The Secret Product Manager Handbook
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How To Say “No” To A Feature Request

Sometimes No Is The Right Answer Can you talk to me about a time when you had to say no to a customer? Why did you have to say no? How did you handle it? Customers often make feature requests that seem obvious on the surface, but which in fact are misguided or a bad Read More

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A Better Approach To Demoing Can Turn Sales Around

A Sales Demo Challenge At one of my previous companies our new logo sales – that is, new customers – were tanking. The account reps were not hitting quota on new logos. The sales engineers felt this was due to a large degree to our “story” on agile. Our product was not as strong as some Read More

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How Are You Going to Fix Onboarding?

You have a team of engineers and a three month runway – how are you going to fix onboarding? That’s a question I actually got in a product management job interview a while ago. My answer was, “that’s a really good question but I have no way of answering yet.” This is the same question Read More

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This Framework Gives You Product Management Super Powers

Breakthrough! The Secret Product Management Framework Finally writing down the Secret Product Management Framework was a revelation for me. It put all the activities I do as a product manager into perspective. We find and validate market problems for which customers will pay for a solution. We then guide the creation of solutions to the Read More

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A New Focus On Product Management Opportunity

A long work in progress This blog has been going for a long long time. It started as a site to share ideas and lessons I’ve learned in my career as a product manager for enterprise software products. Recently a bigger theme has started to emerge and coalesce. It’s more ambitious than my initial (lack Read More

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To 10x Your Profits Start With Retrospectives

20% is boring As many of you know, the Scrum methodology – and many other agile methodologies – use a practice called “retrospectives.” In other, non-software domains, they might be called debriefs or after-action reviews. After each sprint the team spends a short amount of time reviewing what went well, what could be improved, and Read More

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How To Talk To Your Executives About Agile

People have asked me “How can I get my execs to support an agile transformation? They don’t like that they can’t predict anything.” Reframe the Agile conversation around value This is never going to be an easy conversation, but I recommend reframing it from the outset. Don’t talk about scrum or methodologies or the Agile Read More

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Customers Don’t Buy Capabilities, They Buy Knowledge

Knowledge is power Most of our tools and applications deliver capabilities, but users and buyers are always hoping that what they’re buying is knowledge. Knowledge of how to do the job. How to do the job faster, or with fewer errors, or with better outcomes. If we don’t put the knowledge in, the our users Read More

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This New Template Helps You Write Better Product Requirements

Effective Communication is Challenging Product managers tell me – and the people managing product managers tell me – that one of their biggest challenges is communicating with the development team. People complain about: Developers being poorly motivated, or having a bad attitude about what you want them to build Getting the “wrong thing” from the Read More

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The Secret Product Management Framework

One of the most challenging questions about product management has been – in my experience – “What is Product Management?” In this post, I share a simple model or framework to answer this question. I talk about this model with lots of people, but I’ve never explicitly written it down in a post. I’ve found Read More

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