Organisational onboarding, by Roman Pichler.
In Summary: Without a dedicated Product Management function, product decisions are not made effectively. But successfully introducing Product Management is not easy.
The 1st step is to establish a clear vision for a PM function and outline why your company would benefit from it. Next, you need to communicate this to the executive team and advise them where product should sit within the organisation.
The third step is to involve the key people who will be affected by a new PM function. Then, make sure the right team is in place. This often means hiring a new Head of Product with sufficient experience and leadership skills.
Fully establishing Product Management requires persistence as the initial introduction often falls short and people fall back into old habits and roles.
Think like a customer, says Dr Jim Anderson.
In Summary: As Product Managers, it's easy to get preoccupied with release mapping, feature planning and metrics. As a result, we tend to overlook the fact that all products start with a problem that needs to be solved.
Product Managers need to work with Sales Teams to convince potential customers that they have a problem. It’s not just price that needs to be managed, it’s the complete value proposition that you offer.
Most customers are looking at a variety of possible products. Good Product Managers spend time figuring out how to convince potential customers that their product is the best choice.
An interview with Hooked author, Nir Eyal.
In Summary: Nir Eyal has spent years studying what it takes to change customer behaviour. He calls it 'behavioural design.' In his book (Hooked), Nir details how products use hooks to create powerful associations.
'Hooks' are experiences that connect users’ problems to a company’s solution with enough frequency to form a habit. Hooks are in all sorts of products we use with little or no conscious thought. It’s what products like Facebook and Instagram have executed so successfully.
There are 5 basic questions a company needs to ask when building a habit-forming product. It starts with 'What pain is your product relieving?' and ends with 'Are users fulfilled by the reward, yet left wanting more?'
As ad-blockers prevail and interfaces shrink from desktops to wearables, habits become more important because the screen space to trigger people to action is disappearing.
It’s important to understand how products can change behaviour. 'Hooked' exposes the hidden psychology of the attention-draining distractions in your life so that you can regain control.
The design of your payment schedule is crucial to the usage of your product, says Digital Telepathy's Colleen Roller.
In Summary: There are 3 different types of payment timing: pre-pay & consume later, pay at the time you consume, or consume first then pay later.
Researchers who analysed the usage patterns of a health club in Colorado found that those who made payments most frequently also had the best attendance.
When people are made aware of cost, they react by wanting to make the most of what they’ve purchased, instead of letting it to go to waste. 'Pay as you Go’ motivates usage the most as it draws attention to the cost. Free fails to motivate usage at all.
Itemised costs help people understand what items are worth, so bundling can have an adverse effect on usage.
Customer retention depends a lot on the extent to which products are actually being used. So, payment design can motivate behaviour, compel usage, and ultimately, drive your business.
More doesn't always mean better, says Product Plan's Sara Aboulafia.
In Summary: Feature bloat can cost you precious resources, weigh down your team, and harm the integrity of your product. Sara's process helps Product Managers avoid the trap of feature overload.
First, Product Managers must uncover customers’ true needs and only build things that solve real problems. Considering customer feedback is different from taking it all on.
Second, they must decide whether a feature’s complexity cost is necessary. An application that does 20 things is more difficult to change than an application that does one thing.
Third, they should say 'no' to the majority of feature requests. Saying 'no' helps you remain aligned with your overall product strategy and other business goals.
Finally, they must be vigilant for 'vampire features' and kill them before they kill their product. If a feature is only used by a handful of customers, if it’s outdated or irrelevant - they should take the initiative to cut it.
It's the little big details, says Slack's Anna Pickard.
In Summary: Product Teams at Slack try to ensure that release notes contain real value, useful information and connect with the real people who use Slack the most.
The teams keep a list of everything in a release and divide it into 'things that are new' and 'things that we fixed'. New means new features or functionality, listed in order of excitement. Fixed means anything else that has affected users at some point.
Nothing goes out without being checked and tidied by an editor. The content is the most important thing. You can have character, but if it starts to overwhelm the content, no one will read the release notes any more.
Slack believes a love for language and a little humour go a long way.