Drowning in product documentation? Start swimming – Part 1

(Updated from the original on 3 December 2015)

Do you spend more time writing documents about your product than actually managing it?

Many companies with a product management function become all caught up in the process, drowning themselves in increasing numbers of documents. These rapidly become overwhelming to manage, contain duplicated detail and ultimately obscure the real goal of product management, namely to create successful products.

Continue reading

11: You are allowed to say ‘no’ – it’s strategic

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

Product managers hate saying ‘no’. It’s not in our nature to disappoint people. We want everyone to be happy with our products. We’d much rather say a nice, cooperative ‘yes’ that makes everyone happy and leaves us feeling warm and fuzzy.

The problem is that saying yes to everything creates manifest chaos. Continue reading

10: Give yourself time to think in a straight line

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

One of the many personal challenges I’ve faced in my working life was to overcome my natural tendency towards being erratic. I’m not talking about endearing (to me at least) eccentricities, more about practical things such as a rubbish memory for dates and poor time management.  Throw in a crisis and I could generally be found running around with my head on fire.

Continue reading

Book recommendation – The Case for Working with Your Hands

The Case for Working with Your Hands: or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good by Matthew Crawford (Amazon)

I appreciate that it is somewhat perverse to recommend a book to you that ostensibly advocates ditching the desk job in favour of more creative and rewarding manual labour.  Bear with its author, though, because this is a fine and entertaining read.

Continue reading

9: Everything benefits from a good start in life

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

Don’t you find that it is always so hard to recover something that started badly?  Whether it’s a development project, a product launch, or a new starter in your team, you can be reasonably certain that each will benefit from a good start.

Continue reading