Q&A: Getting into product management

This is an interview I did a little while ago with a user experience author living on the US East Coast. She was interested in moving into freelance product management.

We cover:

  • how to move into product management;
  • differences between working in the private and public sectors;
  • KPIs and financial modelling; and
  • the pleasures and pains of being a product manager.

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Q&A: what’s the one thing retailers are doing wrong in ecommerce?

Another question:

When it comes to the ecommerce checkout process, what’s one thing that retailers are doing wrong? What’s one thing they’re doing right?

 

From a product manager’s perspective, there’s no one thing everyone gets wrong – it depends entirely on the circumstances.

This is why context and understanding of user needs are so important. Figure out what people need – their goals, frustrations, distractions… everything – then figure out how well your ecommerce capability meets those needs. Improve, then rinse and repeat.

And don’t forget Marty Cagan’s observation that “people don’t know what they need until after they’ve seen it”.

Read the other 20 opinions over on whatusersdo.com.

Q&A: what sources of information should people use to build products?

Here’s a question I was asked recently:

What sources of information do you suggest folks building their product plans today rely on, so that they can get the evidence they need to build the product that will meet the needs of end users?

Read on for my answer:

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Q&A: what kinds of questions should I be asking in discovery?

I was recently asked this question:

During the problem exploration phase, what kind of questions should I be asking and how do I go from 1000 problems to the core problems that will unlock the solution?

Read on for my answer:

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Q&A: how closely aligned should product organisations be with marketing and personas?

Here’s another question I was asked recently:

If you’re concerned about buyer needs and their objectives, how closely aligned do you suggest product organisations should be with marketing and with the persona development to ensure they are creating a solution that does meet those needs in the market?

Read on for my answer:

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Q&A: how much evidence is sufficient for decision-making?

I was recently asked this question:

Do you have a rule of thumb for deciding how much evidence is sufficient for decision-making?  I often see decisions made on the basis of a sample of one.

Read on for my answer:

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Q&A: how do I get my waterfall organisation to be more agile?

I was recently asked this question:

How would you recommend working with organisations, who are used to a traditional / waterfall approach, transition towards agile / iterative development?

Read on for my response:

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Q&A: how do I distil users’ wish lists of requirements to a core handful?

I was recently asked this question:

Can you make suggestions of how best to distil users’ wish lists of requirements/outcomes to a core handful that will encompass most people’s problems?

Read on for my answer:

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