A girl’s guide to product management

The phrase “Women in tech” is nonsense. It simply does not matter whether someone is female or male. We all work on great products.

However, men and women sometimes behave differently. A seasoned female product manager speaks about her keys to success:

  • Find and use quantifiable metrics
  • Be demanding and vocal
  • Embrace your fear
  • Find a mentor

The speech in included as a video.


CEO of the product myth

There are so many job descriptions and blog posts claiming that the product manager is the CEO of the product.

I usually disagree, because the product manager has many more limitation of freedom, compared to a CEO. The role is also somewhat different, though admittedly there are some similarities. Now The Clever PM (who is hopefully also inspired ;-) shows another reason why the product manager is not the CEO of the product: The CEO leads by authority, the Product Manager leads by influence. How true this is.

Unbundling apps to stand-alone apps

There is a trend of unbundling the all-in-one app on smartphones into several stand-alone apps. The most prominent example is probably Facebook unbundling its Messenger app. However, there is some doubt that this strategy pays off in the future: Why The Great App Unbundling Trend Is Already In Trouble

Very interesting to read.

What a product manager is not

A product manager has many responsibilities, yet he or she is does not do everything, is not responsible for everything and does not feature all possible character traits. Here is a list of what a product manager is not:

  • A product manager isn’t a techie
  • A product manager isn’t a marketer
  • A product manager isn’t a product owner
  • A product manager isn’t an agile fascist
  • A product manager isn’t a data analyst or user researcher
  • A product manager isn’t the boss (or la patron)

I might add that the product manager should understand everything the other guys do, even if he does not do it himself. Read the full article for further information.

Ruthless prioritization

Maybe “Laws of Software Engineering” is a bit too high-aimed, but the logic is certainly true:

  • Your development team will never be big enough. You will always have more ideas than space for development
  • Therefore, you need to prioritize ruthlessly.

prioritization makes every single item on your backlog more important than one other and less important than one other. No two items have the same priority. Since you will never have sufficient resources to develop everything, you need to prioritize. Simple.

Entity Mapping

Atlassian have a very interesting article on Entity Mapping. They imagine all the entities required for a product and map them and their relationship graphically. This allows the team to see all the relationship and everything they have to regard. I wonder, however, how they manage not to lose sight of the user goal, because this is not comprised in the entities.

Why do products fail? (Root Causes)

Probably, more products fail than not. This is not only due to lacking information, but also because of personal bias. Marty Cagan held a nice presentation which is also available as text. He points out many of the product failure reasons that are based on human irrational behaviour, and I mostly agree with him. This is a reminder for all of us to reflect our judgement from time to time.