioritization decisions that is a major factor in whether products are adopted by customers or not. […]
  • Design Your Product for the Case Study You Want to Read

    Saeed
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:32 pm
    by Matt Volpi No matter how hard we try, the product development process drags us away from customers and into a more theoretical bubble. One can easily begin focusing on lists of features and generalities and not how a specific customer is going to interact with and benefit from your solution. But each customer is […]
  • A single set of priorities

    Steve Johnson
    27 Jun 2014 | 5:51 am
    by Steve Johnson If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.—George Harrison When I started a new job as a product manager, my company president said, “You need to find out why development is broken. Our developers are terrible—they can’t seem to ship anything.” So I sat down with my developers […]
  • How to Avoid a Common Customer Interview Mistake

    Heather Searl
    17 Jun 2014 | 9:14 pm
    By Heather Searl I was sitting right across from them when it happened. I was taking notes while my client conducted the interview. Everything was going well. The participant was definitely in our target audience, she was thoughtful, articulate and engaged with the wireframes we were showing her. And then about 15 minutes into the session […]
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    Brainmates - Boosting People and Product PerformanceBrainmates - Boosting People and Product Performance

  • 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…
  • 5 Minutes With Lisa Wong, Director of Product & Initiative Planning at eBay

    Adrienne
    26 May 2014 | 4:01 am
    Lisa Wong has been practicing her Product Management craft at eBay for close to 9 years, having started as the Product Manager of eBay Motors in 2006. We spent some time with Lisa getting to know her thoughts about Product Management before her speaking engagement at Vivid Sydney The Essential Steps to Creating Great Products & Services on the 6th of June 2014. She is one of 4 speakers sharing her insights and stories.  What are some of the best Product Management highlights during your career? The best product management highlight in my career was when I allowed myself the courage to…
  • Lost In Translation

    Adrienne
    22 May 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Language is a complex beast… According to the Linguistic Society of America, in 2009, there were just over 6900 distinct languages globally. The diversity in language whilst has many cultural benefits, throws up numerous challenges as we interact and transact across global borders. Even within the one language, the misunderstanding or misinterpretation of words can throw up numerous issues. One such challenge is that faced by Product Management when communicating with their Finance teams. It’s no secret that the Product Manager often feels stymied by the Finance team and what seems to be…
  • 5 Minutes With Henry Ruiz, Chief Product Officer, REA Group

    Natalie Yan-Chatonsky
    22 May 2014 | 1:25 am
    In the lead-up to the Vivid Sydney Product Management Mini Conference on the 6th June, 2014, we interviewed Henry Ruiz, one of the 4 keynote speakers. Henry will be sharing his pearls of wisdom about how he creates great products and services during Product Development. As Chief Product Officer for REA Group, Henry Ruiz drives the consumer and customer product strategy for Australia’s No. 1 residential and commercial property sites, realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au – including web, mobile and tablet experiences. He also has accountability for the equivalent sites in…
 
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    The Accidental Product Manager

  • 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…
  • Blockbuster’s Not Dead Yet: Lessons For Product Managers

    drjim
    14 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Blockbuster keeps hanging onImage Credit You may have read about the death of the Blockbuster chain of video rental stores. It doesn’t seem as though it was all that long ago when there was a Blockbuster store on every corner and we were all racing to return our videos before we got charged a late fee. However, times change and Blockbuster hit some hard times. They were eventually purchased by Dish Network and Dish has decided to pull the plug on the remaining Blockbuster stores. Except for 50 stores that are independently-owned franchise stores – they’re going to stay open. Is…
  • Perhaps It’s Time For Product Managers To Go To Prison

    drjim
    7 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Don’t keep your new product ideas locked up…Image Credit Ok product manager, let’s talk about something different for just a moment. As product managers we are all trying to do the same thing: identify a segment of customers who are underserved, use our product development definition to create a product for them, and then provide them with a solution that meets their needs while making money for our company. How hard could all of that be? It turns out that it’s actually pretty hard to do well. Chris Barrett has found a novel way to do this for a segment of customers who…
  • Product Managers And The Problem With Discounting

    drjim
    23 Jun 2014 | 2:00 am
    If you aren’t careful, discounting can quickly get out of hand… Image Credit Every product manager out there would like more people to buy their product. Hmm, now just exactly how to go about making that happen? Sure, we need to provide our potential customers with the products that they want, but once we’ve done that, what else can we do to convince them to buy? It turns out that we have a powerful weapon called discounting that can be made to be a part of every product development definition, but if we’re not careful it can easily cause things to get out of control……
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    How To Be A Good Product Manager

  • 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…
  • Where Should Product Management Report?

