Mind the Product is above all a community of product managers who strive to push our craft of product management forward by sharing our insights, lessons learned, and pitfalls to avoid. We’ve already highlighted the Top 10 Product Talks from across our conferences and meetups, but not everyone wants to get up on stage to share, so now it’s time to look at the top 10 guest posts here on mindtheproduct.com.
1. Agile Died While You Were Doing Your Standup
The inimitable Nate Walkingshaw argues that despite the successes Agile has brought us, it’s time to take the things we have learned from Agile and move on. Like the technology we use to build the products we love ages and gets left behind, Agile has died while we were perfecting our standup.
2. Understanding how Design Thinking, Lean and Agile Work Together
People have a real need to change, but they get stuck following rules or process without really understanding why. In this post Jonny Schneider shares how to combine three metholodologies often seen as opposed to each other. Design Thinking is how we explore and solve problems; Lean is our framework for testing our beliefs and learning our way to the right outcomes; and Agile is how we adapt to changing conditions with software.
3. Enter the Matrix – Lean Prioritisation
Prioritisation is a necessary evil of every product development lifecycle. Deciding what to build, where to focus limited resources and what customer segments to target are questions that face every organisation on a daily basis. With this being the case, why do companies prioritise so badly? Andy Wicks shares his take on why poor prioritisation occurs, as well as a lean solution that will ensure you continually deliver the most value to your customers.
4. Dual-Track Agile: Why Messy Leads to Innovation
Jacob de Lichtenberg outlines how Dual-Track Agile is a development methodology where figuring out what to build is as important as the building process – and how to run it. You start with a discovery track to find out if a product idea is good and if it makes sense to build. Successful findings from the discovery track are added to the backlog of the delivery track.
5. Finding Inspiration for Customer Journey Mapping
Gleb Smolich argues that you need to create a customer journey map to understand what your prospective customers are doing on your website, why they are buying your goods or services and – more importantly – why they are not buying. Customer experience mapping can help you to understand your customers and in his post he shares some inspiring examples of customer journey maps to get you started.
6. Hiring a Product Manager: A Little Clarity Goes a Long way
Taj Moore shares his framework for understanding product managers – and the background, capabilities, orientation, and mindset we need to look for when hiring into our teams.
7. Netflix Abstracts the Team out of Product Design
Richard Banfield argues that Netflix’s documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design misses the point by reinforcing the stereotype of the individual genius, and overlooking the importance of their teams. The reality is that every one of these designers works as a member of a team, and just like product management – nothing innovative gets done without a team.
8. Top Tips for Negotiating With Stakeholders
Negotiation is rarely mentioned outside an interview for a product manager – yet, in reality, being a product manager is a role that demands good political judgement. It’s all about setting and managing expectations. In this post Edward Scotcher shared his favourite tips for negotiating with stakeholders for you to immediately go and try out.
9. Applying Product Principles to Guide Better Product Decisions
What is the compass that guides a product manager when making product decisions? How can these decisions be taken in an effective and efficient manner? Nir Gazit argues that this compass is the product’s principles. Product principles provide a framework for product decision-making at all levels in an organisation. They describe the nature of the products we create and reflect a company’s beliefs, values, and overall vision of the product.
10. How bad Ideas get on the Roadmap
Responsibility for defining the roadmap may officially rest with the product team, but there are others in the organization who can directly influence it. The heads of sales and partnerships are the usual suspects, but anyone with major influence on revenue or the customer experience has the potential to swoop in with feature requests that aren’t backed by market validation or are part of the core product vision. In this post Christian Bonilla shares how to manage that shadow product team.
As usual the evergreen product management headaches of Agile, roadmapping, stakeholder management, and prioritisation dominated the discourse in 2017. But, as our number 1 post from Nate Walkingshaw shows, we are moving on as a craft, and getting behind the methodologies and frameworks to truly understanding the value we add in an organisation, and how to make product more customer and outcome focused.
What will be the big trends that shape our craft in 2018? Write your guest post for Mind the Product and share your ideas!