Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

Tyner Blain

Last month, Mike Smart of Egress Solutions and I gave a webinar for Pragmatic Marketing on product roadmapping when working in agile environments. We had a great turnout of over 1500 people in the session – with not nearly enough time to answer all of the questions.

The Keys To Productive Brainstorming

Street Smart Product Manager

Let’s face it: brainstorming has gotten a bad rap. And deservedly so. How many of us have been part of a “brainstorming meeting” that turned out to be a total waste of time? Too many people. A purposeless agenda. Meandering conversations that go nowhere. And no follow-up afterward. Sound familiar? In fact, doesn’t “brainstorming meeting” … Continue reading The Keys To Productive Brainstorming.

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The Alternative to Roadmaps


I have always loved the General George Patton quote: “Don’t tell people what to do; tell them what you need accomplished, and you’ll be amazed at the results.” ” Unfortunately, typical roadmaps do just what the General warned against – they tell the team what to do.

The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

Product Powers

A good product roadmap is one of the most important and influential documents an organization can develop, publish and continuously update. It’s the one document that steers the entire organization in delivering on the company strategy. It's key to success, and yet many organizations struggle to produce effective roadmaps. In fact, many organizations don’t create one, even to publish internally. Or they do, but it is simply a collection of unrelated features and dates.

What’s Different about Managing SaaS Products?

On Product Management

By Felicia Anderson SaaS provides a treasure trove of new user insights. As customers adopt Software as a Service (SaaS) in record numbers, those software providers that effectively leverage SaaS’ unique advantages will move into industry-leading positions. Companies that fail to do so will lose competitive ground. Here are 3 areas that every SaaS product […]. Guest Blogger Intuit Metrics Product Management SaaS/Cloud Strategy User Experience

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Product Backlog Flows

Pragmatic Marketing

There are plenty of discussions in the agile community about how agile teams work and develop over time. Often neglected or poorly understood is how that work makes its way from the customer to the team. Below is a blueprint for creating an effective and efficient flow of work.

Techniques to Stimulate Innovation

Product Manager in Heels

Innovation is an area that every product manager from every organization wanted to focus on and hear more about. Trying to stimulate innovation is challenging especially when you don't have the proper resources to back or develop some of the ideas.

March Market Madness!

Product Beautiful

Pragmatic Marketing is running a neat Market Madness promotion – a “playoff” between the boxes on the Pragmatic Marketing Framework. You can vote on each match up and see who the winner will be at productmarketing.com. But half of the fun is just seeing the college logos the marketing team created for each box. My money is on Distinctive Competencies. I think they are underrated as a #3 seed. Go grab the bracket (PDF) and see the seeding, and tell us what you think!

You Won’t Believe What These Five Lenses Can Show You About Your Product

Tyner Blain

Fundamentally, product management requires you to assess, synthesize, and prioritize the needs which drive the creation of your product in the context of three main objectives: desirability, viability, and feasibility. While laudable, these objectives are too abstract to be actionable.

5 Indispensible Habits Of Great Product Leaders

Street Smart Product Manager

As a product management leader, there are many demands on your time. It’s easy to get sucked into working on the most pressing issues and on meeting other people’s expectations. As “do-ers”, it’s in our nature to jump on these issues immediately.

Innovation vs. Execution


In my last article I discussed how we need to simultaneously learn fast in product discovery, yet still release with confidence in product delivery. I got a very good response from this article, as well as many questions as to how teams can get better at one or both. This quickly gets into a very deep discussion of culture. You can think of this as the characteristics of a strong innovation culture, versus those of a strong execution culture.

Fighting Shiny Object Syndrome

Product Powers

Brenda rushed over from her desk in the sales pit. She was clearly excited. She’d uncovered an opportunity to partner with a local firm that would distribute our free demo to a few thousand of their customers and she was convinced it would be an easy way to generate a lot of new business quickly.

Feeding the product team using “pull”

On Product Management

As soon as somebody says you’re spending too much time on something, you’re on the right track.—Bob Bob Lefsetz, American music industry author. There are two approaches to delivering stories to your product team: pull and push. Typically, product managers and executives “push” more and more requests to the developers. Even though the team already has […]. Agile Development Development SteveJ

A Trello template for your Product Backlog

Folding Burritos

Since publishing my article on how to organize a large product backlog , I got a lot of questions from readers that wanted more details on the workflow and how to set it up in Trello.

Product Management Technologies; Five Essentials for Strategic Product Management; Planning Assumptions for 2016

Good Product Manager

We’ve been busy at SiriusDecisions with a lot of new research and resources for b-to-b product management leaders and product managers: The ABCs of Product Management Technologies. In my first post for the new SiriusDecisions Marketplace, I cover The ABCs of Product Management Technologies. This is a great overview of the landscape of tools and applications available for product managers, where I cover the four main areas of product management technology we are following at SiriusDecisions.

Interview With Hubert Palan, CEO of ProductBoard – Podcast Season 2, Episode 2

PM Hardcore

Here is the second episode of our new podcast season of All The Responsibility, None Of The Authority, crossposted from alltheresponsibility.com. I will be crossposting the new episodes from the new site to this feed as they are published (I’m a little behind now but will catch up!). Introducing Hubert Palan. Nils first met Hubert Palan in November 2014 at the Product Management Summit in San Francisco.

Amplify Your Agile Marketing by Walking on the Moon

Pragmatic Marketing

Now that this tune is stuck in your head, you’re probably thinking, “What the heck does a Police song from 1979 have to do with agile marketing?” We all know the genius of Sting, but was he really 35 years ahead of the curve for agile?

