One interesting and underreported aspect of product development and product management is that there are two fundamentally different types of product work. Both are required to build a successful product, and the best product teams and product managers have mastered both and know in which context to apply which.
Similar to a weightlifter’s strength and form, these two types need to work together to be successful. Without raw strength, a weightlifter won’t be able to lift any weights, and without the proper form, they won’t be able to apply that strength effectively (or worse, hurt themselves).
Product management has this…
After my previous post on great reads for aspiring product managers, here is a list for people already in the product management job who are looking to deepen their skills. In this article, I am focusing exclusively on books that allow a deeper dive on some of these topics. Many of the non-book resources in my previous post remain relevant for seasoned product managers, too, so be sure to check them out.
There are, by now, quite a few books that cover product management end to end. Among them, the second edition of “Inspired” is the one I consider my…
In the “PM 101” series I am sharing some PM basics that I wish I had known when I first started as a product manager. In this article, I share a few best practices to better collaborate with engineers.
In addition to designers, engineers are the people that product managers interact with the most on their teams. In fact, there are usually many more engineers on product teams than people from any other function, so it is paramount for product managers to effectively collaborate with them.
Product management is a broad and varied discipline. Among the less obvious aspects of that discipline is the fact that product management is, at its heart, risk management.
At first, this assertion might seem crazy. Risk management sounds like legacy industries, big infrastructure projects executed in a stage-gate process, and lots of box-ticking exercises. That is pretty much the antipode of software product development, where you progress iteratively, accepting even to proverbially “move fast and break things”.
Over the years, I’ve given advice to quite a few people who were interested in breaking into product management. Amongst other things, I’ve always left them with a list of books and articles to read — there is a lot of great content that can shed more light on the job of product management and give tangible advice on getting into product management.
Many product management job descriptions list an engineering or computer science degree as a prerequisite. While technical skills and experience can certainly be an asset for product managers, it is an interesting question how much of it is needed and to what extent a hard requirement like having a degree in the field is appropriate.
First and foremost, it is important to recognize that product management is, first and foremost, a soft skills job. That’s because product management is mostly about getting different people to work together effectively and in alignment. Sure, there are lots of product decisions to be…
Prioritization is one of the top challenges product managers are facing. Every product team has vastly more ideas than time to build them, necessitating prioritization. What makes this challenge even harder than the scarcity of resources is the uncertainty around the fundamental characteristics of each potential option to pursue: not only is the effort unclear, but even the likelihood of a positive impact is unknown.
For this reason, there is a lot of discussion how to prioritize product improvement ideas in order to maximize impact and the possibility of success. …
Product management is a relatively new discipline that keeps evolving rapidly. Every week, there are new articles about product development best practices that industry leaders are following. This deluge of information can make it difficult to understand what practices to follow and how to look for improvement opportunities in one’s own work and team.
Moreover, this constant evolution means that what is considered best practice today might be outdated tomorrow. For instance, earlier this year, news broke that Spotify is no longer following the “Spotify model”, which for a while was hailed as the model for a large scale product…
I’ve been in product management and product leadership roles for half a decade now, and I’ve picked up a thing or two along the way. In this post, I am sharing 25 bite-sized lessons that I have learned over time — I hope they can help make you a better product manager, too.
A product manager should link the team’s work to the vision — both the company vision and a vision for their specific product area. Shared purpose provides intrinsic motivation, so communicate “why” first rather than what or how.
More thoughts on why you should “Start With Why”…
I usually don’t write much about breaking into product management — I believe that there are others who have more valuable insights to share than I do, and I therefore focus my writing on what I have learned while working as a product manager and product leader. Whenever I do share advice for people wanting to break into product, it’s only because I have a perspective or idea that I consider reasonably unique. Today, I want to share one exercise to get better at product management job interviews.