Starting with a guess: how to use data creatively


Bug Counts

The good folks at Product Coalition interviewed me the other day as part of their “Data-Driven Product Manager” series.

The interview covers things like:

  • thinking about outcomes, not outputs;
  • alignment with broader goals;
  • finding and measuring leading indicators; and
  • the 5 most important metrics for product managers.

Have a read!

Starting with a guess: How to use data creatively with Product Expert Jock Busuttil over on Medium.

Building a product community in government

We have many product-minded people in the Government Digital Service (GDS) and across government, but we’re only just beginning to operate as a community. I’m currently helping GDS out and have written a post for their blog on how we’re beginning to improve things.

Do have a read.

Group of 'product people' from the DWP digital academy #transformingtogether

Communities of people inspiring each other

Over the last few years across government, we have collectively learnt a huge amount about how to create products and services that truly meet user needs.

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54: How to stop common B2B dysfunctions in the product team

For those of you who work in business-to-business (B2B) companies, how many of these sound familiar?

“Our product team is always called in to fight customer fires post-sale.”

“Sales people bring product managers along to answer customers’ techie questions.”

“The product team isn’t allowed to speak to customers unless they’re in a sales meeting.”

“Our sales team will often sell something that doesn’t exist, then make it the product team’s problem to make it happen.”

“Our product backlog is full of priority feature requests that the sales person says the customer needs before they’ll purchase.”

You’re not going crazy – nor are you alone. These are common dysfunctions plaguing product teams in B2B companies the world over.

How do you stop them happening? Read on for some suggestions.

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How product managers can build a healthier relationship with the sales team

At some point, all product managers will find themselves wondering how they can build a healthier relationship with the sales team. I’ve written a guest post for the good folks at Mind The Product that offers some practical suggestions.

Have a read!

“How to Stop Common B2B Dysfunctions in the Product Team” on Mind The Product’s blog.

Square Peg in a Round Hole_0565

53: THIS is what product-market fit looks like

Product-market fit is one of those concepts that seems relatively straightforward in theory but ends up being elusive in practice. Finding your way to product-market fit is an iterative process reliant on lots of appropriate, good quality research and validation, also known as customer development. But what does product-market fit actually look like when you get there?

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52: It only takes one bottleneck

600x712_SmartGates AustraliaI’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned as a product manager.

I was working for a month in Australia a little while ago. On my arrival I was initially really impressed by the slick service design of their automated SmartGate immigration process. Until I found myself back to having to fill in declaration cards with a pen, that is. It just goes to show that good design work can be easily undermined by one poorly thought-out step in the process.

(In a rare flash of common sense, I thought it prudent to publish this article some time after I’d safely made it back to the UK. Y’know, just in case…)

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The £20 bottle of Blue Nun

To all wannabe e-commerce entrepreneurs: you no longer have any excuse. It’s possible to fire up an MVP for a wine delivery business in under an hour using just a mobile phone. Read how…

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3 ways to build a better sales team

The sales team: one of the topics about which product managers seem to vent most. The relationship between product management and the sales team can work well, but more often than not it’s a source of frustration for both sides. And if your company is in the business of selling products, it’s in your best interests to fix this problem. Here are three ways companies can build a better sales team.

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Should I start a bank?

If you’ve ever attempted to use a business bank account, you’ll probably already know that their customer service is Byzantine and could be more accurately called customer disservice. You’ll probably already know that their online banking services look like they were built by a committee of people who have never used the internet.

You’ll certainly know that if you make a slight cashflow slip, you’ll pay through the nose in fines, yet if the bank makes a ‘slip’ – or in this case, knackers their online business banking for the first two working days of 2016 – you won’t even get an apology to begin with:

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How to show your team the benefits of experimentation

This is a little post about some ways to convince a reluctant development team that experimentation is A Good Thing.

In our New Year’s morning stupor over a restorative cup of tea, my friend Luke was bemoaning how difficult it was to impress upon his development team the benefits of experimentation.

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