Sat.Mar 14, 2020 - Fri.Mar 20, 2020

How Lessons From Wargames can Help you Ship Products and Build Strong Teams

Mind the Product

We all know that product is hard , so here are some themes from a very playful activity that will help you get better at it. Shipping products is rough, full of false starts, lousy execution, and a lack of will to kill products quickly.

Product Management in Times of Crisis

Ask Benny

The role of the product manager is to focus the team even and especially in time of crisis Human Behavior While we all watch the world as it handles the crisis of the coronavirus in various ways including all the different ways we human beings are used to respond to events, it is an amazing opportunity to reflect how similar things happen in our organization in the face of even small events. We see countries, organizations and people act in various ways, some in a very responsible way and some in panic, some following any information without checking it and some working based on data. I am definitely not going to reflect on how the world should behave or even how local politics should behave in such a case. I will leave it to the readers to deduct their own conclusions, even though you can’t really make a straight deduction because it is not the same situation. I do think however that whatever I say that is valid for the local product or organization is also valid for a wider scale. It just might be someone else responsibility because there is no product manager in those areas and there are probably many many more parameters to consider. Crisis Flow When we work on a product we have our strategy, our roadmap, and our plan. The team can execute it and we adapt it in an agile way as we go. Sometimes the plan can face a crisis. It can be a good crisis such as a big potential customer on our foot door that may require some new features to be developed very fast to win them or a bad crisis such as a critical problem in our production system that might cause it to stop working if we do not handle it properly in time. In such situations, several things might happen. If the process works as it should, the right people will jump on the crisis or the opportunity and will do the necessary things to work on it and solve what is needed to be solved within time. That is the easy part, even though it sometimes seems like magic. What we may see many times is that around this process unnecessary behaviors might happen. Suddenly some people think they need to get a status every 5 minutes and that if they are not on top of it nothing will happen. Other people are sure that the whole team needs to work to solve the crisis and nobody should do anything else because it is not right to discuss or handle other things while everything fall apart. Under Control This is the time in which a good product manager can make a difference. Our job is to calm things, put them in proportion and make sure that while the right team solves the crisis we keep the collateral damage to the rest of our plan minimal. First, we need to analyze the crisis and make sure it gets the right resources. No less. No more. Many times, this happens even without us. The system knows its job. Second, we need to make sure to control the flow of information. We need to make sure that the team working on the crisis has all the right data on the situation. We need to make sure that the rest of the team gets timely updates and does not interfere with the team working on the crisis. We actually have to protect this team. And last, once things are in motion we need to make sure whoever is not needed for solving the crisis can continue to work. We may need to shift priorities, update the plan and move things around. But there is no point in paralyzing the team. The crisis will be over at some point in the future. When we get out of it we do not want to discover that we handled the crisis well while neglecting everything else and creating many other small problems. We don’t want to discover that the crisis was abused for neglecting the big things that we believe would make an impact on our product and customers. Framing Everything A mentee of mine just told me that in her company the executives took the situation of the current corona crisis as an opportunity to break all processes. They have seen very interesting opportunities to act fast and produce features that can help them possibly gaining new customers because of the crisis and started bombarding the team with many new features that need to be developed now and immediately. They have abandoned all processes of analysis of data, roadmap aside, and let work just on intuition because we don’t have time to lose. The important question here is not whether their decision is right or wrong. The important question is how we as product managers can help our organization make sure that the right decisions are taken because executives in panic do not remember all constraints or the stakes. From the executives’ perspective, they have probably seen a roadmap some time ago, and everything that is for the next quarter is considered to them as already done. When they ask for new things they have no idea what is the price. Our job is to ask a lot of questions and frame the situation. We need to reflect on what is going to be delayed if we take a new approach. We need to maybe create new temporary metrics to follow if we decide that for a short time there is a better opportunity to follow. We need to make sure that if as a product group we decide to change the direction of the ship because we are now facing a new market situation, it is done with eyes open. Summary Focus is almost always the key to success. As product manager making sure the team is focused on the right things is almost the most important thing we do both in calm times as well as in a time of crisis. Keep Calm and Focus #crisis #focus #keepcalm. Soft Skills Execution Planning

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Key Takeaways From the 2020 State of Product Leadership Report: Europe


Back in January, our colleagues at Pendo released their third-annual State of Product Leadership report. Each year, this report compiles the survey responses of hundreds of product leaders, who share their job responsibilities, key challenges, and workplace trends.

Working Remotely? 5 Ways to Help Your Product Team Thrive

Product Talk

Product teams should be co-located. This is an often-repeated “truth” in our industry. Today, in response to COVID-19 , many companies are instituting mandatory work-from-home policies. This is making co-location impossible for many teams.

Build vs Buy: 10 Hidden Costs of Building Analytics with UI Components

Many teams, as a logical first step, choose to build their own analytics with the help of UI components. But eventually you’ll find that doing it yourself and at scale has hidden costs. Consider these 10 factors when deciding whether you should build analytics features with UI components.

