December 17

Top Product Management Posts for 2020 part deux

As we wrap up our collection of posts looking back at 2020, we wanted to share some posts that we found particularly insightful or relevant. These posts take a different look at some product management ideas or compile helpful information for product people in general.

Product management – start here. There is a lot of information available about becoming a product manager. Marty Cagan points out that there are many strong and helpful voices that can help aspiring product managers. He also knows that there is a lot of “noise and nonsense written about product management.” To help guide aspiring product managers, Marty provides a guide to a set of important product management topics in an intentional order with pointers to other good resources.

(via @cagan)

Empower Product Teams with Product Outcomes, Not Business Outcomes. Good discovery starts with a clear desired outcome. A well-defined outcome provides a focal point for the product team and serves as a guiding light for their discovery efforts. It helps the team quickly identify and conserve their time and energy for the initiatives that matter most. Hope Gurion explains that in order for teams to have a meaningful impact, they should focus on product outcomes rather than business outcomes. To clarify the difference between these two terms: A business outcome is a metric that moves the business forward, while a product outcome is a metric that helps us understand if the product is moving the business forward.

(via @hopegrrr)

From Outcome Roadmaps to User Stories. Most business and product leaders get the concept of Outcome Roadmaps and how they help connect Product Strategy to a plan to execute. However, they have difficulty shifting to this approach in practice. Sean Sullivan explains how you can go from an outcome roadmap to user stories in a backlog in order to realize the ideas contained on that outcome roadmap.

(via @nyseans)

Rich Mironov has abandoned “MVP”  After years of struggle, Rich Mironov is advising all of his clients and product leader coachees to stop using the term “MVP”. Not to stop doing validation, discovery, prototyping, or experiments they may associate that acronym, but to remove the label from all of their docs and presentations and talks. To delete the letters MVP from roadmaps and product charters. To banish it from their vocabularies, not let it cross their lips.

(via @richmironov)

A User Guide To Working With You. Julie Zhuo started writing a “How to work with Julie” guide for her team about three or four years ago and heard the phrase User Guide sometime later. A User Guide for a Person works in a similar way to a user guide for a camera. It creates clarity on how you work—what you value, how you look at problems, what your blind spots or areas of growth are, and how to build trust with you. It’s something you can give to your manager, the folks you work the closest with, or—if you are a manager—every new report who joins your team.

(via @joulee)

A product person’s guide to remote product teams. Before 2020 many people thought that product teams are most effective and innovative when they are collocated. The events of this year have shown that remote product development can work, but you need some conditions in place to make it work smoothly. Here’s an in-depth look at how product teams can work in a remote fashion even when they have a choice not to, including principles, tips for successfully working remotely, interactions, and FAQs.

(via @kbpmedia)

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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