Product Talk

Everyone Thinks They’re Managing by Outcomes. Here’s How to Actually Do it.

Product Talk

Last month, I spoke at the Business of Software (BoS) conference in Boston. BoS has been on my short list for a very long time and it did not disappoint. Mark Littlewood , the organizer of the event, does a fantastic job and it shows up in every little detail of the event.

Prioritize Opportunities, Not Solutions

Product Talk

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Why Engineers Should Participate in Discovery

Product Talk

Are you inviting your engineers to participate in discovery with you? If yes, do you get pushback from them? Does your organization prefer that your engineers only write code?

Product in Practice: How One Product Manager Innovates in Big Companies

Product Talk

One of my goals at Product Talk is to showcase what good product management looks like. Today, I’m excited to introduce a new series, Product in Practice, where I’ll profile product managers doing great work. To kick off the series, we interviewed Rachel Allen , Director of Product at Omnitracs.

Rapid Experimentation at Every Stage of Product Development

Speaker: Tanya Koshy, VP of Product, UserTesting

Experimentation isn't something you do once you have designs or once you’ve built the product; it's important to validate early and often to better understand your customer, their needs, and the market opportunity. Join Tanya Koshy, VP of Product at UserTesting, as she explores how, by using customer feedback at every stage of the product development process, you can better and more quickly iterate on your product ideas. Ultimately, this rapid experimentation during development will enable you to deliver customer value faster.

Engaging Stakeholders with Opportunity Solution Trees: 3 Tactics to Try

Product Talk

Two and a half years ago, I introduced the opportunity solution tree. It’s been a blast seeing product people put it into practice. Today, I’m excited to share Hope Gurion’s thoughts on using opportunity solution trees.

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The Ladder of Evidence: Get More Value From Your Customer Interviews and Product Experiments

Product Talk

One of the best signs of an effective product team is a regular cadence of customer interviews and product experiments. But it’s not enough to simply check the box on these activities; we need to make sure that we do them effectively.

6 Guiding Principles for Effective Product Discovery

Product Talk

I’m co-teaching a design course at Northwestern with my friend Jeff Merrell. We are teaching business leaders and change agents how to prototype their way to viable solutions.

The Best Continuous Discovery Teams Cultivate These Mindsets

Product Talk

Last week, I was in Cleveland for the Industry Product Conference. I spoke about the three mindsets that help a team find success as a continuous discovery team. My slides and script are below. Enjoy! Becoming a successful discovery team. Product management is changing.

Adopting a Continuous Discovery Mindset Across the Organization

Product Talk

I teach two courses at Northwestern University. I want to share a little bit more about the work that I am doing there as I think it’s relevant for people working at companies who are starting to adopt continuous discovery practices (in other words, many of you).

The Product Growth Engine

Speaker: Dave Martin, Founder, Right to Left

How do you create sustainable growth? Do your product and feature releases achieve the desired results? In this talk, Dave Martin, founder at Right To Left, will explore how human bias repeatedly hinders product success and causes teams to miss out on their potential.

2020 Product Conferences

Product Talk

We are starting to pull together our 2020 conference list. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a product conference that is not on the list and you think it should be, please feel free to recommend it in the comments or send an email to conferences@producttalk.org. We’ll also keep updating this list as we hear about more events. For 2020, I haven’t decided which conferences I’ll be attending or presenting at, but I’ll update this post once that changes.

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Stop Validating & Start Co-Creating

Product Talk

Meet Sally and Pam. Sally is a product manager, Pam a user experience designer, and they are working on a new mobile app. They’ve conducted customer interviews , defined their MVP , and are now working through the initial designs.

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Continuous Product Discovery is for Everyone [Case Study]

Product Talk

When I write or speak about continuous discovery , I worry that people are enamored with this way of working, but aren’t doing the work to put it into practice. It’s easy to read about a continuous discovery habit and think, “That could never work for my team. Our industry is too old.

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The Evolution of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

Product management is evolving quickly. The days of gathering requirements from business stakeholders and documenting them in long product requirements documents are vanishing. We no longer take months or years to release value to our customers.

