Every day the Product Manager Club brings you the best product management, product marketing and product design reads from across the web. We do the hard work collating all of the best content and articles so that you don’t have to – it’s all a part of our efforts to grow a thriving product community. We hope you enjoy!
The Fundamental Tension in Product – Well damn Dan Schmidt, just when I thought every article under the sun had been written on product management or re-skinned in some capacity…I found this! Dan has created a library of D3.js esque loops and triangle that detail and visualise product concepts elegantly. I can’t write words that sum up how well Dan Schmidt writes words about product, which is hard to define with words. In this article Dan talks about how in crafting products, there’s a tension between two dispositions.
On the one hand, methodologies like lean startup and agile push us to regularly fit our product to the real world. By regularly running tests, validating demand, and shipping in small iterations, we can keep an up-to-date map of our product’s environment. Using market signals as a steering mechanism seems to be the surest way to create value. On the other hand, the most impactful products, don’t just react to their environment, they change it. Igniting real change, it seems, requires a leader’s unwavering commitment to a vision of how the world should be.
Real World Kanban – Cynical, smirk inducing and honest. That’s all that can be said really about the cartoon John Cutler published in his Medium blog. It’s a bit of a shame that in many organisations this is what it means when you elevate to the next level…’Kanban’.
6 templates for aspiring product managers – In Kevin Steigerwald’s own words, “To ease the pain, I have created a handful of templates I use for all the miscellaneous writing tasks that fall on my desk daily. I offer them here for you to use and give feedback on. And I’d love to hear if you find them helpful or have templates of your own to share”.
Where do Product Roadmaps Come From? – Intercom have been doing some seriously decent product writing in recent months. They just came out of nowhere. What I like about this article is that they make an explicit point that is a bug bear of mine…that is, that a product roadmap isn’t simply a chronological list of what do build next.
Great product teams have a plan, usually in the form of a product roadmap. This is simply a chronological list of what they plan to build next. That part isn’t all that interesting. What’s interesting is what is on the roadmap, and most interestingly, why it is there.
A New Skill Model for Product Managers – Product management is often situated at the intersection of user experience, technology and business. And while these skills are certainly essential for a product team, they do not align very well with the day-to-day work of a product manager. Yes, a product manager might be responsible for communicating between designers, developers, and business leaders. But the skills required to be a designer, a developer, or a business leader are very different from the skills required to create alignment between designers, developers, and business leaders. UX, tech, and business are areas of subject matter knowledge that might be relevant to some product managers, but they are not the actual skills required to be a great product manager.
The Black Box of Product Management – One of our favourite writers doing what he does best…explaining common product management questions anecdotally in a way that feels human and in a way that we can all relate.
“What does a product manager do, anyway?” I empathize with designers and engineers for asking this question. In their shoes, I would be just as skeptical, because a product manager’s activities are fragmented, and don’t reveal the true discipline beneath.