Process vs. Model

There’s an old saying which comes from the world of statistics: “All models are wrong, but some are useful.”  This has always resonated with me.  While conceptual models are never perfect, I find them to be an especially powerful tool for explaining important...

Beyond Lean and Agile

I have been working exclusively with technology product teams now for a full 35 years, and I’ve seen countless processes, methodologies and techniques come and go.   In large part that’s the nature of the beast.  People are always searching for a silver bullet, and...

Why Women Make The Best Product Managers

Recently I gave a keynote address to the Mind The Product Conference in London, and in that talk I wanted to illustrate, by example, the essential role that very strong product managers play for their team and their company.  Most people noticed that all six of my...

Roadmap Alternative FAQ

In my prior article I discussed my favorite alternative to conventional product roadmaps.  That article seemed to strike a chord in people, and I received quite a bit of very positive feedback.  However, I also received more than a few questions. This didn’t really...

Big Bang Releases

What is a “Big Bang” release? This is when a team works for several months on a project with the intention of pushing it live in one big product creation event. Note that Big Bang is not necessarily the same as Waterfall, but it is an all too common consequence of...

Requirements Are Not

I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, but over the years, I’ve really come to dislike the entire concept of a “requirement.” I’ve learned that so many things that look like “requirements” really are just a perception, or assumption, or an illusion....

Engineers and Sales People

Believe it or not, there are still people out there that think that a technology company is really about two types of people: engineers and sales people.  People to write the software, and people to go sell it.  Everyone else is overhead and at best a necessary evil....

Top 10 Reasons for Weak Product

In my last article I discussed the top reasons for slow product, and here I wanted to highlight the top reasons for weak product.  I am defining weak product here as product that fails to meet its objectives and provide new and expanded sources of revenue and/or...

Technology First vs. Needs First

There’s a debate that’s been going on in the design and user research community because the legendary Don Norman wrote an essay in which he did an about-face and decided that doing user research to start a project was mostly a waste of time. That’s an...

No Silver Bullet

More than 20 years ago Fred Brooks published a seminal essay on the nature of software, called “No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering”.  If you’ve never read it I’d highly encourage it, as even though it’s ancient by the standards of our...
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