It’s been another busy month for the editorial team at MTP towers. We’ve brought you podcasts on moving from UX to Product, fireside chats, posts on experimentation, ProductTank write-ups on organisation behaviour and dysfunction, and much more. Here’s a recap of our most popular posts in March.
Burnout in product teams
Burnout is causing a crisis in product teams – a recent Forbes study shows that seven out of 10 tech employees are considering quitting over the next year; 30% of those are because of burnout. In our most-read post this month coach Rachel Hamlin addresses the factors that cause product teams to burn out.
It’s not just unmanageable workloads, five other factors come into play, namely lack of autonomy, insufficient reward, lack of fairness, breakdown of community and values conflict.
All these factors appeal to our emotions so Rachel guides us through some of the ways we can look after our emotional well-being. She looks at the questions we should ask ourselves, the habits we should look out for and the pitfalls we need to be aware of if we are to avoid burnout.
Mistakes to avoid while creating a product roadmap
This article, by Monica Dhiman, Product Manager at Clearbridge Mobile, comments that a roadmap can achieve multiple goals – such as bringing key stakeholders on one page, creating a common understanding of product strategy and vision, and keeping everyone focused on the priorities by acting as a source of truth – if it’s prepared in the right way.
Too often mistakes are made that mean the roadmap falls short of its intended purpose, and this, given the amount of time a product manager spends preparing a roadmap, is heartbreaking, says Monica. Some of the most common mistakes, she says, include failing to update the roadmap, bowing to requests from demanding stakeholders, making the roadmap accessible to everyone who needs it/failing to maintain local copies of the roadmap, and creating a single roadmap for everyone.
Product and UX design – effective ways to work together
This post for Prioritised members talks to a number of product designers and asks them how they think Product and US design should work together.
We found that product designers see themselves as the advocates for user centricity, their remit is to design a clear and understandable solution and they see product managers as more focused on the overall success of the product. They think that a sense of equal partnership is important for the relationship between product management, design and engineering to work successfully, but that they need to work at understanding the needs of the business. As ever, clear communication and robust feedback are vital to a successful relationship between product management and design.
The advantages of declarative user stories
This article from Simon Schreiber, a freelance product manager based in Munich, Germany, looks at how imperative user stories focus on the “how”, whereas declarative user stories describe the “what”,or what value is created for the user. Simon looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and at how product people might decide when it’s appropriate to use one or the other.
How product teams can measure progress through outcome OKRs
A hands-on workshop for ProductTank Amsterdam from product coach Tim Herbig is the subject of our final piece of most-read content in March. Marieke Leitermann’s article runs through the theoretical and practical exercises of the workshop, the most common and underestimated mistakes, how to use output-driven key results to establish a product discovery practice and summarises Tim’s key messages.