Product vs. Project Teams

I should have written this article two years ago, just after I published Product vs. Feature Teams. I suspected then that I should follow up that article highlighting the difference between product and project teams, but in truth I fell victim to wishful thinking. I...

Discovery – Excuses

In this article I’d like to continue with the series on common problems with product discovery. So far I’ve talked about the difference between learnings and insights, the differences that result from focusing on the problem versus the solution, the essential role of...

Best vs. Rest FAQ

In my last article I discussed the two different product worlds that I straddle, and I heard from quite a few people from each of the two camps, as well as several that shared that they’ve worked in both.  I thought it might be useful to share the most common...

The Best vs. The Rest

Both of the books INSPIRED and EMPOWERED were written to try to explain and encourage the best practices of the best product companies.  I have long argued that there is a remarkable gap between how the best companies work, and the rest. I have always straddled both...

Prototype of the Day

In earlier articles I have written about several of the challenges that work from home has created for product teams, especially as it relates to product discovery.  I have also written about some of the opportunities that this same work from home has created. One...

Deep Thinking

Now that the world is starting to see the rollout of vaccines, many of us are, at long last, looking towards seeing our friends and colleagues again. For nearly a year now, I have been coaching people and teams remotely, and very often coaching them specifically on...

Lead with Context not Control

There are so many good books available today that try to explain to company leaders the advantages of empowering your people. Some of my current favorites include: Leaders Eat Last, Startup Nation, The Art of Action, Turn the Ship Around, Extreme Ownership, Team of...

Behind Every Great Company

In my last article, Product Leadership Is Hard, I provided a high-level overview of what it takes to provide strong product leadership in a product organization built on empowered product teams. In this article, I’d like to share with you several examples of strong...

Product Leadership Is Hard

So many people I meet naively believe that the key to empowering product teams is simply to get the management to back off, stop micromanaging, and give their product teams some space to do their jobs. But as I’ve tried to explain many times, empowered product teams...

Inspired and Empowered

After a nearly two-year effort, I’m very happy to report that our new book EMPOWERED is finally available for pre-order (hardcover, digital or audio), and scheduled for release worldwide in early December. In this article, I wanted to explain the reason for the new...

Product Manager Job Description

One of the most common requests I’ve received over the years is to share a good job description for a product manager of an empowered product team.   And for about as long as I can remember, I’ve forwarded on the job description that Google uses.  It’s still a decent...

Discovery – Delivery

To continue with the series on common confusions regarding product discovery, in this article I want to tackle a very damaging anti-pattern that can sometimes arise where the product team essentially devolves into two different teams, where one team is doing product...

Discovery – Judgement

To continue with the series on common sources of confusion regarding product discovery, in this article I want to talk about the critical role of judgement in product discovery. This may in fact be the single most common confusion I encounter.  I think the source of...

Discovery – Problem vs. Solution

To continue with the series on common misunderstandings about product discovery, in this article I’d like to discuss a very fundamental confusion that exists with a remarkably large segment of the product community.  For some people, this is even an emotional issue as...

Discovery – Learning vs. Insights

I introduced the term product discovery about 15 years ago, and I’ve loved watching the industry gradually broaden its mind from the concept of someone – either an old-school business analyst or a product manager – defining requirements, to the concept of...

Product Vision FAQ

In the previous article discussing product vision versus mission, I received quite a few follow-up questions.  Most of these have been addressed in earlier articles and in INSPIRED, but I thought it would be useful to gather together an FAQ related to product vision...

Product Vision vs. Mission

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The product vision is one of the most important and...

Keys To Successful Transformation

By SVPG Partners Marty Cagan and Lea Hickman In the earlier article on Meaningful Transformation, we talked about the steps necessary to effectively transform, and in the following article on Transformation in Action, we gave an example of just what a transformed team...

New Employee Bootcamp

SVPG Partner Christian Idiodi has built a powerful reputation over the years for developing very strong product teams. In his past companies, he created his own new-employee bootcamp that is an excellent example of coaching ordinary people into extraordinary teams. I...

Product Management – Start Here

There has never been more interest in becoming a product manager.  There has also never been so many strong and helpful voices that can help these aspiring product managers (at the end of this article I’ll share several of my favorites). However, there has also never...