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InsideProduct

Hand-picked resources for product owners, business analysts, and product managers working in tech-enabled organizationsCheck out the resources I offer below and sign up for my newsletter!

Featured Post

How to decide when to build and when to buy software

When organizations create a new process, or overhaul an existing process, there’s one type of decision that rarely gets the consideration it should. That decision - as you may have guessed from the topic of this newsletter - is whether to build or buy the software used to support that process. It often seems like the folks involved don’t even realize they have a choice. Some organizations build everything… because they can. These are typically the organizations that even though they aren’t...

5 days ago • 6 min read

As I was preparing to write this week’s issue of InsideProduct, I deviated from my originally planned topic to delve into the user interview topic one more time. I had the opportunity to visit a customer of the product I’m currently working on and as I prepared for the visit I realized I’ve gotten lazy with my note taking. Since I work remotely almost exclusively all my interactions are via Zoom or Google Meet and both have real handy recording capabilities. This visit was going to be…gasp…...

12 days ago • 5 min read

A couple of weeks ago, I explored how user interviews can help with your discovery efforts. One of the key messages was the questions you ask will go a long way to determining how effective your user interviews are. You need to know what you’re trying to find out, and you need to ask people questions about what they actually do, not what they think they might do. You want stories, not predictions. And you may have read that newsletter and said “sounds like a great idea. An example would be...

22 days ago • 1 min read

Good product managers build a shared understanding with product teams. More often than not, that shared understanding focuses on what the product will do. It’s features described by requirements. Great product managers know the shared understanding needs to be about users, their problems, and how a product can help solve those problems. One technique coming from the design community to help you build that shared understanding is user scenarios. User Scenarios provide depth and context No, I...

28 days ago • 3 min read

There’s a phase early in most product people’s careers where they hear “go interview users\customers” and they think “ok, I’ll ask them what they want.” Hopefully, that is a temporary phase. You should talk to your users and customers (current or potential). You shouldn’t ask for a wish list (often referred to as “gathering requirements”). Do that and you’ll get a lot of things you could do, but may not actually solve the problem you want to solve. Nor should you ask them what they would do...

about 1 month ago • 6 min read
Product Council

As a product manager, one of your primary responsibilities is making sure decisions get made. Particularly decisions about what gets built in what order and what doesn’t get built. You’d probably also like to think that you’re the one making all those decisions. Yeah, right. In most organizations regardless of size there are some decisions that you aren’t in a position to make, which is where a product council is helpful. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash​ A Product Council...

about 2 months ago • 4 min read

Yogi Berra was right. It is hard to predict the future, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. Every year as December turns to January, you’ll see a slew of articles from people trying to predict what will happen in the new year related to a particular topic. I looked around for product management predictions and shared a sampling below. It’s mostly what you’d expect - AI, data, and agile are fairly prevalent. There are some interesting insights related to marketing and sales. I also found...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read

Accelerating Products I mentioned in the last issue of InsideProduct that I am one of the track chairs for the Accelerating Products track at Agile2024. It’s my attempt to build a stronger appreciation between product people and agilists. The submission period is now open, so if you’d like to speak at Agile2024, submit your session today. I look forward to seeing your submissions! What you need to know about business rules If you’re a longtime reader of InsideProduct, you’re familiar with the...

2 months ago • 4 min read

Before I get into the main topic for this edition of InsideProduct, I wanted to let you know about a new side project I’ve started. Accelerating Product 2024 is shaping up to be my year of cross pollination,+ where I try to build bridges between the various communities in which I play or have played. I volunteered to be one of the track chairs for the Accelerating Product track at Agile2024. It’s my attempt to build a stronger appreciation between product people and agilists. If you’d like to...

3 months ago • 4 min read

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash​ When you’re deciding what to include and exclude from your product, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. Hopefully, the first thing that comes to mind is customer needs. If not, we need to have a chat… But there are other factors to consider, and one that presents a bit of a slippery slope is your market and your competition. It’s a slippery slope because you certainly should consider other solutions customers use to solve their problems....

4 months ago • 4 min read
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