Tag Archives: product manager

The T-Shaped Product Manager

Product management is a multi-faceted discipline. This makes our work interesting and varied. But it can also make it hard to see which skills we need to develop so we can do an even better job or take on more responsibility. In this post, I discuss balancing product-specific skills with generic product management capabilities. I suggest developing a t-shaped skills profile that ensures that you have the necessary deep skills to progress your product, as well as the broad skills required to systematically deal with common, recurring product management challenges.

Boost Your Product Leadership Power

As product people—product managers and product owners—we usually don’t hold any transactional power. Unlike a line manager, we cannot reward people by offering a pay rise or bonus, for instance. We cannot tell people what to do either, as stakeholders and development teams don’t report to us. This puts us in a challenging position: We must lead others to achieve product success but we cannot leverage traditional management instruments. Luckily, there are other power sources you can tap into to increase your authority, as I explain in this article.

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

For many years, people have debated what the difference between the product manager and the product owner role is, if the roles can coexist or not, and which one should be used. This article shares my thoughts on the topic and reflects on the origin of the product owner role.

Making Unanimous Product Decisions

Unanimity is a powerful approach to take advantage of the collective wisdom of the stakeholders and development team members and generate strong buy-in and shared ownership of a decision. But it can be challenging to apply, and if used incorrectly, it can create mediocre results. This post helps you leverage unanimity to make successful product decisions. It explains when and how to use it, and it discusses common traps and how to avoid them.

Use Decision Rules to Make Better Product Decisions

As product managers and product owners, we make a myriad of decisions—from shaping the product strategy and determining the product roadmap to deciding the detailed functionality of our products. But do we make all these decisions effectively? And do we always secure the necessary buy-in? This post helps you make better decisions. It discusses six common decision rules and explains when to apply them.

Should Product Owners be Servant-Leaders?

Being an effective product owner or product manager requires leadership: the development team and stakeholders need guidance and direction to collaborate and achieve product success. But as product people, we usually don’t have any authority over the individuals; we can’t tell people what to do. Can servant-leadership—leading others by serving them—help product owners and product managers guide and direct people?

Mindfulness Tips for Product Managers and Product Owners

As product managers and product owners, we are busy people with a diverse range of responsibilities. This makes it all too easy to hurry from one meeting to the next, to try to accomplish several things at once, and to get lost in the busyness of our work. Unfortunately, this approach is not only unproductive, it also affects our wellbeing. Mindfulness offers a different path: becoming more aware of what we do and how we do it so we can make better decisions and be more creative. This post shares six practical mindfulness tips to help you work better and feel happier.

8 Tips for Collaborating with Development Teams

The development team is a key partner for every product manager and product owner: the team designs and builds the actual product. But it’s not always easy to effectively guide and work with the team. This post shares eight tips to make your collaboration with the development team even more effective, thereby increasing the chances of creating a successful product.

10 Tips for Writing Good User Stories

User stories are probably the most popular agile technique to capture product functionality: Working with user stories is easy. But telling effective stories can be hard. The following ten tips help you create good stories.

The Agile Product Owner Responsibilities

In theory, the product owner’s responsibilities are simple: The individual should maximise the value the product creates according to the Scrum Guide. But what does this mean in practice? In reality, the application of the product owner role varies greatly, as products and organisations differ. But my experience shows that there are two key factors that determine the duties of a product owner: the scope and the depth of ownership. This blog post discusses these two factors to help you apply the role successfully.