ONE THING on OKRs: Brilliant? Problematic?

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a worldwide phenomenon, helping to drive the success of organizations like Google, Zynga, Oracle and Twitter. They are particularly suited to driving the alignment for a high-performing cross-functional Product team. There are...

ONE THING on When Stakeholders Get Pissy

Sometimes stakeholders don't get along. Or their view of the product doesn't match. Or their priorities don't jive. That's where Shuttle Diplomacy goes a long way. I like to meet with stakeholders individually as I'm drafting a new roadmap. Then we meet all together...

ONE THING on A Roadmap is not a Contract

How can a Product person justify changing a roadmap midstream? Won’t customers, partners, salespeople, the board, etc. expect you to deliver on the roadmap commitments? Actually, no. A roadmap is not a legal contract. Stakeholders and customers should understand and...

ONE THING on Getting Customers Talking

“How do product teams really know the right thing to build? Many products aren’t successful because teams haven’t done enough problem discovery and validation with customers. Those processes need to be a part of a product team’s culture.” That's my friend Jim Semick,...

ONE THING on Tools for Product People

My favorite product tool is Google Docs. I use it for interview notes, meeting agendas, personas, product charters, OKRs, and more. I like it because it makes any document collaborative. People can edit and comment on the same document simultaneously from anywhere in...

ONE THING on Outcomes vs. Outputs

Outputs are the specific changes your team is making to your product or service to improve things for your customers and your business. Outcomes are what you are hoping for as a result of those outputs.  Smart Product people have learned to focus on outcomes, to ask...

ONE THING on Agile Coaches

A lot of organizations balk at hiring Agile coaches (aka scrum masters) for every team. They find it hard to justify that many people who aren’t coding, designing, or figuring out what’s next. I agree. I was the Agile coach for Boston area scale-up Localytics. I...

ONE THING on Wearing Many Hats

Product people are often elected to jump in and do whatever it takes to make their product successful. In addition to product I've pinch hit in UX, agile coaching, engineering management, ops, business development -- you name it. Taking ownership of outcomes means...