Products are developed, provided, and enhanced by people, and effectively leading them is crucial to achieve product success. But leading stakeholders and development teams is hard: It requires product managers and product owners to overcome six leadership challenges that range from lacking transactional power to guiding self-organising teams. This article—which is based on my new book “How to Lead in Product Management”—discusses the six challenges and offers practical tips for overcoming them.
Release planning is an important task for product people working with agile teams: It ensures that the product is moving in the right direction and it connects strategy and tactics. Despite its importance, release planning is not always effectively practiced in my experience. This article shares my advice to help you reflect on your release planning practices and improve them.
The product strategy describes how you plan to achieve product success. It typically covers the product’s value proposition, market, stand-out features, and business goals. While a strategy is key to creating a winning product, it would be a mistake to blindly execute it and assume it will always stay valid. As your product develops and grows, and as the market and the technologies evolve, the product strategy has to change, too. You should therefore regularly review and adjust it. The following tips will help you with this.
Working with distributed or dispersed teams is a common experience for many product people in an increasingly globalised world. While we have powerful collaboration tools at our disposal that make it possible to work across sites, countries, and continents, being separated is not always beneficial: It can damage the chances of reaching product success, as I explain in this article.
An empowered development team owns its work, is authorised to make the right decisions, and is able to work independently. Empowered teams are happier, create better products, and allow you, the person in charge of the product, to spend more time on product discovery and strategy. This article shares five tips to help you empower your development teams.
Growth is something wonderful: It means that individuals, teams, and products prosper. Growing a product management team, however, throws up a number of challenges: How big should the team become? How fast should people be added? And how should the individuals work together? This articles discusses how you can address these challenges and it shares my recommendations for growing in an effective manner.
Listening to users, stakeholders, and dev team members is crucial for product people. It helps us build rapport, generate new insights, and make inclusive decisions. Unfortunately, we can so busy updating and convincing others that we forget to attentively listen to the individuals we communicate with. This article shares 12 techniques to help you improve your listening habits and become even better at understanding others.
Developing a successful product is not down to luck or trying hard enough. Instead, product success starts with making the right strategic decisions. But as product people, we are often so preoccupied with the tactics—be it dealing with an urgent support request or writing new user stories—that we sometimes no longer see the wood for the trees. In the worst case, we neglect the strategic work and end up with an unsuccessful product. To avoid this pitfall, you should establish an effective product strategy process, 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.