ONE THING on Product Strategy Alignment

One of my early product jobs was at a startup with money and the CEO's exciting vision. We also had Shiny Object Syndrome, with a million ideas and tactics for how to bring the vision into practice. That's where a smart product person's strategy comes in: narrowing focus to a few key things we can do well, and getting alignment from all the stakeholders.

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ONE THING on Product Grownup

Sometimes product managers are asked to be the rational person, the grownup in the room. Others may be super optimistic, like salespeople or the CEO. Product people have to be imaginative, too, but also say, 'wait, let me break this down, we can’t do everything at once.' Product success is that level of imagination combined with an ability to plan your way there and to lead a team.

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ONE THING on Team Enlightenment

Outcome Teams are the next stage of team enlightenment. They exist to make a business successful. More and more companies have hired GMs to lead these teams who are really Product leaders on steroids. Engineering, U/X, Sales, and Marketing report to GMs directly to ensure alignment to these outcomes.

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ONE THING on Roadmap Retrospective

“Products are a journey, not a destination. A product roadmap should, by definition, have built in reflection dates to review what you have done. This helps the company to learn from past experiences, course correct where needed, and plan the next part of the journey. The process keeps you honest, and connected to your vision, your clients and your investors.”

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ONE THING on Unscientific

A few weeks ago, I did an unscientific poll: What is your company doing in response to COVID-19? Layoffs? Furloughs? Expanding? etc. Interesting results below. There is no one answer. Companies seem to be taking action across the board. I am most happy to see that changing the product mix and accelerating future plans were the strongest categories, followed by hiring/expanding and discounts. Companies around the world seem to be past the panic stage and adjusting course in the new climate. Time to revisit and revise your roadmap.

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ONE THING on Resume Geek

Everyone could use some improvement in their job hunting skills, especially now. One of my favorite resume geeks is Melissa Appel, an Associate Director PM at Wayfair. “Tell me a story on your resume!” she says. “What in your background is unique and appealing to hiring managers?”

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ONE THING on Product Chefs

Product people are often likened to mini-CEOs, but I think that overstates the control most product people have. My Product Roadmaps Relaunched co-, Evan Ryan (now a GM at Wayfair), prefers the analogy of an executive chef. This is the person who brings together kitchen staff, menu, and purchasing in order to attract customers, satisfy their hunger, and make money for the business.

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ONE THING on Virtual Roadmaps

Masterclass on Roadmaps- Virtual. I'll walk you through my process for establishing your product’s vision, prioritizing with business objectives, validating themes, gaining buy-in across stakeholders, and maximizing your team’s impact. Learn from short videos and collaborate with other students in small teams using tools like Zoom and Google Jamboard. Based on the best-selling book, Product Roadmaps Relaunched.

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ONE THING on Death to OKRs!

Marty Cagan, pioneer of product coaching, recently wrote that "after many years of being a very vocal advocate for the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) technique, in the majority of companies I meet, I have stopped recommending the practice. "In most cases, he says, they are "a waste of time and effort" with "little if any results."

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ONE THING on Job Openings! Dance Parties!

A few years ago, way before our uneasy times, the CEO of Zapier gave a talk at Business of Software on remote work. Zapier has always been a 100% remote company. Wade Foster talked about hiring remotely, onboarding, running meetings and remote dance parties, among other things. 

Do you like remote working? What do you like? Hate? Tell me your story.

Jobs
Klaviyo, Acquia, and Everbridge are hiring. Got jobs? Let me know and I'll highlight it here.