Product Management vs. Engineering

If a great product is the result of combining a real customer need with a solution that’s just now possible, then it’s easy to see why the relationship between the product manager and the engineering team is so critical. The product manager is responsible for defining...

Product Management vs. Project Management

Earlier I’ve written about how important it is to clearly distinguish the roles of product management and product marketing (see Product Management vs. Product Marketing). But many companies suffer from a related problem, which is when the roles of product management...

Prototype Testing

Readers of these articles know that I view the high-fidelity prototype as the primary means of describing the product to be built. I have written elsewhere why a prototype is significantly more useful to the product team than the typical paper-based specification....

Product Discovery

Have you seen this situation before? Your company gets all excited about a product idea, and as product manager you are asked to define it. You are told that the engineers will be finished with their current project in 4 weeks, so that means take all the time you...

Managing Product Managers

In my last article (Product Management vs. Product Marketing) I discussed why product management is very different from product marketing, and how critical it is to have capable product managers. The note seemed to strike a chord in that a record number of you wrote...

Product Management vs. Product Marketing

Industry pundits claim that 9 out of 10 product releases are failures in that they don’t meet their goals. I don’t know if that’s the exact stat or not, but I bet it’s not far off. I do believe strongly that most releases are ill-conceived. Countless release cycles...

Product Management vs. Product Marketing

Industry pundits claim that 9 out of 10 product releases are failures in that they don’t meet their goals. I don’t know if that’s the exact stat or not, but I bet it’s not far off. I do believe strongly that most releases are ill-conceived. Countless release cycles...

Estimating Project Costs

Even though we’ve been estimating project costs since the beginning of software, it’s remarkable to me how much confusion remains. I think the root cause of this confusion is that management needs cost information very early in the process, yet engineering...

Make a Friend in Finance

How many of you understand the economics of your product? Do you know your exact revenue model? Do you know the total costs of your product? Do you know how much you pay for each new customer? Do you know their lifetime value to the company? Do you know the return...

Don’t talk to Customers?

Every so often I meet a product manager that tells me that they are not allowed to talk to their users or customers. Sometimes it’s because the sale reps want to control all access; or maybe it’s because marketing is supposed to be the interface with the customer; and...
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