Right customer + right time, says Redfin's George Perantatos.
In Summary: Product Managers must clearly identify their ideal customer and ensure their product focuses on solving their problems or meeting their needs.
History is littered with products (like Crystal Pepsi, Microsoft's TabletPC or HP's Touchpad) that failed because they didn't consider who their customer was and why they would need it.
Knowing when to launch a new product is often a question of technology and market maturity. You need to ask: is this technology ready to become a product? Is the market ready for this now?
To find the right customer you need to talk to lots of them and understand their problems, goals and aspirations. To find the right time you need to study your market and your competitors and understand how your product will fit into or disrupt it.
A user's journey, by Donna Lichaw.
In Summary: Like it or not, customers use stories to understand your product. They also use stories to tell others about your product. The better the story, the better the experience, the better the word of mouth.
Donna Lichaw’s new book The User’s Journey explores how stories impact our users and consumers and how we can use that knowledge to connect with and engage them.
Understanding the 'story arc' of products helps Product Managers build them in a way that excites people, adds tension and intrigue, and maps out how the human brain wants to experience using them.
Creating stories isn’t just good for users, it’s good for the business too. If you’re concerned with building products for a certain type of human behaviour, stories are where business, design and user intent intersect.
Another masterclass from Teresa Torres.
In Summary: If you work in Product Management you will most likely know the concept of Dual Track Development and the activity known as Product Discovery.
Traditionally, Product Teams have worked under assumptions that have led them astray. This can lead to costly mistakes and wasted resources. To avoid these assumptions, we need to experiment and measure the impact of changes we make to the product.
In this video, Teresa identifies the 2 dimensions of Product Discovery, the common pitfalls that prevent teams from fully adopting it and advises on how to avoid them.
Hire outside the box, says Drift's David Cancel.
In Summary: Product Management is a role that is very unique to a company. Sometimes it’s a true product owner. Sometimes they're really just project managers. Sometimes they are product marketers.
David never hires someone who has been a Product Manager before. Instead he looks for specific patterns and heuristics when hiring. Is someone a genuine product junkie who is obsessively curious? Can they suggest how to make other products better? Are they closer to the customer than anyone else in the company?
You need to understand your company's 'secret sauce' when it comes to hiring PMs. If your secret sauce is product, then look outside the box to find PM’s that you can mould and grow.
[Judging by the comments, not everyone agrees with David's unorthodox recommendations but credit is due for provoking debate.]
Uservoice's Heather McCloskey uses The Force.
In Summary: If the purpose of a Product Manager is to lead and inspire teams toward a common goal, Luke Skywalker might just be the perfect role model. He could never have set out on his journey to become a Jedi had he not come to terms with his true purpose: to restore peace to the galaxy.
A Product Vision Statement defines the underlying purpose of a product. For Luke, restoring peace to the galaxy meant blowing up the Death Star. For Product Managers it could mean restoring the stability of your customer platform.
The Product Vision Statement is something you should be able to memorise and write on the back of a business card. It should be co-created and agreed upon by all. To define one, you need to know how your product supports your company’s overall vision, who your end user is, what needs it meets and what your key points of differentiation are.
A good Product Vision Statement should be front of mind throughout the development process. Without it, you can’t rally your team and your stakeholders towards the destination.
Not just a presentation tool, says Product Plan.
In Summary: To be successful, Product Managers need living roadmaps to help stakeholders understand where a product’s development stands and to adjust effectively when circumstances require a shift in strategy.
Different development scenarios require different types of roadmaps.
A single product roadmap gives both a longer-term view of your product’s plans and a ground-level guide to what you should focus on to meet goals and deadlines. A multi-product roadmap gives a strategic view of your product’s journey in the larger context.
Shorter-term and more task-oriented, Agile roadmaps can be invaluable when it comes to release planning
Product roadmaps should form a significant part of a Product Manager’s day-to-day work. Created and maintained correctly, they help Product Teams step back at anytime and examine their strategic objectives.