A couple years ago, shortly after I launched the blog, I posted my first New Year’s Resolutions for Product Managers, which was a big hit. Somehow it slipped my mind to update it for 2016, but here I am with an update as we roll into the new year…one as full of uncertainties as it is full of opportunities! Without further ado, here are five new resolutions for Product Managers moving into 2017…
Here we are at the end of another year — I honestly can’t believe that 2017 is just around the corner!! Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with all sorts of new folks, provided some mentoring to new and experienced Product Managers, taught a couple classes at General Assembly, and even started work on a book I hope to launch next year! I hope the past year’s been just as varied and interesting for all of you regular readers out there, and to close out 2016, I’ve put together the following list of the “Best of” for the past year. So, without further ado, here’s the top 10 Clever PM posts for the year!!
It’s become an annual exercise here at The Clever PM to create a list every year of the five things that Product Managers should be thankful for — it started the first year, continued into the second year, and is now rolling into the third year as your go-to source for tips, tricks, and hacks to become a better Product Manager. So, without further ado, the 2017 list:
At some point in every interview that you have, the people on the other side of the table will inevitably pose the ultimate question to you: “So, do you have any questions for us?” There are hundreds of guides out there that list out the kinds of questions that you should ask in general, but due to the nature and uncertainty that comes with Product Management positions, I think there are several very specific questions that a savvy candidate should pose to their potential employer. Far too often, we fail to take full advantage of this opportunity, and though it’s certain that there will be some amount of spin put into the answers that you receive, no Product Manager should leave an interview without asking these five questions:
Happy Holidays to everyone out there! As we’re nearing the end of the year, it’s a good time for reflection — 2015 was a great year here at the Clever PM, and I’m looking forward to 2016 providing even more opportunities!! As a little Christmas present, I’ve put together the following list of the top articles from the blog over the past year…I hope you find something here that you haven’t yet read, or that you want to read again!
I find it ironic that one of the most fundamentally important aspects of Agile planning is so very often terribly implemented. User Stories are the single most important thing that a Product Manager/Owner delivers to their development teams — they’re the foundation on which everything the team does is gauged; and all too often, quite frankly, they suck.
The impact of the vast suckitude of these user stories is far-ranging, and does not go unnoticed. Bad user stories are one of the biggest causes of complaints on the part of development teams, the cause of endless friction and misunderstanding on the part of stakeholders, and ultimately result in missed deadlines, failed sprints, and Armageddon itself. Okay, maybe not quite that last part, but it sometimes feels like it.
Ah yes, that word — “innovation” — all too often when I hear it spoken, I want to turn into Inigo Montoya and remind people that it probably doesn’t mean what they think it means (or perhaps Vizzini and just yell “INCONCEIVABLE!” at the top of my lungs and run away laughing). And, unfortunately, this has resulted in the word being relegated to the corporate doublespeak graveyard along with such illustrious company as “synergy” and “taking it offline.”
But it’s really not innovation’s fault that people don’t “get” it — it’s the fault of the people who have repeatedly misused the term, and it’s something that we as Product Managers should always be striving for. When done properly, innovation is not only a good thing, but necessary to the evolution of your company, your business, and your product. When done poorly, or with a poor understanding of what it means, it’s nothing but a death march of pointless “vision sessions” and “blue sky thinking — just more corporate doublespeak.
In an attempt to restore innovation to its rightful position in our profession, let’s dispel some common myths surrounding the term.