As product people, we can be very fond of the products we manage. While it’s good to care about them, we must not forget that they are a means to an end: Products only exist to create value for their users and the business. It is therefore important that your product helps your company move forward and supports the overall business strategy, as I discuss in this article.
Being an effective product leader is not easy: It requires embracing people’s ideas as well as saying no, being neither too accommodating, nor too assertive. This post helps you recognise and overcome two common, ineffective leadership styles, feature broker and product dictator, and develop a balanced, successful leadership approach.
As a product manager or product owner, you guide and lead the development team and stakeholders. But you usually don’t have the authority to tell people what to do. Creating alignment and ensuring that everybody is moving in the same direction can consequently feel like herding cats. Luckily, there is a solution: working with shared, connected goals, as I explain in this article.
The sprint review meeting is maybe the most important Scrum event for product people—it helps you collect feedback and make the right product decisions thereby increasing the chances of creating a successful product. But I find that product owners are not always clear on who should attend the meeting, how it should be run, and how to collect the relevant feedback. This article answers these questions and shares my tips for getting the most out of the sprint review.
As a product owner, you look after a digital product and work with a development team. Does this mean that you require technical skills? Should you be able to program and write code? Or is it sufficient that you take an interest in software technology and leave the rest to the team? This post shares my answers and recommendations.
Experiencing disagreement and conflict is part of our job as product managers and product owners. We work with a broad range of people from different departments, and it’s only natural that we don’t always agree and sometimes clash. But constructively navigating conflict can be challenging. This article shares my recommendations for dealing with difficult people and successfully addressing conflict.
The Daily Scrum is an important meeting for agile development teams: It facilitates self-organisation and helps maximise the chances of reaching the sprint goal. Despite its importance, the meeting is not always effective. This articles share my recommendations on how you as the product owner can help make the Daily Scrum a success.
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.
As product people—product managers and product owners—we usually don’t hold any positional 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 the development team members and stakeholders 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 boost your leadership, as I explain in this article.
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.