Top IoT Challenges Product Leaders Face in 2020

Daniel Elizalde IoT Blog

What are the top IoT challenges Product Leaders face in 2020? To find out, I conducted a survey to hear directly from Product Leaders. In this post, I share the answers to the survey, as well as the insights I gathered throughout the process. I received 73 responses to my survey.


More Trending

If you Pretend Everything’s Under Control Then it Will be

Mind the Product

Why, in Product, it pays to fake it till you make it till you become it. Amy Cuddy’s famous TED talk says that if you fake confidence you will eventually become confident.

What is agile?

The Product Coalition

Agile in a nutshell: Definition, values, principles, methodologies and basic understanding Continue reading on ». agile product-management technology software-development digital-transformation

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5 Reasons Why Customer Success Is Existential During A Downturn


If you’ve spent any time on any social media these last few days, the responses to the current coronavirus crisis range from: All the way to: In response to these highly polar emotional reactions, many may believe the sensible path is cold reason—set aside feelings and take the rational path.

Product Management 101: User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)


User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are two related (but not identical) concepts that every product person needs to have a working knowledge of. Below, we’ll go through the basics of each and discuss the differences between the two. What is the user interface?

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

The Product of You by Melissa Perri

Mind the Product

In this MTP Engage Manchester talk, Melissa Perri describes how you should start investing energy in “the product of you” and plan your career ascent to product leader. Key Points: Skills you learn as a junior product person can translate well into the C-suite.

7 Tool Tips for Your Newly Distributed or Remote Team

Johanna Rothman

Yesterday, you worked in an office with everyone else. Today, you're supposed to work from home—and so is the rest of your team. And not just for the next few days, but for the next few weeks. What tools do you need?

A Detailed Guide To IoMT Implementation in 2020


Internet of Medical Things or IoMT is on the way of becoming the most sought after technology in the healthcare sector. According to Grand View Research, it is predicted that spending on IoT for healthcare will reach $534.3 billion in 2025 at an annual growth rate of 19.9%.

Why a UX designer is essential for your next web or mobile app

Imaginary Cloud - Design

In recent years we’ve seen the words “ UX Designer " been thrown around carelessly without the true comprehension of what a UX Designer does. Even so, if you in some way work with technology or design, you probably might have felt compelled to hire one. Let me tell you that you are not alone.

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Design Thinking for Product Teams: Leverage Human Insight Throughout Development

Product teams must increase their exposure hours with customers—seeing and hearing them. Human insights and the design thinking framework can be applied to your development cycle to help you build better products and experiences for your customers.

Stories From the ProductTank Community – Richmond, US

Mind the Product

From seasoned product people to those who simply want to learn more about product practice, Richmond ProductTank organisers, Travis Bjorklund and Jessica Allison tell all about their thriving community, how they came together, what they want to know and why they’re proud of their ‘kickin’ little city’ What is it that motivates you to run ProductTank meetups? Despite some serious corporate and start-up innovation in town, before ProductTank, there was no group focused on the Product Management community. We had UX, we had agile, a ton of technology groups but no product. We would see product people at these other meetups, saw an opportunity to build a community from the ground up, and to learn a lot about product ourselves. We leveraged World Product Day 2019 as a great kickstarter for bringing “ProductTank RVA” to life. Gibson Biddle’s talk – ‘Wicked Hard Decisions’ in August 2019 was a huge hit. Who plays an important part in Richmond’s ProductTanks? Jessica Allison and I are working product managers at CarMax and Capital One, respectively. We just try and get the most talented people to speak or work with our community. Sarah Kilmon is our community lead (and PowerPoint master) and Austin Chandler is our data guru. He’s the guy as asking who’s coming to our events? How do we drive higher attendance, engagement, and satisfaction? It’s a strong team. We also have a number of advisors that we’d like to formalize this year. How many members does your ProductTank have? We have 600 members and to date, we’ve held eight ProductTanks so far. Usually, our ProductTanks are usually held at a sponsor’s office or a local events space. Sponsors have included: Capital One, CarMax, UDig, Unboxed, Lighthouse Labs, and the Da Vinci Center, which has the only masters in Product Innovation I’m aware of in the U.S. Without these sponsors, we’d have to meet on street corners or the courthouse steps. So, seriously y’all, thanks! It’s a symbiotic relationship – our sponsors are looking for talent, exposure, and learning. What can you tell us about Richmond’s Product Community? Richmond is a funny, medium-sized city with old roots (Capital of the Confederacy) dominated by a few truly progressive product-focused companies like Carmax (the #1 used car dealer in the US), Capital One (the 8th largest bank, founded here), and Snag (the #1 lister of hourly jobs in the U.S.), some really awesome product-led startups, and a lot of old, staid companies (that I won’t name). Carmax and Capital One are the big two, but there is a ton of product talent elsewhere in town. Startups and accelerators have become increasingly prevalent in Richmond, and many local employers are coming out to ProductTank to learn where they might begin their product journeys. The range of experience and demographics represented means everyone has someone else to learn from at a ProductTank Richmond event! Also, I’ve been told Richmond has the second-highest number of breweries per capita in the U.S. So, beer is part of it. I’m sure. Which talks have been a hit? Gibson Biddle’s talk on “Wicked Hard Decisions” and Christian Idiodi’s talk about “Customer Centered Disruption” were huge hits (as measured by NPS – both 75+). These two have fascinating experience in the trenches: they are charismatic and polished. Christian Idiodi of Silicon Valley Product Group spoke about Customer Centered Disruption. We had a more intimate event with Jeff Gothelf on his book “Sense and Respond” that we loved. And we hosted a panel discussion about “Richmond Product: Present and Future” on World Product Day last year, featuring four product leaders from our hometown. Our members like content on discovery techniques, how to grow a product skillset, and case studies, and they hope to see more on product strategy in 2020. How does ProductTank help product people in Richmond? There seem to be two broad groups of people that come to our events. One is seasoned product people – product managers, designers, engineers. The other is the product-curious: “Product seems exciting – what is it?”. For both groups, there’s a lot to learn about product management discipline and techniques. The product people can then go back and apply them immediately. We find we’re often in a happy place with the basics, and that bringing in speakers from big-name companies helps grow our engagement and credibility for newcomers. We measure every single event with a quick NPS survey/solicitation of improvements and ideas, which really helps drive our content. Our next ProductTank will be an “Introduction to Customer Discovery” – wanna come? Fun Facts about Richmond? Richmond is a kickin’ little city, with really amazing food. If you don’t believe us, check out the New York Times article on the top ’52 places to go in 2020′ (hint: you won’t quite have to read all the way to #52.). It’s where American revolutionary Patrick Henry gave his “give me liberty or give me death!” speech, where Thomas Jefferson built the Capitol building, and was home to tennis luminary Arthur Ashe. Want to get inked? Head to Richmond! (Image: Shutterstock). We’ve also been told we have the second-largest number of tattoo parlors per capita. Great place for ink of all kinds! The post Stories From the ProductTank Community – Richmond, US appeared first on Mind the Product. Product Management Community Community Stories ProductTank

