Under10 Playbook

Managing an Existing Product: Day 1

Under10 Playbook

An important skill for a product manager is the ability to parachute into an existing product and land on your feet. When parachuting into an existing product you have to immerse yourself in your new company and learn as much as you can as quickly as you can.

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The Worst that Could Happen

Under10 Playbook

Do you plan for the worst? Do you list out the worst things that could happen during your release and come up with ways to mitigate the risks? Do you have contingency plans if something does go wrong?

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How to Break into Product Management

Under10 Playbook

At many of the meetups I attend around New York City, I meet aspiring product people, people in other functions that want to break into product management. I get asked how to become a product manager all the time. Product management is an important role and many people want to transition to it.

Your First 2 Weeks with an Existing Product

Under10 Playbook

An important skill for a product manager is the ability to parachute into an existing product and land on your feet. What should you accomplish during your first 2 weeks? Step 1: Set up meetings with your product’s key stakeholders. Step 2: Find (or Create) the backlog.

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Mixing Qualitative & Quantitative Data with Storyboarding

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Agile Coach, Kromatic

Qualitative vs. Quantitative is a silly argument. Qualitative data from UXers should not compete against the quantitative data product owners need for their business model. Both are necessary to have a complete understanding of where the desirability of the product meets the viability of the business.

How to Work with Developers

Under10 Playbook

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. Vincent Van Gogh, Post-Impressionist painter. A2A: How does a product manager work with product development?

Prioritizing product ideas in a portfolio

Under10 Playbook

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to a hundred other good ideas.” ” Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. How do you determine which product fits best with your other products?

Teams Don’t Form Instantly

Under10 Playbook

Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. One of the key ceremonies in bringing new products to market is the product team briefing.

Why Your Organization Cannot Innovate

Under10 Playbook

There’s something about the whole analytical mind-set that effectively drives the ability to innovate out of the building. Fred Gluck, managing director of McKinsey & Company.

Creating the "Right" Product Roadmap With Data

Speaker: Sunil Parekh, Head of Product Management, SimplyInsured

Data can be qualitative or quantitative, and comes from multiple sources: customer interviews, product usage & funnel analytics, company financial performance, and internal stakeholders. How do you use that data to create a product roadmap that is aligned with your organization’s business needs?

When to contact clients

Under10 Playbook

You’ve heard again and again that you should listen to customers. You will learn entirely different things depending on when you contact them. Consider the client’s confidence in your solution over time and align your interviews with their phases from buying to production.

The best roadmap isn't a big effort

Under10 Playbook

The roadmap has become one of the most commonly requested—yet frequently misunderstood—documents in the product manager’s arsenal. However, for many product managers, the roadmap is an annoyance that must be changed constantly. The best roadmap is a report, not an effort.

Cut Your Time to Productivity in Half with Better On-Boarding

Under10 Playbook

But when I arrive at HubSpot’s reception desk, something weird happens: Nobody is expecting me ;Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. Do you want your team to be productive quickly? Fix your on-boarding process and you’ll achieve productivity in record time.

User Personas in Product Management

Under10 Playbook

User Personas can help product people really define who they're building their product for. Instead of thinking of your customer as a demographic, a user persona helps you visualize and define an actual *person*.

What is (and isn’t) product management?

Under10 Playbook

In a well-run organization, each role has a single orientation; they either support [individual] customers or they support the market. —Peter Drucker, American management consultant, educator, and author. It seems most organizations are unclear on roles and responsibilities.

Connecting Analytics to Strategy - Keeping Your Corporate Objective In Sight

Speaker: Tom Evans, Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer, 280 Group

Data analytics has transformed the way many product managers approach product enhancements, creating strong demand for product managers with skills and expertise in defining and analyzing product metrics to make more valuable product decisions. But there is one essential element that is often left out of the conversation, and that is strategy. How does my product decisions support the overall strategy of the business, and am I tracking the right metrics based upon that strategy?

Never make left turns

Under10 Playbook

In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.—Louis —Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist. Did you know UPS trucks almost never make left-hand turns?

Affinity Mapping: A Powerful Tool

Under10 Playbook

What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter.—A —A clueless manager. Of all the techniques I’ve used, affinity mapping consistently delivers great results.

The Problem of Story Detail

Under10 Playbook

The level of precision in stories is an industry-wide problem. In general, product managers want to convey high-level epics or scenarios while many developers want specific tasks. This represents a huge divide of expectations. Often product owners or business analysts try breaking big ideas (i.e.,

Using The Five Queues

Under10 Playbook

One of the most powerful concepts in the Under10 Playbook software is "The Five Queues." This article by Steve Johnson was featured in Pragmatic Marketing's Summer 2017 issue of The Pragmatic Marketer. Learn more about how to use the five queue technique with your product and technical teams

Ask Steve: Who's responsible for product feasibility?