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How to Monetize Data with Analytics

For software vendors looking to grow their customer base and increase revenue in a crowded marketplace, successfully and seamlessly integrating analytics into a SaaS product is critical. Learn how to monetize and productize data with embedded analytics.

Managing Product Teams for Success

Product Talk

I’ve been thinking about the challenges of managing product teams by outcomes. Most leaders want their teams to have the autonomy to go after an outcome, but they struggle with trusting that their teams will do the right things.

Taking Continuous Discovery to the Next Level at SEEK [Case Study]

Product Talk

As a discovery coach , I work with all kinds of companies and teams. Some are brand new to discovery , others are already far along in their journey.

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How Compare and Contrast Decisions Lead to Better Product Outcomes

Product Talk

This past week I was in London speaking at Mind the Product. As usual, the Mind the Product team hosted a phenomenal event. The following is the script of my talk with slides. When Mind the Product releases the video, I’ll add it to this post.

Why This Opportunity Solution Tree is Changing the Way Product Teams Work

Product Talk

I’ve found a visual aid that is profoundly changing the way teams work. It’s working so well that I feel compelled to write a book about it. But that’s going to take time and I want you to have it today. So I’m going to scratch the surface in this blog post.

The Science of High-Impact Experimentation

Speaker: Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach, H2R Product Science

Too many product teams don't know what to test, which leads to poorly designed experiments and unclear results. How can a product manager be certain they’re making effective decisions when it comes to experimentation? Join Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach at H2R Product Science, as she walks us through the entire experimentation process, from deciding what to test to sharing the results with stakeholders, to illustrate what strong testing practices look like and how they can be implemented in every organization.

How Much Time Should You Spend in Product Discovery?

Product Talk

I get asked all the time, “How much time should we spend in discovery ?”. I have two problems with this question. First, it assumes you do discovery first and then delivery second, which is not true. You should be discovering and delivering all the time.

3 Best Practices for Adopting Continuous Product Discovery

Product Talk

It’s easy to think you already do continuous product discovery. Most of the teams that I work with come into coaching thinking that they don’t need help. They’ve read the industry books, they attend the popular product conferences , and they follow all the leading blogs. They’ve got this.

The Art of Managing Stakeholders Through Product Discovery

Product Talk

The HiPPO always wins. Photo credit: Max Pixel ). So, you’re feeling pretty good about your product discovery habits. You are interviewing customers , iterating on prototypes , running sound experiments , and your team is gaining confidence that you are on a path to reach your desired outcome.

This Keystone Habit Will Fuel the Rest of Your Continuous Discovery Habits

Product Talk

I love working as a discovery coach. I work with dozens of teams at several companies spanning many industries. I coach each team—a product manager, a design lead, and a tech lead—for three months, working with them virtually week over week.

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Design and Run Experiments That Actually Progress Your Business

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

Experimenting as a way to explore new products, services, and business models can help eliminate the guesswork involved in building something your customers actually value. That said, it's often quite tricky to take your vision and figure out the first experiment to run. How do you get started? How can you ensure your experiments are well-designed? Join Nick Noreña, educator, entrepreneur, and currently an Innovation Coach at Kromatic, as he walks us through how we can figure out the right experiments to run for any product or service, and in organizations of all sizes.

What a Good Continuous Discovery Team Looks Like [Case Study]

Product Talk

One of my favorite parts of Mind the Product London this past fall was meeting a product manager and a designer who I had coached in the prior year. We met for afternoon tea and to my surprise they gushed about our time working together.

How to Improve Your Experiment Design (And Build Trust in Your Product Experiments)

Product Talk

I’ve got a pet peeve to share with you. If you’ve been following along with the growth of the Lean Startup and other experimental methods, you’ve probably come across this hypothesis format: We believe [this capability]. Will result in [this outcome]. We will have confidence to proceed when [we see these measurable signals]. If you aren’t familiar with this format, you can learn more about it here.

