2013

Is Agile Really Cheaper?

Tyner Blain

There are several ways to answer the question “is agile cheaper than waterfall?” ” Here are two of my favorites: “It depends. Agile done well is cheaper, as long as you measure correctly.” ” “You’re asking the wrong question.

Agile 37

2013 Product Powers Hall of Fame & Shame

Product Powers

We're now accepting 10-second nominations for the 2013 Product Powers Hall of Fame and Shame. What is that, you ask? As before, the goal is to assemble the " top product triumphs and gaffes of the past year as nominated by you. "

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Becoming the best!

Product Manager in Heels

I came across an article that I think is valuable to share with all of the current and aspiring product managers out there. Frequently, I struggle with where to focus my day-to-day activities.

Get to the User Goal

Pragmatic Marketing

Agile developers want user stories; product managers want to bring back stories from the market about users. What we really need, however, is to understand user goals. User stories are one of the most misunderstood and misapplied artifacts when implementing Agile development. At first glance, they look like requirements—and it can be very easy for a team to sit in a room and crank out a bunch of them when under the gun to generate work for the next sprint.

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.

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The Inputs to a Great Product Roadmap

Sachin Rekhi

I’m often asked how I think about coming up with the product roadmap for an upcoming release. To help answer this, I thought I’d share how my team recently went about thinking through the roadmap for an upcoming product we’re working on. Analysis of existing usage metrics.

Why Write Requirements

Tyner Blain

There is a lot of advice out there for how to write requirements. There is not as much discussion about why to write requirements. Spend some time thinking about why you write requirements before you make decisions about how to write your requirements. Why Write Requirements?

How is SaaS Changing Product Management – A Research Thesis

Tyner Blain

Paddy Barrett in Ireland is preparing his Master’s thesis on Product Management and would like to interview (USA) state-side product managers for his primary research. It would be awesome if you could help him, and help us all. My Connection.

What is 'leadership', and how important is it for product managers?

Product Manager in Heels

Leadership is a necessity for product managers, yet many of us can't quite figure out the definition. Go ahead, try and define it- it wasn't easy for me. The standard definition is "the power or ability to lead other people", but does that really encompass everything that leadership is about?

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?

Whole Product Game

Tyner Blain

How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap? I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams. Whole Product Game Background.

How should product managers write requirements?

Product Manager in Heels

A requirement is a short statement of the problem. Everyone has different ways to write requirements.

Making the jump

Product Manager in Heels

Next May I'll officially be complete with my MBA from Babson College , which means it's time to start thinking about my next career move.

Setting Goals: Fall 2013

Product Manager in Heels

As summer wraps up (sad, I know) I can't help but think of some of the things I am hoping to accomplish over the next few months!

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?

Is Product management a skill?

Product Management and Strategic Marketing

Most of you are probably familiar with skills & expertise on LinkedIn. Among the many skills to choose from is product management. Being a product management professional, I have posted that on my profile and have been widely endorsed.

What matters most (to investors)?

Product Manager in Heels

Occasionally, we have guest speakers at Babson College, and sometimes we get a really good guest speaker! Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Friend from Bain Capital Ventures. He was extremely sincere and provided very useful feedback about what matters most to investors, and how he evaluates the pitches he receives. When evaluating a company to invest in, Scott listed several things that he focuses on: TEAM TEAM TEAM TEAM (do you get the point?)

The 360 Review Process

Product Manager in Heels

Last week, I recommended everyone complete a 360 review. Here are few of the benefits for doing 360 reviews. For the individual: increased self-awareness, discovering blind spots, understanding strengths, and taking ownership and control of own development. For the organization: improved communication, more open culture, improved team working and mutual understanding, and improved leadership skills / capabilities.

Product Managers need to help stakeholders define the problems as opposed to solutions

All About Product Management

As a Product Manager I’m responsible for ensuring that stakeholders express their requests in terms of business problems as opposed to a pet feature, so that their real needs are met and do not get lost sight of when backlog items are aggregated into common themes as the product team figure out the best solution.

Process for Prioritising the Product Backlog

All About Product Management

I’ve spent the past year bringing a new product to market, as a consultant Head of Product for a start-up business unit that’s owned by a multi-national. I had the opportunity to pretty much start at the beginning: pulling together the vision, setting up a product council/steering group, talking to users about the initial concepts and shape the overall product direction. After launching V1 of the product I ran a number of prioritisation meetings with key business stakeholders.

How important is domain expertise?

Product Management and Strategic Marketing

Anyone who has come across job postings for product management roles has seen requirements such as these: Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or equivalent. MBA or advanced degree preferred. 8+ years of successful product management. Minimum 5 years of experience with “insert the domain expertise here” related technologies.

3 Reasons Better Products Don't Always Win

Sachin Rekhi

One lesson entrepreneurs often learn the hard way is that even if they build a product that is better than the established players in the space, it doesn’t always result in them winning the market.

The Boundless Opportunities in Business Productivity Apps

Sachin Rekhi

The modern day business has come a long way in leveraging technology to enable global-scale collaboration, real-time communication, data-driven decision making, and so much more.

How I Learn: By Carefully Studying the Products I Love

Sachin Rekhi

I’m often asked by fellow or aspiring product managers how best to master the craft. They are inevitably looking for classes or books they might read to pick up the basics of product management and product design.

How To Build Your Audience Well Before Launching Your Product

Sachin Rekhi

Most entrepreneurs assume that the marketing and audience building phase of their startup begins post product launch. Yet I’ve seen some startups successfully build their audience well before they reach this point.

The Many Ways YouTube Encourages Content Discovery

Sachin Rekhi

YouTube sets the gold standard on creating an experience built from the ground up to strongly encourage content discovery.

Weekly Digest Emails as an Effective Engagement Mechanic

Sachin Rekhi

I’m a firm believer that despite the growth of social networks and messaging app alternatives, email is far from dead as an important communication channel. Usage continues to grow with Google reporting over 425 million active users on Gmail and Microsoft with over 400 million on Outlook.com.

My Favorite Product Management Tools

Sachin Rekhi

I thought I’d share my top ten favorite tools for helping me accomplish my day-to-day responsibilities as a product manager. These tools fall into three categories: collaboration, user feedback, and analytics. Collaboration.

How a Product Manager Can Listen to Their Users Every Day

Sachin Rekhi

In the ever evolving world of web and mobile products, it’s incredibly important to have a constant pulse on the sentiment, needs, and frustrations of your users.

Evaluating a Product Manager's Portfolio

Sachin Rekhi

It's customary in the design world to evaluate a designer's existing portfolio as part of the interview process to get a better understanding of their work and the process they leverage to develop their designs.

The Product Manager as the Quarterback of the Team

Sachin Rekhi

I usually summarize the role of the product manager as the CEO of their product. But I had a great conversation with a fellow product manager a couple of weeks ago who was telling me what he loved most about being a product manager was being the quarterback of the team.

Mastering Effective Communication as a Product Manager

Sachin Rekhi

Product managers spend much of their time communicating ideas, plans, designs, and tasks to their teams.

The Art of Decision Making as a Product Manager

Sachin Rekhi

Product managers have to make many decisions every day, including product prioritization decisions, product design decisions, bug triage decisions, and many more. And the process by which a product manager makes such decisions can result either in an extremely well functioning team dynamic or.

How Am I Going To Move My Product Forward Today?

Sachin Rekhi

The role of a product manager is a broad one and there are variety of tasks you could be involved with each day.