    Jeff Lash
    4 Feb 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Where Should Product Management Report? It’s one of the most common questions I hear, and the source of great debate within many companies — Where Should Product Management Report within an Organization? So, what’s the answer? And, does it matter? I tackle this in my latest blog post — conveniently titled Where Should Product Management Report? — and also talk about the changing shape of product management leadership and what it means for organizational structures. Job Opening: Consulting Director, Product Management at SiriusDecisions Just a reminder that at…
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    Lead on Purpose

  • 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 →
  • How you can inspire others to do great things

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    7 Jun 2014 | 11:15 am
    I’ve been thinking lately about how to motivate people and inspire them to step up, to take action, to do great things. I see so much opportunity for people, and yet so little motivation to make a difference. So what … Continue reading →
  • How Leaders Deal Effectively With the Security of Their Company and People

    Michael Ray Hopkin
    24 May 2014 | 12:06 pm
    Guest post by Rebecca Gray Today, the most valuable commodity many companies have is not a product, but information – proprietary systems, processes, patents, or financial information, and the damage inflicted by a security breach goes far beyond its immediate … Continue reading →
 
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    ack/nak

  • caution: lessons of reorganizations past

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:26 pm
    An Impending (Potential) Reorganization at a Large Software Company We All Know and the inevitable RIF-related misery it will cause among the rank and file has drawn my thoughts back, back to a simpler time and another reorganization I remember.  Perhaps you will let me tell you a story about it."I hope you had this sitting in draft for a while, mister, because you've got better things to do than tell stories."What's with the cynicism? Ahem.Once upon a time. . .A new CEO set out to reorganize a company to make it easier for it to deliver products that users would react to with the word…
  • considering: my office window

    15 Jul 2014 | 10:51 am
    Readers of ack/nak will know by now that I have, for almost five years by cracky, been on staff here at your nation's natural history museum in historic (and might I say seasonally swampy) Washington DC.It is a privilege to work here.  A transformational, wonderful, heart-stoppingly challenging yet still always wonderful privilege.  I invite all of you to visit.  We have world-class exhibits, staff and dare I say quite a lovely cafeteria and some enticing gift shoppes.  But I digress.Last summer I "left" product management for the greenish pastures of operations and…
  • flashback: the official cocktail of summer (2006)

    13 Dec 2013 | 8:27 am
    UPDATE - In advance of my announcement of the official cocktail of summer (2008), I wanted to give you, dear reader, an opportunity to enjoy the winners from previous years. Enjoy (in moderation, please).Thanks to all of you who volunteered such novel and (dare I say) potentially lethal cocktail recipes over the last week. A few hours trapped in an airport bar afforded me the opportunity to try a number of them last night. A few additional hours of dialysis this afternoon reminded me of why this was a Bad Idea. I applaud your creativity, and welcome future submissions on all topics alcoholic…
  • You Want a Mongolian Travel Wrap

    8 Sep 2013 | 5:35 pm
    When the temperature drops outside, I mean, really drops, not this oh my it's chilly here in suburban DC but HOLY CRAP I CAN'T FEEL MY NOSE, nothing else matters but finding a way to Not be Cold. As your core temperature drops and your ability to reason goes out the window (freezes and shatters into dust), you will realize you want, no, need, a Mongolian Travel Wrap.  Oh my, yes you will. But first, let us consider the source.This*, my friends, is a Yak, known to clever folk as Bos grunniens.  Say hello to Mr. Yak.Now I don't know about you, but this does not look like a docile, hey…
  • PM in a Can (a.k.a. Is this the best part of being a PM?)

    8 Sep 2013 | 5:07 pm
    Hello again.I'm now 39 days into my new operations role and may I say, I am loving it.  Most of the time.  But that's pretty much life, right?One of the 'challenges' of taking on a new role is making sure you stay far, far away from the comfort zone of your previous role.  For me, that comfort zone is Being a Product Manager.  It's something I know How to Do.  Kind of like falling off a bike or setting fire to an abandoned car, it comes easily to me.  Also like juggling and hobo tracking.I hear the voice of my board chairman echoing, echoing, you can't be the…
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    Cindy Alvarez - UX

  • 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…
  • All Customers Are Not Created Equal (Large Enterprise Customers, Existing Customers)

    Cindy
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:03 pm
    With existing customers – whether they’re individual consumers or multimillion-dollar organizations – you have the burden of existing expectations and ongoing relationships.  Whatever happens in your customer development interview, you’re going to have to answer their phone calls or emails tomorrow. That doesn’t have to be painful – in fact, customer development will often strengthen those relationships.  But there are some things to keep in mind if you want to maximize how productive your conversations are. Large enterprise customers Expect anything…
  • All Customers Are Not Created Equal – Consumers, SMBs, Tech Startups

