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,…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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