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?

What I’m Saying Yes to in 2020 (With 2 Big Announcements)

Product Talk

For many of us, the beginning of the year is a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to recommit to the things that matter most to us. Last year, I wrote “ What I’m Saying No to This Year—And Why ” to clearly outline what I wanted to focus on in 2019.

More Effective Agile Leadership

Speaker: Steve McConnell, CEO, Construx Software

In this talk, Steve McConnell, CEO of Construx Software, distills hundreds of companies’-worth of real-world experience into the proven Agile leadership practices that work best. Steve will seamlessly thread together traditional approaches, early Agile approaches, modern Agile approaches, and the principles and context that underlie them all—creating an invaluable resource for Agile leaders, their teams, and their organizations.

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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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.

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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Show Your Work: How to Justify Your Decisions & Get Stakeholder Buy-In

Product Talk

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Product in Practice: Getting Started with Opportunity Solution Trees at SuperAwesome

Product Talk

Hi there, Product Talk readers! It’s me, Melissa. I’m Teresa’s blog editor. I mostly work behind the scenes here, polishing and proofreading posts prior to publication. But every once in a while, I’ll contribute a post like this one.

Win the Digital Transformation Game with the Product Mindset

Speaker: David DeWolf, Founder and CEO, 3Pillar Global

No matter what your idea is, no matter how good it is, and no matter how well you know your market, 3 out of 4 digital initiatives do not succeed. To better understand how to win, we should first understand why we’re failing. In this webinar, David DeWolf will share his experiences and lessons learned to help you succeed in playing the “product” game, instead of the “IT” game.

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).

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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BI Buyers Guide: Embedding Analytics in Your Software

The business intelligence market has exploded. And as the number of vendors grows, it gets harder to make sense of it all. Learn how to decide what features you need and get an evaluation framework for every technical and non-technical requirement you could imagine.

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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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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Architect Your Organization for Effectiveness, Productivity, and Joy

Speaker: Ron Lichty, Consultant: Interim VP Engineering, Ron Lichty Consulting, Inc.

As a senior software leader, you likely spend more time working on the architecture of your systems than the architecture of your organization. Yet, structuring our teams and organizations is a critical factor for success. In fact, the impact of software architecture parallels the impact of organizational structure. We are excited to welcome Ron Lichty, co-author of a seminal book on managing software teams and a well-known speaker, he’ll speak to organizing for effectiveness, productivity and joy.

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.

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 Essential Guide to Building Analytic Applications

Embedding dashboards, reports, and analytics in an existing application presents some unique opportunities—and poses unique challenges—to software teams. Download this eBook to hear 16 product experts share insights on business intelligence, UI/UX, security, and everything that goes into building a successful application with analytics at its core.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Definitive Guide to Predictive Analytics

By embedding predictive analytics, you can future-proof your application and give users sophisticated insights. The Definitive Guide to Predictive Analytics has everything you need to get started, including real-world examples, steps to build your models, and solutions to common data challenges.

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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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.

The Six Principles of Persuasion

Speaker: Michael Carducci, CTO, Mago:Tech

As senior tech leaders, we often fall prey to thinking that a “good idea” and logical case is sufficient to get the desired response and result. We might be trying to get our CEO on-board with investment in a new technology or a rearchitecture effort, or we might want culture or process changes by our team. Our “good idea” is simply the beginning. An idea must be communicated; a case must be made; and ultimately other people must be persuaded to get onboard. Michael Carducci brings a fascinating background to this webinar. He’s a technologist and regularly works to help senior leaders improve their results. He’s also a professional mentalist and has been a student of psychology, human behavior and the principles of influence for nearly two decades.