March 13

Managing a thriving product team

Managing a product team is different from managing a product. Managing a thriving product team means taking things to another level. As these resources show, that next level generally involves providing your team the environment in which they can excel, removing obstacles for them, and getting out of their way.

Empowered product teams. What are the skills and techniques used by the best product teams to solve hard technology problems? Marty Cagan has found that many teams get quite good at the techniques of product discovery, yet are not truly empowered to work as they need to. Marty explains the best way to manage an empowered product team is “to empower the team to solve hard problems in ways their customers love, yet work for their business.”

(via @Cagan)

What companies can do to help empower product teams. “Transitioning to having outcome-driven, empowered product teams is a tricky business.” Many organizations find the idea of empowered product teams appealing, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. Monica Viggars shares some ways of working and approaches that might help companies navigate the transition to empowered product teams.

(via @monicaviggars)

How to lead a distributed team. Over the last few years, the world of work has shifted towards being increasingly distributed. Over the last couple of weeks, a black swan event has sped that shift up considerably. This shift has a big impact on team leaders who rely on face-to-face interaction to sense how their team is feeling and identifying people who need help. Jennifer Dennard shares some lessons she learned for leading remote and distributed teams that are quite relevant given the rapid adoption of remote work.

(via @RangeLabs)

How to Run a Product Team. Pranav Khana takes a look at the process side of running a product team. He explores seven problems that you may face when you manage a product team and explores a variety of ways to address those problems. The result of this exploration is not so much a framework as a set of lessons on collaboration, culture, recruiting, and alignment

(via @khannapranav)

Building great teams and leadership. In the early part of his career, Jeffrey Davidson had built up a lot of experience leading teams, but he wasn’t a good leader. That changed when he had the opportunity to build a team of product people. He started by hiring good people. Then he kept an unrelenting focus on learning and improvement. That team became the envy of the organization. Jeffrey joined the Leadership Happy Hour podcast to explain what it takes to get your team to the next level, what it means to lead, and how what you do is so much more important than what you say.

(via @JeffreyGoodLead)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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