A lot of organizations balk at hiring Agile coaches (aka scrum masters) for every team. They find it hard to justify that many people who aren’t coding, designing, or figuring out what’s next. I agree. Read More
Product people are often elected to jump in and do whatever it takes to make their product successful. In addition to product I've pinch hit in UX, agile coaching, engineering management, ops, business development -- you name it Read More
The best boss I ever had trusted me with everything. He taught me everything about product culture by giving me the mission and letting me loose to figure out what was necessary for myself. John Wang went on to become CMO of HTC and Chairman of Noodoe. Thanks, John. Read More
Product culture is spreading.
The idea that making people awesome is at the center of success;
The idea that we should put all of our effort to build, test, and learn into achieving that outcome sustainably;
The idea that we need to entrust small, diverse teams with that effort and hold them accountable;
...these ideas are accelerating. Read More
Some would argue we are living in a post-Agile world. Some say SAFe and LeSS are ruining Agile. Some say it was never that great and we are outgrowing it. Read More
Are you a strict Agile Product person? Are you a kinda-sorta Agile Product person? When do you deviate? Why?
"Roadmaps get a lot of flak. They are often blamed for unrealistic deadlines and death marches. For missing market opportunities, and for building features that are out-of-date before any code is even written," says Janna Bastow, cofounder of Mind the Product. "No Roadmap Survives Contact with Reality," is a common product refrain. Read More
Be the one who brings the light of knowledge of market needs to the organization. As a product person, that's core to your value. Shed that light on inside-out thinking and it will illuminate your roadmap to success. Read More
I've written about product leadership skills in my book Product Manager vs. Project Manager. A question: What happens if you are an introvert Product person? How do you lead in a quiet sort of way? Read More
Steve Jobs is famous for ignoring market research, saying, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” This perhaps oversimplifies the problem a bit but it resonates with my experience. Read More
It's often a mistake to focus on matching your competition feature-for-feature. All this does is commoditize your market. Instead, focus on creating unique value by developing solutions your competition can't easily duplicate. Read More
Influence is the superpower of good product people. Few people report to your average PM, but they have outsized impact on their organization. They provide direction on what to build to Engineering; they provide direction on target markets and messaging to Marketing; they recommend alliances and acquisitions to Business Development, etc. Read More
Here are some New Year's Resolutions. Some are eerily similar to a talk I gave on product culture. Others not so much. Read More
Premise 1: Agile was developed as a response to lack of consistent direction from business execs.
Premise 2: A good roadmap keeps your organization inspired and on course toward its destination.
That doesn't mean the two are incompatible. Yet many companies I have worked with fear mapping out a course, thinking "it's not allowed in Agile." Read More
Personas deal with softer characteristics. They are often defined as representations of users that embody the qualities, feelings and preferences of groups. They are typically depicted with photos or images surrounded by descriptions and supporting attributes. Read More
This week my friends at ProductBoard published an ebook with wisdom on being a superb Product person. I wrote a chapter on Roadmaps (surprise!), entitled "Focus your Roadmaps on Outcomes, Not Outputs." Read More
A Dear John letter tells a romantic partner that they are dumped. In my roadmaps workshops we practice writing Dear Roadmap letters. We complain about all the things that are not working in our relationships: "It's time to split. We do the same thing every three months...." Read More
I’m curious: If you had to create the Superhero Product person, what attributes would you demand? Shooting lasers out of their eyes? Possibly. Leadership and communication skills? Definitely. Read More
The hardest thing about roadmaps is making it clear to people that they will change -- and that change is not failure but a considered response to evolving conditions. Read More
A roadmap conversation with a customer is an opportunity for a product person to verify their understanding of market needs before actually building the product. If you’ve done a really great job in your customer discovery, then the roadmap is merely "confirming the mutual understanding" of these needs. Read More
I hung out last week with thousands of people, most of whom had never met and will never do so again. And yet there was a clear sense of community among these people, of shared values and ways of thinking, and critically of passion for making great products that make customers happy and businesses successful. Read More