Creating a Sustainable Continuous Discovery Practice at CarMax [Case Study]

Product Talk

Back in March, I shared a case study about one of the product teams I worked with at Snagajob (now Snag). I’m excited to share another one with you today. This case study is about a team at CarMax that I just finished working with.

4 Powerful Ways to Use Rapid Prototyping to Drive Product Success

Product Talk

When you hear the term “rapid prototyping,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most of us who work with digital products, we tend to think of wireframes or mockups. We equate prototyping with a quick way to get user feedback on our designs.

How to Design Strong Experiments

Speaker: Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy, and Tendayi Viki, Associate Partner, Strategyzer

When testing new business and product ideas, choosing the right experiment is just the beginning. After we have chosen our experiment, it’s important that we spend some time designing it well. Join Tendayi Viki, corporate innovation expert and associate partner at Strategyzer, and Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy at Strategyzer, as they walk us through the three key elements that help you design stronger experiments and come away with the evidence you need to advance your idea.

2019 Product Conferences

Product Talk

We are starting to pull together our 2019 conference list. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a product conference that is not on the list and you think it should be, please feel free to recommend it in the comments or send an email to conferences@producttalk.org. I haven’t decided what events I’ll be attending in 2019 yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll update this post. We’ll also keep updating this list as we hear about more events.

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Why You Are Asking the Wrong Customer Interview Questions

Product Talk

I recently asked a woman what factors she considered when buying a new pair of jeans. She didn’t hesitate in her answer. She said, “Fit is my number one factor.” ” That seems reasonable. It’s hard to find a pair of jeans that fit well.

7 Standout Moments From Mind the Product SF 2017

Product Talk

In April, we posted this list of conferences. Since then, I’ve been asked dozens of times what my favorite product conference is. There are a lot of great product events, but for my money, none are better than Mind the Product.

The Results Are In! Feedback from the First Continuous Interviewing Cohort

Product Talk

Hi there, Product Talk readers! I’m Melissa Suzuno. I’ve been helping Teresa with Product Talk content behind the scenes for the past few years. You may have noticed my handiwork if you’re a fan of the Oxford comma or em dash.

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Get Better User Insights With Wasteless Validation

Speaker: Tim Herbig, Product Management Coach and Consultant

Product teams tend to get ahead of themselves by rushing from idea straight to building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). How can a product manager slow their team down and prevent them from wasting valuable resources? Join Tim Herbig, Product Management Coach and Consultant, as he introduces a new way of understanding MVPs and explores how you can approach validation without wasting the resources of your development team.

How to Take Notes During Customer Research Interviews

Product Talk

For those of you following along, I’ve been conducting interviews to understand the life of a product manager. If you need to catch up, you can see my initial call for participants here and my breakdown of how I am selecting participants here.

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The Rise of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

I love that Marty Cagan and Jeff Patton have long been advocates of dual-track development. Their efforts have helped to shape the ongoing conversation about the evolution of product discovery.

Why Drawing Maps Sharpens Your Thinking

Product Talk

“Could it have been the drawing of maps that boosted our ancestors beyond the threshold which the other apes just failed to cross?”. – Richard Dawkins. Have you ever wondered why the Business Model Canvas spread like wildfire? To me, the answer is clear.

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Why You Are Probably Interviewing the Wrong People (And How to Fix It)

Product Talk

Last Wednesday I put out this call to product managers to participate in a research study about the life of a product manager. I am overwhelmed by the response. In the first 48 hours, I have 90 responses. I was initially thinking that I would interview 9–12 people.

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An Adult Conversation About Estimates

Speaker: Beekey Cheung, Software Consultant, Professor Beekums, LLC

Estimates are a contentious topic in software development. Most of our development teams hate providing estimates and many managers are starting to view them as unnecessary. As senior software leaders, how can we determine whether estimates are helpful or harmful to our teams? We are excited to be joined by Beekey Cheung, a software consultant and blogger known as Professor Beekums, who has helped many leaders and teams go from fearing estimates to using them appropriately. He'll walk us through the value of estimates, how to overcome the hesitancy many have in giving them, and how to provide better estimates.