Essential Articles

This page provides you with quick access to some of the key articles Roman has written. They are grouped into seven topics: product leadership, product vision and strategy, product roadmaps, product roles, product management processes, product backlog, and learning and development for product professionals. Happy reading!

Product Leadership

Decoding Product Leadership

Strong product leadership is crucial to offering successful products and enabling product-led growth. Unfortunately, there is disagreement and confusion about what exactly product leadership is and who should exercise it. Is product leadership limited to someone working as a head of product? Or can—and should—others lead in product management too? In this article, I share my advice to help you effectively practise product leadership and become great at leading others.

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What Should a Head of Product Do?

Becoming a head of product is a career aspiration for many product managers and product owners. But what exactly should a head of product do? Which are the responsibilities the individual should fulfil? Read on to find out my answer.

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Building High-Performing Product Teams

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team,” Steve Jobs once said. This insight also applies to product management: As product people, we can’t achieve product success on our own . We rely on the support of others including stakeholders and development teams. This article shares my advice on fostering collaboration and forming an effective maximise the chances of offering a great product.

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Understanding Empowerment in Product Management

Being empowered can make all the difference in doing a great job. Sadly, not all product people have the authority they need. This observation is hardly new, though, and just wishing for more empowerment isn’t enough. In this article, I explain what empowerment in product management really means. I help you determine how empowered you are, and I share specific tips to increase your empowerment.

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Product Vision and Strategy

The Strategy Stack: Connecting Business, Product, and Technology Strategy

For any business to succeed, it is crucial to make the right strategic choices. To achieve this, you’ll benefit from using four different types of strategies: business, portfolio, product, and technology strategy. But that’s not enough. You’ll also have to successfully align the plans. To help you address these challenges, I have developed a new framework, the Strategy Stack, which I introduce in this article.

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What Exactly is a Product Strategy?

The product strategy is possibly the most important product management plan. But what exactly is it? Which information should it contain? Do you need a strategy for your product? How can you ensure that it is likely to result in a successful product and how do you keep it up to date? These are the questions I am going to answer in this article.

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The Product Vision Board

The vision plays an important role in bringing a new product to life: It acts as the overarching goal guiding everyone involved in the development effort. Equally important is the product strategy, the path chosen to attain the vision. Without a shared vision and an effective strategy, people are likely to pull in different directions, and the chances of creating a successful product are slim. While vision and strategy are key, describing them can be challenging. This post introduces the Product Vision Board, a tool that helps you capture the vision and product strategy.

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How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Product

A key challenge of working with KPIs is to select the right indicators: There are so many different metrics to choose from including daily active users, net promoter score, and profit, to name just a few. What’s more, senior managers and stakeholders can have strong views on which indicators should be used. This article helps you select the metrics that really matter and are truly helpful for your product.

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Roman’s Product Strategy Model

Making the right strategic decisions is crucial to achieve product success. If it’s not clear, for example, what a product’s value proposition is and what its stand-out features are, then it will be difficult to create the desired business value. But I find that many product teams do not use a systematic approach to create and evolve a product strategy. To put it differently, they lack a product strategy model. In this article, I describe the model that I have developed.

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Product Roadmap

The GO Product Roadmap

The product roadmap is an important product management tool. But effectively applying it can be challenging. Roadmaps are too often focused on features. This can make it hard to achieve agreement and alignment, and it can result in a plan that is too detailed and prone to change. This article introduces a new product roadmap template: the GO product roadmap, a goal-oriented roadmap that combines goals and features in a novel way, making it ideally suited for agile, dynamic environments.

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OKRs and Product Roadmaps

OKRs—objectives and key results—are a popular goal-setting technique. But can and should you use OKRs on product roadmaps? What benefits does this approach offer and are there any drawbacks? These are the questions I’ll answer in this article.

