6 simple rules of product management

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m usually based in the UK, where I run my company, Product People. Back at the end of July, Adrienne Tan and Nick Coster from Brainmates helped me to avoid a wintry British summer by asking me over to spend August in Sydney with them to create some brand-new training content for one of their clients. What was particularly interesting was that the training wasn’t intended for the practitioners on their client’s product team – it was to introduce everyone else in the organisation to the concepts of product management.

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Should the product manager and product owner be the same person?

I recently read the question on the difference between the product manager and product owner on Quora and ended up sharing my opinion – at length. So I’ve decided to publish it here for posterity. Needless to say, there are other answers and other opinions, all equally valid.

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Back(log) to the Future – story arcs, roadmaps and product themes

Last time I published an article explaining why I thought roadmaps were a little like DVD box sets.   DonorDrive product manager Kasey Marcum (@kaseymarcum) asked in the comments:

“Always enjoy your posts, Jock! I really love the high level idea of this. What does this actually look like in the wild?”

Imagine your roadmap and sprints being as engaging as a hit movie – just think how much easier they’d be to “sell” to your stakeholders and customers!  Let’s see how you can do this.

Back to the Future

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Link of the day: The Agile Business Gap by @brainmates

Companies often want to go Agile because it promises a more collaborative, market-centric and frequent delivery of product to market.  In practice, however, gaps start to emerge because the rest of the business hasn’t adapted its adjacent processes to cope with the move to Agile.  Nick Coster, Co-founder of Brainmates (@brainmates), talks through the challenges and proposes some solutions to bridging the Agile Business Gap.

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My new favourite things

A very happy New Year to you all!

Over the last few weeks I’ve mostly been investigating the variety of tools available to help product managers at different stages of their product’s lifecycle.  For me, the emphasis has been on speed and ease of use because my project is short-lived and I want to show some results.

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30: Reserve time for housekeeping

I’m writing about 100 things I’ve learned as a product manager.

Like doing the washing-up, vacuuming under the sofa or cleaning your windows, housekeeping tasks with your product can get neglected because they’re tedious, not as interesting as new features and so on.  However, if you’ve ever found yourself eating breakfast cereal out of an oven tray with a serving spoon because every single item of cutlery and crockery is festering in a pile in your sink, it should be apparent there is inherent value in tackling housekeeping tasks bit by bit over time.

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Link of the day: Agile Product Ownership in a nutshell

If you’ve got 15 minutes handy, here’s an engaging and useful overview of Agile Product Ownership by Henrik Kniberg over on Crisp’s Blog.  I also love the sketching tool he’s narrating over! (it’s ArtRage if you were wondering)

Thanks to Romuald Restout for the link.

Link of the Day: Kano tutorial via Mountain Goat Software

Kano: mandatory, linear and exciter features impact customer satisfaction differently

An intriguing and nonintuitive aspect of customer satisfaction is that sometimes the feature that provides the most satisfaction is one that customers didn’t know they wanted until they saw it. – Mike Cohn

For how long have you been prioritising features without taking customer satisfaction into consideration?  Kano analysis provides a great way to understand which are the mandatory features you need in your product just to play the game, which increase satisfaction in a linear fashion, and which are the features that will delight and excite your customers.

Take a read here: I Didn’t Know I Needed That! | Mountain Goat Software.

Link of the day: Product Focus’s journal

Man reading Product Management Journal

Product Focus do a nice line in journals covering particular topics such as pricing and business cases.  They’re clear, easy to read and immensely practical, so well worth a look.

Find them at http://www.productfocus.com/journal.php