Each of the main characters in HBO’s adaptation of G.R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones have their own motivations and methods that forward their goals, for good, evil, or something in between. And a careful examination of those characters reveals some common risks that Product Managers (and other roles) face in the business world on a daily basis. Here are five examples of things that any clever Product Manager can learn from watching Game of Thrones:
This is part 3 of a series of articles about leading through influence. The first article focused on the concept of social capital and how we earn the right to ask people to follow us; the second focused on how to use effective facilitation skills to establish yourself as a valuable resource for others to reach decisions; and this article will focus on the importance of trust and respect, and how ultimately everything that we do as Product Managers comes down to these two fundamental interpersonal concepts.
Product Managers sometimes have a bad reputation when it comes to Development teams — and we often unintentionally earn these reputations, by the way that we work with them. There are, however some things that Product Managers can do to build a strong relationship with their development teams — something that is, in fact, essential to the success of the product and your company as a whole. Here are five tips that you can use to ensure that you have the best relationship possible with your development teams:
In an earlier post, I talked about five things that a PM can learn from role-playing games. Since I’m a pretty avid gamer, I realized that there are lots of things that PMs can learn from all genres of games, so I’m considering making this a recurring theme. Today’s discussion focuses on real-time strategy (RTS) games — the Starcrafts or Age of Empires of the world. These games typically simulate some form of wargame scenario, in which the player takes on the “commander” of a variety of units, starting with low-level units and few resources, and working their way up to a vast army of units with which to crush their opposition. In many ways, this is similar to how a PM works with what they have to deliver high-value product to their customers. To wit, my top five list for today:
In a time of recognition for the good things in life, and for the opportunities that life has presented us with, I thought it would be a good time to take a few moments and reflect on some of the things that all Product Managers should be thankful for. So, on this Thanksgiving week, enjoy the Clever PM’s inaugural top five list of things that a Product Manager should be thankful for!
In part one of this series, we discussed the concept of “social capital” and how important it is to build, manage, and spend it in the process of leading through influence. In this installment, we’re going to extend the scope of the discussion to a highly effective way of building your social capital in an organization, as well as to build the trust and respect of your peers and senior management team.
Facilitation is the process by which an effective product manager brings people together and drives them toward a common goal, and in doing so establishes themselves as a hub around which the spokes of the organization turn. When performed effectively, good facilitation is almost imperceptible to those involved in a meeting – people enter, engage, and leave with an understanding of what’s to be done next. When done poorly, or not at all, the company and management devolve into a morass of pointless, lengthy meetings that go off on wild tangents and never deliver any meaningful progress.
Which sounds more familiar to you?
I’ve been a gamer for far longer than I’ve been anything else in my life. From the early days of playing Combat on my Atari 2600, to Fastball! on my Commodore 64, all the way through to Skyrim on my PC or Destiny on my XBox One, I’ve always been interested in the cutting edge of gaming technology as well as the games that are played on it.
And, as both a gamer and a Product Manager, I can promise you that there are many things that we can learn from any given genre of gaming. In this installment of the series, I’m going to focus on role-playing games — the Ultimas of the world, the Skyrims of the world, and the Dragon Ages of the world. So here’s a list of the top 5 things that a Product Manager can stand to learn from the common tropes of role-playing games over time: