Q&A: Can I pick your brain about roadmaps?

I’m asked questions about product management from time to time. Here’s one I’ve answered recently:

Hey Jock,

I would love to pick your brain about roadmaps.

To give more clarity to my team (which is working on two mandates/sub-projects), I would like to empower them with a roadmap/timeline of the project. We already have one, on Confluence that I’ve printed next to our whiteboard. But it’s not “ours”.

Any recommendation in terms of shape/content? Should it be extremely detailed or high level? More generally, how to craft the best roadmap/product timeline for my team?

And for its creation? Any convenient tool or Excel template for this?

Thanks so much for your help!

P

Read on for my reply.

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65: The secrets of meaningful product roadmaps (redux)

Product managers often struggle to keep on top of their product roadmap. I recently gave this talk at Landing Festival Berlin to explain where people often get lost and show you how to make your product roadmaps more meaningful, user-centric and measurable.

I’ve spoken and written about this before, but this talk goes into more detail.

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Q&A: Should I take a different role before applying to become a product manager?

People sometimes ask me for career advice. Here’s a recent question:

Hi Jock,

I’m an entrepreneur, product/program manager and hardcore gamer. I’m facing a dilemma in my career’s direction. I’m split between my love for the game industry (dreaming of launching a game with a team), and my passion for product management (I would love to be a PM for a tech company).

I’ve applied to both the game industry for producer positions (no PM there), and to tech companies for PM roles. Got a few interviews for PM, but I may lack experience. On the other hand, I’ve got an offer in a big game studio for a production coordinator role (about project and people management, primarily). My manager is experienced and believes in me, and it would be for a triple A game.

I would see myself being a product manager for a tech company, or a game director in a studio. So not only managing projects and teams, but also having a vision for the product/games, researching the market, coming up with features, roadmaps, and so on. I feel I already have a good “product sense”, but I may be lacking in terms of experience, management (especially with engineers), and leadership.

Do you feel being a production coordinator would be a good or at least relevant move toward this career?

Thanks for your help,

Y

Read on for my reply.

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How do you establish an effective product management team?

I returned to Bristol recently to guest host the Threads meetup. Clearly I didn’t put them off the first time. Threads is a monthly roundtable discussion for entrepreneurs and founders of technology scale-up businesses based in the South West of England.

This month we were discussing when and how to build a product team.

If you’re interested in learning about how to build or improve your own product team, handily I can provide you training on that very topic.

Contact me if you’d like to attend product management training or would like me to speak at your event.

You can read the write-up below.

(Reproduced from the Techspark blog, article by Andrew Gifford and me.)

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Threads II – The Sequel

If you’re in or around Bristol and are a tech founder or leader, I’ll be hosting the February Threads meetup again. Like you, I have no idea why they invited me back.

We’ll be talking about when and how to build a product team on Wednesday 6th February from 18:00 at Ashfords LLC, Tower Wharf, Cheese Lane, Bristol, BS2 0JJ.

Sign up to attend on Meetup.

Product management has evolved. Has your company?

I popped over to Bristol recently to guest host the Threads meetup. Threads is a monthly roundtable discussion for entrepreneurs and founders of technology scale-up businesses based in the South West of England.

This month’s topic was on product management in general. For most around the table, it was a completely or relatively new concept, so our lively discussion started with the fundamentals.

If you’re also interested in learning about the fundamentals of product management, handily I have a day’s training course that covers that very topic.

Contact me if you’d like to attend product management training.

You can read the write-up below.

(Reproduced from the Techspark blog, article by Andrew Gifford and me.)


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Q&A: What skills do I need to be a freelance product manager?

People ask me from time to time about how they can get into freelance product management. Here’s a recent question:

Hi Jock,

I’ve been working as a product manager for 5 years now. I worked in different industries (financial, loyalty, media, fintech) and now I am starting to manage a team of product managers and setting up a product team as a senior product manager, as well as managing my own product.

I was thinking about starting consulting in 2-3 years of time. What are the skill sets I need to focus on and improve during this time period?

Thanks,

N

Read on for my reply.

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