Live on ProdMgmtTalk July 25/26 – the love/hate relationship with Sales

Love them or hate them, you won’t have a successful product without your sales force.  So if you’re at a loose end on Monday night, come join me to discuss the relationship between Product Management and Sales on @ProdMgmtTalk.

  • In the UK, if you want to share your views, you’ll need to stay up past your bedtime on a school night.  The tweet chat is early Tuesday 26 July, midnight – 1:00 AM BST.
  • For the US, it will be Monday 25 July, between 4:00 – 5:00 PM PT
  • And for Australia it will be Tuesday 26 July 9:00 – 10:00 AM ET

I hope you can join me – I look forward to seeing you there.  Detail on the discussion and background reading is available after the break.
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Lo-fi usability testing – Part 1: Background

I recently spoke at ProductCamp London about conducting lo-fi usability, that is, easy, quick and inexpensive usability testing that anyone can run.  I did a neater version when I was invited recently to present to the BBC product managers and user experience practitioners, which I’d like to share with you.

Quite a few people are put off usability testing because they think it’s complicated, time-consuming and expensive.  What you may not realise is that you can run a set of usability tests in a single afternoon that will uncover eighty percent of the problems your product has.  And the only specialist equipment you’ll need is a pen, some paper and the computer you need to access the software or website.

This my friends is lo-fi usability testing – a high-return, low-cost method for these cash-strapped times.  In this first instalment, I’ll be discussing what usability is and why testing it is so important.

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What should product managers keep an eye on in 2011?

Happy New Year!

I was recently asked what I saw as the major trends, changes, challenges and opportunities for product managers in 2011.

Product managers working in different market sectors, countries and sizes of company will have their own take on this, so here’s my Top 5 from the perspective of a large-ish Business Services company operating in the UK.

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Link of the day: Buzz Marketing for Technology

Paul DunaySomeone I’ve come across recently and would recommend is Paul Dunay (@PaulDunay) and his Buzz Marketing blog.  He specialises in B2B marketing and has particular insight into harnessing the power of Social Media.  Well worth a read.

Take me to Buzz Marketing!

By way of an introduction

Why write a blog?

Up until recently if someone had suggested that I start writing a blog (or twittering, but that’s a story for another time) I would most likely have unfurled my ‘To Do’ list with a flourish, watched the unrolling end bounce off the floor and gestured vaguely into the distance.

So what’s changed?

blogging is ridiculous because the word to me sounds faintly unsanitary

Before I became a product manager, I used to write a great deal more, not only relatively serious essays and papers, but also creative nonsense and frivolous, fictional articles mainly for the amusement of friends who shared the same daft sense of humour.

As a product manager, the most creatively I’ve written recently has been to use an adjective in a use case once, though I had to remove it in a subsequent draft of my requirements document following a complaint Development escalated to my line manager.

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