    Cindy
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:02 pm
    You can practice customer development on all types of customers.  But you can’t treat them all exactly the same. “The rules are different when you’re talking to large enterprise customers,” say enterprise organizations. “This doesn’t work when you’re dealing with customers who are already using your products and have certain expectations,” say small business owners. “You can’t experiment when you’re subject to laws and restrictions,” say product people in heavily regulated industries. Yes and no.  YES, the techniques…
 
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    Web Ink Now

  • Upgrade to Canada #social program nabs tourists from other countries

    David Meerman Scott
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:43 am
    Last month I presented at an event in Winnipeg, Canada for Travel Manitoba. The travel market is crowded and consumers have lots of places to find information about places to visit. Into this environment, the best content can win the day. I had an opportunity to speak with Siobhan Chretien from the Canadian Tourism Commission to learn about a terrific social experiment they conducted. Upgrade to Canada involved intercepting travelers at the Frankfurt and Lyon airports and persuading people to switch their holiday plans on the spot to visit Canada instead. People only had a few minutes to…
  • The Health Club That Tells Its Story by Exercising an Attitude

    David Meerman Scott
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    I’ve been a member of health clubs in four cities where I’ve lived: New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and now in the Boston suburbs. In each location, my decision to join a club was spontaneous. I’d think, “Oh, shoot. It’s mid-December and my New Year’s resolution is to get fit, so I need to join a gym.” (That’s exactly what happened when I lived in New York City.) Or several years ago when I decided to swim a day or two per week to keep in shape for surfing, I decided to join a club with an indoor pool. I used social media to ask my friends who live in the Boston area about the…
  • Sales Benchmark Index lists its competitors on its new site

    David Meerman Scott
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
    Sales Benchmark Index, a sales and marketing consultancy focused on helping B2B companies make the number, recently updated their site. Besides going with an interesting black and white design, they also created a page that lists their competitors, including McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, and others. The page also includes links to the competitors sites. Interesting move! Sharing the names of your competitors with your buyers I’m friends with Greg Alexander, CEO of Sales Benchmark Index. We served on the Eloqua advisory board together. @GregAlexander is very active in social media and is…
  • Marketing got us to the moon 45 years ago and marketing is required to get us to Mars in the future

    David Meerman Scott
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:12 am
    Forty-five years ago today, the crew of Apollo 11 was on the way to the moon in their historic first lunar landing mission, the most audacious and globally significant accomplishment in human history. One thousand years from now, only two things from the period we are living in today will be remembered by history: 1) Human’s first expedition to another planetary body and 2) the development of web enabled mobile technology that connected every human on the planet with each other in real time. Sadly, after the Apollo program concluded in 1972, humans have been stuck in low Earth orbit and…
  • The #Social CEO Drives Business for their Company

    David Meerman Scott
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:33 am
    When I speak with CEOs about generating attention for their business through real-time marketing and sales, most ask me how to staff for success in their companies. Very few CEOs ask the right question – how do they become a social CEO. Richard Branson, Marissa Mayer, and Arianna Huffington all have something in common. Not only are they CEOs of large organizations, they are also top executives on social media with a combined 6 million Twitter followers. I have had the social CEO discussion with leaders of smaller organizations and when done right, being social allows direct engagement with…
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    Product Management Meets Pop Culture

  • 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…
  • Haiku: Trust engineering / Or distrust engineering / Bugs bug me greatly

    Christopher Cummings
    6 Jun 2014 | 4:26 am
    Brian de Haaff sparked some interesting thoughts in his post at the Aha! Blog, which prompted my English major’s brain to conjure up this haiku: Trust engineering Or distrust engineering Bugs bug me greatly Brian’s big question: Is entering bugs into your roadmap a worthwhile effort or waste of your time? He explains: I see most teams choose one of two approaches to handle this. And as I mentioned, it is typically driven by a sense of where PM can truly add value and the level of trust that exists between the product management and development teams. Here are the two approaches…
  • Ghost Rider Has A Few Words For Product Managers Who Blindly Follow User Wishlists

    Christopher Cummings
    9 May 2014 | 10:16 pm
    Freshman Product Managers (or lazy PM’s who should know better) will ask users, customers, or internal stakeholders about what features they’d like to see in the product and then get those things implemented. While it’s fine to gather input, we need to make sure we’re addressing worthwhile market problems. Otherwise, we may not solve a true market problem… and may instead create new problems with our own product! New Around Here? Subscribe to the feed to receive future updates; listen to our product management podcast; and follow me on Twitter to keep the…
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    Launch Clinic

  • Assembling Your Armada – Creating Leverage for Your Product Launch

    David Daniels
    8 Jul 2014 | 7:21 am
    Tweet Leverage You have access to invisible leverage that could improve product launch success, but few tap into this valuable resource. They’re ‘invisible’ because we often overlook them yet they can have an important positive impact. In the flurry of getting the deliverables ready and activities completed for launch, I’d like for you to stop for a moment. Think about all the points of leverage that you could tap into that are beyond the obvious: your customer support team, sales engineers/product specialists, finance, partners, training, customer evangelists; anyone or any group…
  • Will Increased Content Marketing Budgets Have a Positive Impact?