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10 Tips for Creating an Agile Product Roadmap

A product roadmap is a powerful tool to describe how a product is likely to grow, to align the stakeholders, and to acquire a budget for developing the product. But creating an effective roadmap is not easy, particularly in an agile context where changes occur frequently and unexpectedly. This post shares ten practical tips to helps you create an actionable agile product roadmap.

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Product Roles

Product Manager vs. Product Owner

For 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.

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Six Types of “Product” Owners

While the product owner role is not new—it emerged in Scrum in the second half of the 1990ies—there is still confusion about what it means to be a product owner. It’s not uncommon for me to meet someone who refers to themself as a product owner, only to discover that they own a product part but not the entire product. Other times, I meet someone who says they are a product owner. But it turns out that the person manages several products, an entire product portfolio. This article helps you reflect on and improve the way the product owner role is applied at your workplace. It describes six common types of “product” owners. It shows how the roles differ and relate to each other, and it explains how you can effectively apply them.

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Getting Stakeholder Engagement Right

Being a successful product manager or product owner requires more than building a product with the right user experience (UX) and features. If the stakeholders don’t support your product, then it will be difficult to achieve success. It is therefore important to engage the right stakeholders and to work with them in the right way. This post discusses a proven technique to analyse stakeholders, the power-interest grid, and it shares my recommendations for engaging with different stakeholder groups in the right way.

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Product Management Process

A Brief Guide to Product Strategizing

When practiced correctly, product discovery maximises the chances of achieving product success. Unfortunately, I find that it’s not uncommon that companies lack an effective product discovery approach. This article offers help. It explains what product discovery is, why it matters, and how it helps you maximise the chances of creating a successful product. It discusses when, how and by whom product discovery should be carried out. Finally, it describes how product discovery helps you progress existing products.

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Continuous Strategizing

As markets, products, and technologies change at an ever-faster pace, strategies that used to last for years are in danger of becoming quickly outdated if they are not being adapted. To help you with this challenge, proactively respond to change, and spot opportunities and threats early on, I discuss continuous strategizing in this article—an approach that looks at strategy as an ongoing process rather than periodical work. What’s more, I offer practical advice on how you can implement the approach and ensure that your product strategy is truly adaptive.

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Product Strategy and Product Discovery

Product discovery has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to determine the right solution. In this article, I explain why you need a product strategy to succeed with product discovery, how the strategy helps you determine the right outcomes and opportunities, and how you can use the Product Vision Board to build an Opportunity Solution Tree.

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Product Backlog

Product Goals in Scrum

The 2020 edition of the Scrum Guide introduced a new type of goal, the product goal. This article shares my recommendations to help you as the person in charge of the product set effective product goals.

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10 Tips to Fully Leverage the Product Backlog

Working with the product backlog can be challenging, and many Scrum product owners wrestle with overly long and detailed backlogs. This article shares ten practical tips that help you take full advantage of your product backlog.

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Prioritising a Product Backlog When Everything is Important

The product backlog is an essential product management tool: It captures detailed product decisions and directs the work of the development team. The latter requires it to be prioritised or ordered. But how can you prioritise a product backlog when everything seems equally important? This article shares my answer. It recommends taking four steps to get to an effective, prioritised product backlog.

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Learning and Development

A Learning Roadmap for Product People

Working in product management can be very rewarding. But it can also be very challenging. One of the reasons is the diverse skills that are needed to succeed as the person in charge of the product. To acquire and deepen them, you will benefit from a focused learning plan. This article discusses such a plan in the form of a learning roadmap. I explain what a learning roadmap is, how you can create one, and how you can effectively put the plan into action and become an even better product professional.

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The T-Shaped Product Professional

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.

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Growth Mindset in Product Management

Learning is crucial for us product people. As our products change and eventually mature, we must change the way we manage them. As our jobs change, and we have to grow into them and acquire new skills. Additionally, product management is a comparatively young profession that is still evolving; new models and techniques emerge. This article discusses how embracing a growth mindset helps you succeed as a product professional.

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