September 6

Being a truly innovative Product Manager

On Guy’s Grocery Games chefs have to take innovative approaches to prepare meals as they tackle various cooking challenges. Guy Fieri fosters the chefs’ innovation by setting constraints in which they need to operate while still producing a tasty meal. There are, of course, more ways to spark innovation than slapping on three constraints. You need to find ways to balance the two competing activities of coming up with ideas and implementing them. You also want to make sure you don’t always rely on only one approach to innovation. Now go read about some approaches to fostering innovation and deciding where to apply it.

Five ways chief product officers can foster innovation. A chief product officer (CPO) is often expected to do two things: Drive innovation, and create a compelling product roadmap that delivers business value. “The two activities are closely related. A good product roadmap doesn’t just detail iterations on a company’s existing solutions. It offers a vision of what these products can be, as well as other products a company might launch that support its core mission. Without innovation, this vision of the future will be uncompelling at best, and nonexistent at worst.” Dejan Deklich describes the five steps that CPO’s can follow to effectively foster innovation at their organization.

(Via @dejandeklich)

Four Steps to an Effective Innovation Process.  “For any growth company, the process of innovation can be both exciting and daunting. Your team has no shortage of ideas, but how do you make sure you’re generating viable ones? In essence, you need a solid framework and clear direction.” Dave Power helps you get that clear direction with this four-step guide to get you on a smooth path to innovation at your own organization.

(via @PerkinsCEO)

Three reasons why product managers need insight to innovate. Software development is data-driven, risk-taking, and innovative, yet enterprise software organizations tend to pursue the science of delivery instead of the art of discovery. In order to adjust that balance, if you build enterprise software, you need to understand the people who use that software. The folks at Justinmind explain three ways that you can use insights to bring more of the art of discovery, and hence innovation, into enterprise software.

(via @just_in_mind)

Two characteristics can help you determine when you should innovate. Innovation is a great thing for your innovation, when you’re in a situation that requires innovation. Truth is, your organization should only be innovative with a limited number of activities – those that reinforce your organization’s competitive advantage. The activities that require innovation are those that are mission critical to your organization and differentiate your organization in the marketplace. Kent McDonald explains how you can use the Purpose Based Alignment Model to determine where to apply innovation and where you should mimic and simplify.

(via @kbpmedia)

One right innovation management process, for your particular situation.  Innovation is more than just generating a lot of new ideas. If you want one or more of those ideas to generate value, you have to figure out how to execute in order to make those ideas a reality. Julia Kylliäinen takes a look at some commonly used innovation management processes and explores the different aspects for each one.

(via @teamviima)

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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