    David Daniels
    5 Mar 2014 | 7:10 am
    Tweet A number of recent studies indicate that budgets for content marketing have increased significantly year over year. While this is certainly a good thing, I wonder if marketing teams will just spend a lot of money and have nothing to show for it at the end of the year. Or worse, take a perfectly good method and give it a bad name. This is particularly true of technology companies. Technology companies are fond of talking about their products. They often lack the core skills needed for effective content creation. So they will continue to produce the same product-centric “let me tell you…
  • Win/Loss Analysis: Why Sales Doesn’t Want You Involved

    David Daniels
    27 Feb 2014 | 4:53 am
    Tweet The most insightful information about what’s working and what’s not working, from a product marketing perspective, is found through Win/Loss Analysis. We learn about what needs to be fixed, we learn what to avoid, and we learn what to focus on to win more business. And if we win more, everyone is happier. You can conclude that since Win/Loss Analysis is about selling, then our salespeople should be conducting this activity. Wrong. Bad idea. You won’t gain any new insights when salespeople conduct Win/Loss Analysis because the information will be filtered. Not maliciously, but…
  • A New Form of Blogging?

    David Daniels
    26 Feb 2014 | 4:23 am
    Tweet I really enjoyed my friend Jason Baer’s post at Convince and Convert (sorry Jason, I still can’t call you Jay yet) “Did We Just Invent a New Form of Blogging?“. As a teaser… I love SlideShare presentations that tell a story and make a point. Sadly, most don’t; they’re just hawking their product or idea, and poorly constructed. The good ‘presentations’ are easily consumable and make me pause and change the way I view something. I usually make a ‘hmmm’ noise out loud while watching them. They make me THINK DIFFERENTLY.
  • Product Launch Analysis: Affordable Care Act 1.0

    David Daniels
    2 Oct 2013 | 9:47 am
    Tweet   Launch Rating:  For those of my friends in technology companies you know exactly what would happen to us if we were responsible for the planning and execution of the ACA 1.0 launch. It would be short and unceremonious. Turn over your building keys, ID badge, gather your possessions, adios. Let’s put politics aside and look at the launch purely from an execution point of view; completely non-partisan. To do that we need to find dimensions that can keep us honest. Remember they’ve had over four (4) years to plan, evaluate contingencies, and consider alternatives. Ability to…
 
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    A Girl's Guide to Project Management

  • Travelling light (The Parent Project Month 17)

    Elizabeth Harrin
    27 Jul 2014 | 11:01 pm
    This entry is part 18 of 15 in the series The Parent ProjectView from the plane window, and me in the cabin It’s the night before I fly to Dublin to speak at a PMI Ireland Chapter event. I’m all organised and sitting relaxing with a glass of wine, my bag packed in the hall for the early morning flight. Ha! Did you honestly think that was true? In reality I’m sweeping 600 peas off the floor that have sat there for a couple of hours since Jack’s tea time. ‘Spoon training’ is not going well and he sees even less value in plates. I brush the peas into the bin. “OK,” I mutter out…
  • Healthcare Project Management: Giveaway Winner

    Elizabeth Harrin
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:24 pm
    Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway this month for a copy of Healthcare Project Management. Names went into the hat and the winner was… Pamela from Somerset in the UK. Congratulations! Pamela, your book is in the post so it should be with you shortly. The giveaway in August will be for newsletter subscribers only, so to be in with a chance of winning sign up if you’re not already on the list.   Copyright © A Girl's Guide to Project Management [Healthcare Project Management: Giveaway Winner], All Right Reserved. 2014. Related posts: Giveaway: Healthcare Project…
  • Carnival of Project Management #50

    Elizabeth Harrin
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:24 pm
    Woo hoo! This is our 50th Blog Carnival. It’s the round up of recent, interesting articles from the project management web. Margaret Meloni presents Who ARE these people? posted at A Path to Peace, saying, “A stakeholder is a person or organization who may be positively or negatively impacted by your project. That can be a large group of people. Think about it – when you are working on a large project or program just about everyone you pass in the hallway is a stakeholder. How are you supposed to manage all of these groups and interests?” Richard Svahn presents PM job…
  • APM Chartered status is go: PMI’s objections are dismissed