Under10 Playbook

Typically you’ll see a product manager doing product feasibility. A product manager’s primary job is to define the business opportunity, then guide the development and delivery of the product to the market. Product feasibility occurs in the DEFINE phase of product management.

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Performing Objective Prioritization

Under10 Playbook

Much of product management is prioritization. Which product to build; which feature to develop; which critical launch items to deliver. A prioritized list is critical—ideally sorted by some form of business value. Using an objective algorithm is the best approach.

Do product managers need to be technical?

Under10 Playbook

I’ve been hearing about job postings for product managers that require computer science degrees. Is that really necessary? What I’ve learned is many product managers don’t have adequate technical background to understand the questions or to give practical answers.

Quick prioritization

Under10 Playbook

"Focus on doing a few things really well. Spreading your efforts across too many projects prevents any of them from succeeding."-- Steve Johnson, product management evangelist (yes, I’m quoting myself) [ Tweet this ].

When the product is YOU

Under10 Playbook

"If it's not fun, don't do it; it's time to get another job."—Alan —Alan Webber, Fast Company. Have you been out there lately? Hunting for that perfect job is both easier and harder than ever before. You don’t have to be restricted to your nearest big city.

What is (and isn’t) product management?

Under10 Playbook

In a well-run organization, each role has a single orientation; they either support [individual] customers or they support the market. —Peter Drucker, American management consultant, educator, and author. It seems most organizations are unclear on roles and responsibilities.

Revisiting ASPIRE for Competencies

Under10 Playbook

I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? Dan Hedaya as "Mr. Watori”, Joe Versus the Volcano. “I know he can do the job but can he get the job?” ” Steve Johnson, Founder, Under10 Playbook. One of the keys in positioning is creating a unique space in the mind of buyers.

Innovation begins with observation

Under10 Playbook

In a recording session, Mick Jagger complained about Bill Wyman’s bass playing. After Jagger walked away, Wyman asked Keith Richards what to do, Richards whispered, “Just play what you were playing before.”

Meeting Fun

Under10 Playbook

Some meetings are boring. Particularly conference calls. To make them more fun, add Conference Call Bingo to your next conference call. Source [link

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Play To Your Competitive Strengths

Under10 Playbook

Avoid your competitor's strength, and attack their weakness. Sun Tzu, The Art of War. The challenger should seek a weakness in the leader's strength. Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare.

Prioritizing for Strategic Alignment

Under10 Playbook

One of the questions we tackle in roadmapping is how an idea aligns with the organization’s strategy and vision—before it hits the roadmap. The Ansoff Matrix is a great tool for determining strategic fit for new product and feature ideas.

6 Areas of Expertise for Effective Product Managers

Under10 Playbook

When I do my job right, there’s no sign of it. Disasters just fail to occur. Herman Wouk. I was interviewed by Chad McAllister, host of The Everyday Innovator podcast, on the six types of expertise in product management.

Why a Product isn’t a Project

Under10 Playbook

It seems many teams confuse projects and products, and therefore have trouble delineating the roles of project managers and product managers. A project has an end; a product doesn’t.

Behavior Drives Pricing Drives Behavior

Under10 Playbook

To create value for your business, you need to create value for your customer. Alex Osterwalder, author, Value Proposition Design. Many product teams approach pricing from a cost standpoint. They ask, How much can we charge to cover the costs of development, marketing, sales, and delivery?

Let’s stop calling it software engineering

Under10 Playbook

Much of the language of software creation is based on the manufacturing metaphor. We “plan” software. We “engineer” software. We “assemble” software. The implication is that creating software is rote work that can be done by factory workers on an assembly line.

The Thunder Of Your Actions

Under10 Playbook

What you are … thunders so that I cannot hear what you say. Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet. Today we see myriad distractions in meetings and working sessions. People on their phones; side conversations; surfing the web; updating Facebook, scanning Slack.

Why a Release Isn’t a Launch

Under10 Playbook

Companies that target their products at the circumstances in which customers find themselves, rather than at the customers themselves, are those that can launch predictably successful products.—Clayton —Clayton Christensen, author, The Innovator's Solution.

How do your buyers learn?

Under10 Playbook

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.—Henry —Henry J. Kaiser, American industrialist, father of modern American shipbuilding.

Podcast: What is Product Management?

Under10 Playbook

I was interviewed by Tom Cooper for his podcast. Tom & I tackled the issue of product management roles, titles, and responsibilities. Tom writes, This episode features Steve Johnson, a thought leader, speaker, and product management consultant.

Are You A Trusted Advisor?

Under10 Playbook

By the time the average customer reaches out to a company or is contacted by a sales rep, that customer's purchase decision is almost over. Matt Dixon, author, The Challenger Sale. Sales is a wonderful profession, filled with people who are brilliant. But also those who are… less so.

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