Uncategorized

A Journey of Discovery

Marty Cagan, founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group and a popular writer and speaker on the craft of product, says, famously, “the job of product management is to discover a product that is usable, valuable, and feasible.” Cagan has written extensively on the meaning of usable, valuable, and feasible. Product professionals around the world have embraced that triad in their work. While those three adjectives are certainly worth considering,…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

A Hero’s Journey: Shifting From Projects to Products

You are smart and competent. You work in some department, for some organization that requires innovation. Maybe it’s a content publisher, or a manufacturer of medical devices, or a legal services firm. Something like that. So you and your team come up with this idea for an innovative thing. The thing is digital, social, mobile, and it will revolutionize how you find and acquire customers—plus millennials will love it. Something like that.…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

How Getting Out of the Building Expands our Perspective

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.” So wrote John le Carré, the famed British spy novelist, in his 1977 novel The Honourable Schoolboy. It’s a sentiment that applies to international espionage, certainly—and also to a product team’s work as managers, makers, and designers of great digital products. A product team can be tempted to make decisions about priorities and functionality from the comfort of…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

On effective product teams

Quick: who are your teammates at work? When we talk about our professional team or the small group of our closest colleagues, it is common and perfectly reasonable to first think of other people who report to the same manager, or of coworkers with the same or similar job titles and duties.  “I’m on the support team; my teammates are the other support reps sitting on the 14th floor, next…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Don’t Believe the Hype

A couple years ago, as we heard about innovations in autonomous driving technology, I found myself daydreaming about what this technology would mean for our culture and my own life.  “I bet my own kids are the last generation of American teenagers who will go through that archetypical rite of passage of learning to drive!,” I thought. “In less than a decade, we’ll all be hauled around in brilliant, peppy…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

The Web is Written

Think of the verbs we use when describing the work we do on digital products: develop, design, code, manage, test, release, launch, support. You’ll note, though, that we don’t often say that we write web sites or apps.  “I write web sites” isn’t a sentence we hear nearly as often as, say, “I design web sites.” But writing well—that is, carefully choosing and assembling the words in our UI—is one…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Sketching as Work

Earlier this week I led a group of Product, Technology, and Experience pros through a lengthy session to plan some challenging work to unify a diverse product portfolio. Several weeks ago, another group and I planned ways to improve an important business challenge: increasing renewals for a critical product line. In both sessions, I asked the teams to do something that might have seemed frivolous: I asked them to draw…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

A Working Definition of Digital Content Management

Been thinking lately about an enduring challenge for digital product teams: content management. So much of the problem–like so many problems–is definitional. So let’s propose a definition: “Web content management comprises the set of tools and practices by which the appropriate experts throughout the organization are able to create and update the online content that they care about, according to their own priorities and schedules, without specialized technical or design…

Continue Reading