    Elizabeth Harrin
    19 Jul 2014 | 8:12 am
    This is going to be long, so here’s the summary: APM is applying for a Royal Charter PMI objected at the time The Privy Council decided that they were going to recommend a Royal Charter for APM PMI raised legal challenges The High Court has conducted a judicial review into the objections PMI’s objections have been dismissed. Now, if you want the full story, read on. How did we get here? In 2007 APM announced its intention to achieve Chartered status for the project management profession. APM explains why as follows: As a UK charity dedicated to acting for the public good, it is committed…
  • Case Study: Launching Microsoft Project (and other things) at UPEC, Paris

    Elizabeth Harrin
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:47 pm
    A pretty bad photo of Gerald Morin from UPEC presenting at the Gartner Summit, June 2014 What do you do if you need staff, students and the global research community to all have access to collaborate on projects, but without making everything complicated or publicly available? If you are Gérald Morin, you implement a suite of Microsoft solutions. Gérald, Quality and Methods Manager at the Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC), delivered a case study at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit last month. He explained that UPEC is the largest multi-disciplinary university in Paris with 30k…
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    Gearhead Gal

  • Three Informative Reports on Digital Content Trends

    Gearhead Gal
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:38 pm
    I get a lot of interesting white papers, blog posts, and ebooks merchandised to me from all of the sites and lists and groups I subscribe to across the web, as I am sure you do, too. Who has time to read them all? Well, fortunately for you, I have had a little more time on my hands this past week to read, since I am in the process of moving and have lost my my cable subscription. So as a public service, I have curated links to three of the most interesting ones I uncovered. 1. Newstex's blog often has a few pearls and insights whch I find brief and helpful, like this one they recently posted…
  • Does Your Brand Have A Zingy Feeling?

    Gearhead Gal
    11 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    One of my favorite mail order businesses is Zingerman's, a world famous deli based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Recently, the New York Times did a wonderful profile of the company's incredible business model, which encourages employees to grow with the business and pitch new business ideas to expand the Zingerman's portfolio of enterprises.  Zingerman's catalog is filled with wonderful illustrations and creative copyPart community college, part incubator, part retail operation, Zingerman's promise is based on an assumption that the staff has drunk the Kool Aid, or rather, Ann Arbor's own…
  • Five Great Product Management Books

    Gearhead Gal
    8 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    1. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products is a great book that delves into the relationship between behavior and product adoption. Nir Eyal distilled years of research, consulting and practical experience to write Hooked. Who doesn't want to design a product that becomes part of the daily fabric of consumers' lives? Businesses know that habits are hard to give up, and marketing alone can not convince people to take up a new one. Nir's model to create the "hook" is simple enough to understand, even though the psychology of human behavior is not. 2. Creativity, Inc Overcoming the…
  • The McKinsey Seven Traits of Effective Digital Organizations (Excerpt)

    Gearhead Gal
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    May 2014 | by’Tunde Olanrewaju, Kate Smaje, and Paul Willmott 1. Be unreasonably aspirational. 2. Acquire capabiltiies. 3. Ring fence and cultivate talent. 4. Challenge everything. 5. Be quick and data driven. 6. Follow the money. 7. Be obssessed with the customer. "The age of experimentation with digital is over. In an often bleak landscape of slow economic recovery, digital continues to show healthy growth. E-commerce is growing at double-digit rates in the United States and most European countries, and it is booming across Asia. To take advantage of this momentum, companies…
  • Has Facebook Gone Too Far? New Consumer Research Tests Ethical Boundaries

    Gearhead Gal
    1 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    In case you missed yesterday's headlines about Facebook's effort to redefine the relationship it has with their consumers - and the product they assume they are using - here is a sampling for you to review. Facebook Tinkers With Users' Emotions in News Feed Academics Question The Value Of Facebook’s Controversial Research Facebook emotion study breached ethical guidelines Facebook made users depressed in secret research: Site deleted positive comments from friends These headlines about a previous year's research study sit eerily next to stories like this one from last winter.
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    svpg blog

  • 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…
  • Flavors of Analytics

    10 Mar 2014 | 9:14 am
    In an earlier article (Flavors of Prototypes) I heard from many people about how it helped them to see prototypes in a new and more powerful light. Even though I had written previously about each separately, putting them together can help people get the big picture. So in this article I thought I would do the same thing by highlighting the main flavors of analytics.  When it comes to data, I find many people have the same behavior. They think of just one type of analytics (usually web analytics) and can miss the bigger picture and larger benefit. There are of course many different types…
 
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    Product Focus Soapbox

  • How do you measure a product manager?