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In-app Guidance: How to Activate your Users Without Boring Them


Every aspect of your product’s onboarding should be aimed at achieving one thing: Activating your users. That’s the end goal. If you’re currently struggling to activate users, then you may need to look at improving your in-app guidance.

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It Takes Two to Do Good Product Management

The Product Coalition

The required skill set of a product manager is too broad to be addressed by one person Continue reading on ». product productivity product-management

Remote Work Tips From Basecamp

Sachin Rekhi

Given all the recent interest in remote work, I spent the weekend reading Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. As the founders of Basecamp , they have been practicing remote work for over a decade now, well before the present-day excitement around it.

Books 89

A New Segmentation Model for Customer Onboarding

In this eBook, we will show you a new framework for building a customer onboarding program, including how to segment users and drive long-term value and retention through education.

Podcast: Execs Don’t Always Know What Users Need

Mironov Consulting

Jay Stansell has been on a European podcast tour : meeting and recording product leaders in Cardiff, London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich and Zurich — partly to raise funds supporting bushfire restoration in Australia after their massive fires.

The Correlation between Hype and Opportunity in Product Development

Modus Create

A while ago I had a very interesting discussion on how we would evaluate the market’s readiness for a new product. We wished it were possible to say: “According to my brand new crystal ball, we should start developing The-Perfect-Product in Q1 and launch in Q4.

Recommender Systems, a Popular Media Introduction

The Product Coalition

A Collection of News Articles by Popular Media that Explain Recommender Systems in a Way Everyone Can Understand. Untitled, 2020 (by me) In 2004, Chris Anderson wrote “ The Long Tail ” , an article that motivates the need for recommender systems.

5 Reasons Why Product Experience Is More Important Now Than Ever


It’s times like these that really put what’s important into perspective. Nick recently wrote a great post detailing five major reasons why customer success, and its impact on retention, is existential for businesses during a downturn.

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.

Fun for your thumbs: How do you design essential mobile game UX?


How can you make your mobile game design an essential experience for your user? What can game designers learn from UX? Guest contributor Luke Smith provides insights on mobile game UX design. The post Fun for your thumbs: How do you design essential mobile game UX? appeared first on TryMyUI Blog.

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Full Transcript: Cindy Alvarez on the Product Love Podcast


Forgot your AirPods? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy one of our favorite episodes of the Product Love Podcast. Check out the full transcript of our fun chat with Cindy Alvarez of Microsoft below. Eric Boduch: Awesome. So, welcome lovers of product. Today I’m here with Cindy Alvarez.


4 tips on working remotely

The Product Coalition

I'm working with full-time remote teammates since the end of 2019 and we have some learnings to share Continue reading on ». development productivity remote-working design product-management

5 Tips To Be An Effective CSM Leader In Difficult Times


Your CSM team is on the front line every day keeping your customers successful. They wear a multitude of hats to keep the business thriving. From strategists, to cheerleaders to therapists, they help your customers drive outcomes to support retention and growth.

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.