Product Management Certification?

Occasionally product managers will ask me if they should get “certified” as a product manager. There are half a dozen or so organizations that have created their own “product management certification” programs. Now, I do not blame any of these organizations in the...

What’s a Beta?

For years people have been arguing about what the real purpose of a “beta” is. I used to argue this point as well, but today the term is so ambiguous that we all just need to accept that the term can be used for many different purposes, and what’s important to you is...

Global Product Management

One of the amazing things about doing web-based products and services is watching how quickly the service gets adopted internationally. With global access, and with good site analytics tools, we can see the service start to spread around the globe. But these of course...

Subject Matter Experts

I have already written about all the common roles in a product team, but in some companies, there is another role that exists and it goes by various ntitles including Subject Matter Experts (SME), Domain Experts, and Business Analysts. The defining characteristics of...

Moving from an IT to a Product Organization

Quite a few companies that exist today began life as something other than a product or Internet software company. Perhaps your company began as a large brick-and-mortar retailer, or an airline, or a financial services company. While it is true that these companies all...

Product Strategy in an Agile World

Recently I spoke with a team of very frustrated Scrum engineers. They were frustrated because they felt like all they were doing for the past year was chasing features and that the product manager really had no clue where they were heading or what they were really...

What Makes a Great CTO?

The job of the product manager is to define the products that the product development organization will build. Even with the greatest product ideas, if you can’t build and launch your service, it remains just an idea. So your relationship with the product development...

Avoiding Design By Committee

One of the big advantages that startups have is that there aren’t many people. As companies get larger (even a little bit larger), one of the very common consequences is that decisions become group activities. Stakeholders pop up from every direction. The notion of...

Market Discovery vs. Product Discovery

In earlier articles I’ve written about the product discovery process – discovering a product that is valuable, usable and feasible. I’ve explained that this is the primary responsibility of the product manager, and that product discovery requires a collaboration...

High-Fidelity Prototypes

In several earlier articles I have talked about aspects of prototypes. I’ve talked about using them as the basis for your product spec, and how to use them to test out your ideas on target users, and why I prefer high-fidelity prototypes to their lower-fidelity...