Rising to the top. as a female in technology

Product Manager in Heels

When I was getting my MBA, I would count the number of women compared to men for each class and at least 60% of them were men. In every class. It's become painfully evident to me in recent years that there is a gender gap not only in technology but in the workplace in general.

10 Things To Do To Appear ‘Innovative’

Street Smart Product Manager

Being “innovative” is all the rage nowadays. Companies big and small, tech and non-tech, are striving to seem innovative to employees and customers. I’ve worked at such companies, and I’ve helped many product managers working at such companies through my product help calls. As such, I’ve seen companies that are actually trying to be innovative, and those that seem more interested […].

13 Myths And Misconceptions About Product Managers

Street Smart Product Manager

The good news: product management is now being seen as a legitimate profession and increasingly critical to a company’s growth strategy. (Ok, Ok, maybe it was always thus in Silicon Valley, but the rest of the world is now catching up.) The bad news: There are still many myths and misconceptions folks have about our profession. Here … Continue reading 13 Myths And Misconceptions About Product Managers.

Why Not What – An Example

Tyner Blain

Forbes quoted Steve Jobs as saying “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” ” This is a really enlightened perspective – and a way to enforce focus from the top down.

Discovery vs. Delivery


Most of us are working on solving some pretty hard problems, and it usually ends up taking some fairly complex systems in order to power these solutions. As such, for most teams there are two very significant challenges to tackle: First, discovering , in detail, what the customer solution needs to be.

A Roadmap to Product Peace

Product Powers

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in April 1975 (Source: Ford Library) At 6:15 am on October 6, 1973, Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to US President Nixon, was abruptly awoken by Joseph Sisco, his Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.

The Secret Ingredient To Getting Product Innovation Done: “Internalvangelists”

Street Smart Product Manager

So you’ve probably heard of “earlyvangelists” (No? Read this post by Steve Blank, who coined the term.) In Lean Startup circles, we hear a lot about finding these special breed of customers. Because they’re the ones willing to make the initial bet on the startup, because they’ve bought into the startup’s vision and potential. They’re … Continue reading "The Secret Ingredient To Getting Product Innovation Done: “Internalvangelists”".

Upcoming SiriusDecisions Product Management Webcasts

Good Product Manager

Upcoming Product Management Webcasts. I’m excited to announce a new series of SiriusDecisions product management webcasts I’ll be hosting along with my colleague Lisa Singer. These complimentary webcasts are focused on best practices for b-to-b product management leaders and product managers.

Agile 15

Roadmap Alternative FAQ


In my prior article I discussed my favorite alternative to conventional product roadmaps. That article seemed to strike a chord in people, and I received quite a bit of very positive feedback. However, I also received more than a few questions. This didn’t really surprise me because as I said in the article, this is not a minor topic.

Missionaries vs. Mercenaries


One of my all-time favorite quotes in our industry comes by way of the legendary VC, John Doerr , where he argues that "we need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries.” ” This point captures so much, and gets right to the heart of the most important trait of strong leaders, strong organizations, and strong product teams. This is not hard to spot, either way.

SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit Recap

Good Product Manager

SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit: Recap. The 10th Annual SiriusDecisions Summit was held May 12-15, 2015 in Nashville, with 2300+ delegates getting together for 4 days of discussion on best practices and emerging trends for business-to-business sales, marketing and product leaders. I presented two sessions: The Keys to Succeeding With Integrated Solutions. So many companies talk about wanting to create “solutions” rather than “products.”

Product Management Workshop: Aug. 22-23 in Chicago

On Product Management

Want to take your Product craft to the next level? Attend the Craftsman PM 2-day hands-on Product Management workshop. Think holistically about building and marketing The Whole Product Go beyond MVP/Lean Startup and dogmatic frameworks Raise your Product Management game Details are here: The Craftsman PM: A 2-day Hands-on Workshop Where: Blue1647, Chicago, IL When: August […]. Admin Product Management

Product For Legacy Companies


NOTE: This article is from the foreword to the new 2nd Edition of The Art of Scalability by Marty Abbott and Michael Fisher. I’m reprinting it here because quite a few people have written me asking how to get their old-style company to start behaving more like a modern technology-powered business. Perhaps your company began as a brick-and-mortar retailer, or an airline, or a financial services company.

How to Deal with Unresponsive Stakeholders

Folding Burritos

As Marty Cagan puts it , managing stakeholders is probably the least favorite part of our job as Product Managers. It is, however, something we need to constantly keep on our radar, specially those of us working for larger organizations. A stakeholder is any individual or group that can affect or is affected by your project or product. By this definition, the product’s end users are also stakeholders.

Prioritizing Features; Three Questions About Product Management; SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit

Good Product Manager

Don’t Prioritize Features Based on Development Cost. One of the key responsibilities of a product manager is to decide what features and enhancements should be added to an offering.

UX 8

Deadlines are evil. Deadlines are our friends

Folding Burritos

Deadline. Even if you didn’t know what it meant, the word surely sounds ominous. And then, when you look up the origin of the term , it gets even nastier. The word comes from US Civil War prison camps, where guards would shoot any prisoner that crossed a line about 19 feet from the wall. That is the kind of inspiration for one of the most common concepts that we have to deal with on our products and projects. Just lovely.

Benefits (and Caveats) of a Simple Estimation Process

Folding Burritos

We’re all aware that we pretty much suck at estimating how long it will take to build a given piece of software. There are many reasons we fail at this. However, the core of the issue is simple. In general terms, if we want to know how much time some task will take, we need to be pretty sure about What to do, How to do it and to Have done it multiple times.