    Andrew Dickenson
    9 Jul 2014 | 7:26 am
    If you want stuff done, start measuring it. This is the advice often quoted in business books. The theory goes that if you want product managers to do something, start measuring it and they’ll start delivering. And most product managers have an annual appraisal. They are reviewed against a set of objectives agreed the previous year. Tools […] The post How do you measure a product manager? appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Scrum But…

    Ian Lunn
    1 Jul 2014 | 3:23 am
    Agile and Scrum but with 57 varieties... The post Scrum But… appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Football clichés for product management

    Ian Lunn
    17 Jun 2014 | 5:52 am
    It's a game of two halves... The post Football clichés for product management appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • Product Manager vs Project Manager

    Andrew Dickenson
    8 Jun 2014 | 9:25 am
    Do people assume you’re a project manager? The post Product Manager vs Project Manager appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
  • As a product manager you are … a janitor

    Ian Lunn
    20 May 2014 | 5:45 am
    Every now and again we like to showcase an excellent blog from someone else. This well written and witty blog by Mat Balez (ex Google) explores what it means to be a product manager. The post As a product manager you are … a janitor appeared first on Product Focus Soapbox.
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    280 Group

  • Product Marketing Rule #23: Successful Channel Plans Start with Strategy

    matt
    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

    matt
    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…
  • Webinar Recording Available On-Demand

    Brian Lawley
    9 Jul 2014 | 10:44 am
    You can now watch “Special Report: How to Massively Optimize Product Management at Your Company” on demand, at any time! A Multi-million Dollar Study About The Five Strategies You Must Use Now To Avoid Product And Career Failures The result of hundreds of hours of research compiled from over 25 research studies, this special report contains extensive data and analysis that will tell you what to do in order to dramatically improve the effectiveness of the Product Management function at...[continue reading] The post Webinar Recording Available On-Demand appeared first on 280 Group.
  • Product Marketing Rule #21: Help Your Sales Team Communicate Your Message

    Brian Lawley
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Product Marketing Rule #21 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Tom Evans, Principal Consultant, Lûcrum Marketing Product Marketing Managers must own the message and make sure all market facing employees understand the message and know how to communicate it. In my 25+ years of business experience in both sales and product marketing roles, I have experienced too many instances in which the sales team was provided some marketing collateral and a product presentation. Then people wished them...[continue reading] The post Product Marketing Rule #21: Help…
  • Product Management Rule #22: Write It Down

    Brian Lawley
    12 Jun 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Product Management Rule #22 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Management, was written by Sarah Rosenbaum Gaeta; Senior Director of Content Product Management & Sales Enablement, Plastic Logic To be the product leader—which a good product manager is—you need a record Nothing is worse than a product manager who keeps everything in their head and shares nothing materially with others. Your job is to document, document, document, and then go back and clarify, clarify, clarify. Your PRDs (product...[continue reading] The post Product Management Rule #22: Write It Down…
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    MindTheProduct

  • Experiments in roadmapping at GOV.UK

    Neil Williams
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:41 am
    Roadmaps can be a powerful tool to communicate the vision for a product’s development, unite teams of makers around common goals and let stakeholders know (roughly) when they can expect the improvements they care about. That’s why everyone loves a good roadmap. But getting them right is hard. Roadmaps are born of all sorts of compromises: between committing to a plan while remaining agile; between giving product teams autonomy while aligning their work to business goals; and between improving existing software versus getting new stuff out the door. This post sets out (in some detail) how…
  • Video: Effective Prioritisation of Product Changes

    Eve Kekeh
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:15 am
    Michelle You has been a part of the ProductTank community since 2010 and she joined us again for ProductTank June, which was all about on Prioritisation, Roadmapping, and Portfolio Management. As Co-Founder and CPO of Songkick she has plenty of experience navigating improvements and changes to products. Effective prioritisation is one of the toughest challenges that most product managers face. In this video Michelle (@wreckingball37) discusses how you can make trade-offs to effectively prioritise improvements and changes to your products. She leads us through examples of how…
  • Product Managers: Vision, Instinct & Obsession

    Hemal Kuntawala
    23 Jul 2014 | 5:05 am
    I wanted to note down my experience of the product management role as after speaking to a few startup founders I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions, at least here in London. (In this post I’ll use the word customer over the word user as I prefer it. User sounds a bit hollow). The basics Good product management involves many different disciplines and a good product manager should know each of them inside out. Below is a brief flow describing the basic things that should be considered: Let’s take a look at each segment, starting with the business model: Purpose: You need to…
  • Product Roadmapping, Prioritisation and Portfolio Management

