The Secret Product Manager Handbook
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Product Management And Fear – Three Tips For Overcoming Creative Blocks

As product managers, in our creative role of finding new solutions to new problems, we’re often staring at a blank page that we need to fill with requirements or a datasheet, or a new UI, or a new marketing presentation. Here are three great techniques from the world of creativity for overcoming the fear that leads to creative blocks.

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Accelerating Change In Your Face

Two videos capture different aspects of the accelerating change we’re all experiencing, including one of the cleverest applications of agile I’ve ever seen.

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The Challenge of Roadmaps

We all love roadmaps, at least our bosses do. But predicting the future in detail is impossible, especially about a creative endeavor like software.

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Late But Good is Better Than On Time But Bad

In the long run no one remembers if a release was late – they only remember a particular release if it sucked.

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The Painful Reality of The Fear Of The Blank Page

The Painful Reality of “The Fear Of The Blank Page”

For product managers, a big part of our job is dealing with uncertainty – and even when things look “cut and dried,” they usually are not. This means every decision, every action, every statement we make is a creative act. And all our best practices don’t eliminate the fundamental creative obstacle – a blank space that has to be filled with something, something out of your own head. A requirement needs to be filled with words. A value proposition is a terrible, daunting Mad Lib. And you know what happens to creative people faced with a blank page – they get writer’s block, they get stage fright. They get “the yips.” These are all fear-based problems.

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To Create A Compelling Product Vision Write The Amazon Review First

What would your ideal customer write in his or her five-star Amazon review of your product? It had better reflect a compelling vision!

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A Radically Different Manifesto For Agile and Lean

Agile is great, but the agile manifesto leaves me cold. Here are six (not 99) theses about product development that help explain how agile helps us get more value to market, faster.

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Product Owner vs Product Manager

Product Owner or Product Manager or Both?

Should you have a product owner or a product manager or both? Well, it depends – are you working on an IT project, or a joint-strike fighter, or a commercial software product? A product owner is only really applicable to one of these types of projects.

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Good Metaphors Improve the Usability Instincts of Your Developers

Is your software product a meal in a restaurant, or a kitchen? The answer says a lot about your product’s usability, and the right restaurant metaphor can help your developers make better usability decisions in the moment.

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Agile vs. The “Big Dog” Feature

(First published back in 2010, this article is still apropos and I thought it was time to revive it.) Managing big features using agile This post originated as a comment on the Cranky Product Manager’s blog, responding to her post on agile methodologies. She said Yes, Agile can speed up the development and improve the Read More

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