Category: Managing Up & Across

Four Complaints About Product Management – and what to do about them

Every product manager and product owner I know is smart, hard-working, and dedicated to their organization’s success.  Why, then, do developers AND business stakeholders still complain that Product Management is ineffective? As a trainer of these roles and a product manager myself, I am genuinely… Continue reading

Can collaboration be bad for your organization?

Collaboration with our colleagues at work is a good thing, right?  As product managers, we facilitate collaboration across the entire organization to create successful products.  In Agile environments, collaboration across developers, designers, and testers is the norm.   A client who adopted true cross-functional teams… Continue reading

Mastering the Product Retrospective

Author’s note:  This is an update of a post from 2009. A regularly scheduled product retrospective is an important part of the product manager’s job. A product retrospective is similar to any other Agile retrospective, but focuses on product performance instead of team performance. In an… Continue reading

Book Review: Business Model Generation

Finally!  The book I wish we had for all the years I taught in the UW Software Product Management (SPM) Certificate Program.  Business Model Generation markets itself as “A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers”  but is equally suited for product managers who want to… Continue reading

You’ll Never Have Enough Authority

I still hear it, as the reason for a product manager’s failure: “I have all the responsibility but no authority”.  If this is your reason for a late product, a product not hitting its revenue targets, a product with lots of unsatisfied customers, then pack… Continue reading

Where Sales Meets Product Management: Price

I had the privilege of speaking at Woods Creek Consulting’s Sales Executive Peer Group earlier this month, and the topic was “Price Increases”.   I’m always excited to work with this group – where else can I talk with a dozen VPs of Sales for an hour… Continue reading

Lies, Damn Lies and Roadmaps

You know the drill… a key customer wants you and their Account Manager to show up and present your latest roadmap, so they can see when they’ll be receiving their long-awaited products or enhancement requests. Of course, you did that nine months ago, promising said… Continue reading

Leadership: When to Speak, When to Be Silent

Great product managers know when they should speak up and when they shouldn’t – a key leadership skill that comes with long experience.  But if you don’t have the long experience, how do you develop this skill? Verbal Leadership – The Right Time to Speak… Continue reading

Gaining Credibility with Executives

In the circle of influence, what is your proximity to key executives or managers?  Do you have daily contact and/or rapport?  Or is your proximity infrequent, rare or non-existent?  If you struggle from a credibility gap, consider paying attention to the language that executives use. … Continue reading

Publishing Your Product Info Binder

Now that you know the importance of a product information binder for your sales team and how to get started gathering the material, your next challenges are to distribute the information and get Sales to use it first, instead of calling you. Distributing the Information… Continue reading