    Jock Busuttil
    21 Jul 2014 | 3:15 am
    For June’s ProductTank London, Simon Cast (@simoncast) brought us experts on the topic of product roadmapping, prioritisation and portfolio management: Michelle You (@wreckingball37), Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Songkick Janna Bastow (@simplybastow), Co-founder of ProdPad, and of Mind The Product Lee Wilkinson (@ProdDev_LeeW), Director of Product at Hearst Magazine Prioritisation Co-founder and CPO of Songkick Michelle You (@wreckingball37) took the stage first to describe how her teams prioritised their work. She opened by talking about how the method of prioritisation will…
  • Video: Making Trade-off Decisions

    Eve Kekeh
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Trade-offs are rife in startups due to limited resources but, as trade-offs are very subjective, there is no best practice or defined process to deal with them. Harry Jones has worked in startups for 10 years and has plenty of experience making challenging trade-offs. Now, as Co-Founder and CPO of Top10.com, he looks back at the strategies he has developed over the years to help him make trade-off decisions. In this ProductTank talk, Harry (@harryjones) goes through 5 strategies for making tough product decisions including: Just Say No; Define Your Vision; and Trust Your Intuition. Watch…
 
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    Product Talk

  • 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…
  • What’s the Controversy Over the Facebook Social Contagion Study?

    Teresa Torres
    29 Jun 2014 | 10:19 pm
    A lot of people are up in arms about a research study that was published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). I’m talking about the Facebook social contagion study. But Facebook didn’t do anything wrong. And neither did PNAS by publishing it. (Although they might have violated their own editorial standards. But I wouldn’t bet against it.) First, all internet companies run experiments on their users. It’s how internet products get better. We try things, we measure results, we iterate. It’s that simple. Some companies are more…
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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

  • Customers never appreciate…

    Steve Johnson
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:23 am
    Customers never appreciate your products as much as you do.—Steve Johnson
  • Bad decisions make good stories

    Steve Johnson
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:44 am
    Bad decisions make good stories. — Steve Johnson (What’s your story? Add in the comments.)
  • Do we really need product management?

    Steve Johnson
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:47 am
    Product managers are in charge of whipping up all the other departments and getting them to work together. This is to make sure that the product gets pulled forward by a coordinated team of horses, rather than torn apart by horses running in different directions.—Donald S Passman, author Rich Mironov wonders: Is Product Management Obsolete? [link]People in product management roles—product managers, product owners, product marketing managers, and consultants—often talk about job responsibilities, methods, tools, and templates. We start from a presumption that product management is…
  • MVP = TLWCD

    Steve Johnson
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:12 am
    Too often, ‘Minimum Viable Product’ translates into ‘The Least We Can Do.’—Barbara Nelson, content marketing guru
  • If they weren’t screwed up…

    Steve Johnson
    18 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    Remember, if they weren’t screwed up, they wouldn’t need you. — Steve Johnson
 
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    Confianzys Blog: Product Business – Getting Real

  • 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…
  • Why your Sales team isn’t buying your Products

    Pradeep
    19 Jun 2014 | 4:17 am
    The Sales team isn’t doing a great job of convincing our customers. The Sales team is demoralized. The Sales team isn’t trying hard enough. How common are these statements in almost every company or team struggling to meet the quarterly or annual targets? Of course, motivating and training sales teams is a very important part of helping them do well; but, as CEO or Head of a business at a tech product company, have you considered that there may be a deeper reason as to why your Sales team is under-delivering? If your product hasn’t deeply resonated with and found acceptance…
  • Inspiration For PMs: As Much As Users Need

    N.P.Menon
    10 Jun 2014 | 10:07 pm
    I recently came across this interesting video that showcased an extremely low cost desk for poor students in rural India – made from a carton. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPUFpEbkOoc While a lot of the discussion about this video has focused on the social benefits, it has some interesting learnings for all of us who create Products. Among the key things it leaves you to think about is that sometimes, less is more. Obviously, a bag made from a carton has certain limitations such as needing to be replaced more often. If we put out a long list of desirables such as low price, durability,…
  • IT Services and Proximity to the Customer

    Shrinath V
    30 May 2014 | 1:48 am
    While much has been written about the challenges that IT services firms face in building products, they also have one big advantage: Proximity to Customers. As Pravin Hungund, Head of the Technovation Center, CTO Office at Wipro Technologies says in a discussion we had with him, “We are built to seize the right insights.” Of course, access to customers by itself does not guarantee these insights!  Yet, there are big benefits to being able to access potential customers at every stage of the product lifecycle such as: Identifying gaps in the market that are not being fulfilled/not…
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    serendipity

  • 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…
  • Omega Update: Unleashing Flows

    Vikram
    5 May 2014 | 3:01 pm
    So it’s been a month since we threw a first germ on the petridish with germ Omega. If you got in late to the party, the Omega is our pre-beta, pre-alpha, pre-adolescence launch of germ.io. Over the past month, we’ve got quite a few nice folks signing up for germ.io, requesting us for an early invite, and shooting some awesome (and a couple of very very mean) comments in return.. My favorite was this user in shining armor, who sent us this picture in exchange for an early invite. Respect, Nile! But what have we been up to over the past month? I mean, in addition to talking to…
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    Education and Training for Home-Based Business Entrepreneurs

  • Managing Overwhelm

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    13 Jul 2014 | 10:34 am
    Today is Sunday and admittedly I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Not by things I have to do but by things I want to do and don’t have the time. Is anyone with me? Education for the Home Business Entrepreneur – Managing Overwhelm Today I read this article by Mashable called 3 Phrases That Actually Make You Feel More Overwhelmed and I had an epiphany. Basically the way you express your lack of time creates a bad mindset – which I totally buy into. Your mindset is the foundation that every business is built on. The article says instead of saying, I don’t have time,…
  • Complacency is Cancer

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    9 Jul 2014 | 6:24 pm
    Take a moment of self-reflection. How do you take in information? Do you absorb it? Do you read it and think to yourself that you need to do it? Then a few seconds later the dog barks and you need to take him out – then the thought is lost? Do you revisit it? Do you just move on? The entrepreneur that thrives in today’s world is the one that admits they’re guilty of being complacent and creates systems in their business (and lives) to defuse it.  They know that the key to growing a business is having the appropriate steps in place to avoid falling into complacency.
  • Online Marketing – Let’s Do a Check Up

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:29 am
    It’s not rocket-science the world around you is changing. The Internet is growing and expanding. As it expands, it creates change. The Internet will create opportunities – coincidently it will also end many industries as we know them. Some businesses will survive – some won’t. The pendulum has swung and now it’s time to get onboard or lose money in your business. My guess is you’re already leaving some money on the table by not understanding how online marketing works. The largest oversight of most businesses is the consumer – the very consumer they…
  • Behaviors Determine the Success of Entrepreneurs

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    25 Jun 2014 | 5:20 pm
    I get the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs every day. I’ve worked with some that have experienced huge success and I’ve also worked with some that just couldn’t get it together. Over the years I’ve learned the traits that divide. It’s not whose the prettiest or the smartest, those assets don’t have a lot weight in the entrepreneurial game. It’s the behaviors and mindsets of the individuals that separate. Some entrepreneurs are successful at creating the behaviors that equal success whereas others will spend most of their entrepreneurial journey…
  • How Home-Based Business Owners Can Get What They Want

    Tammy Hawk-Bridges
    18 Jun 2014 | 7:56 pm
    Last week in my blog I wrote about something that’s literally the core of all success, the mindset. I wrote about the 6 attributes that separates mediocre entrepreneurs from extremely successful ones. This week we’ll stay within that topic but talk about a different angle, the art of persuasion. Being able to persuade others is critical to an entrepreneur’s success. I was talking with one of my friends about this and the funny thing was when I mentioned having a talent to easily persuade others, she took that as a negative thing. I found it interesting how she related…
 
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    Connecteev

  • What are the top 5 things that you should NOT do as a product manager?

    Kunal Punjabi
    5 Jul 2014 | 9:11 pm
    What are the top 5 things that you should NOT do as a product manager? There are many that I can think of. Here are just a few: Don’t lose sight of the vision. Why does the product you are building … Continue reading →
  • What’s an average day/week like in the life of a Product Manager?

    Kunal Punjabi
    5 Jul 2014 | 6:34 pm
    So, someone on Quora asked me to answer the question “What’s an average day/week like in the life of a Product Manager?” I get asked this question from time to time, so I am posting my response here because it … Continue reading →
  • Good Webpage Design: The only 2 things that matter

    Kunal Punjabi
    3 Apr 2014 | 9:21 pm
    A good webpage very clearly (and simply) conveys your product’s (or service’s) value proposition with a strong call to action. The first step in designing a webpage should involve identifying what the desired user action(s) are. For every desired user action, … Continue reading →
  • Validate or Die: Using Validation to Build the Right Product

    Kunal Punjabi
    17 Sep 2013 | 8:10 am
    This was a guest post featured on Mind The Product, an international product community. Mind The Product started in 2010 with the very first ProductTank meetup in London and followed by the Mind the Product Conference in 2012 it has … Continue reading →
  • Designing for Community : Mercilessly enforce one rule: “Be Friendly.”

    Kunal Punjabi
    31 Jul 2013 | 8:02 am
    Here’s another tip on how to approach the problem of Designing for Community.   Tip: Passionately, mercilessly commit to enforcing one rule: “Be Friendly.” Using this simple principle is how Javaranch built a large community. Now, you can still have a huge community without that rule, slashdot being … Continue reading →
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