For every human activity, there is an appropriate level of abstraction to talk about it. Often there’s a big picture, and there are details, and somewhere in between is the really meaningful stuff. In baseball you can talk about who won or lost the game (big picture), and you can talk about each pitch (detail), but baseball’s at its most interesting at the at-bat and innings levels. This is where the manager is putting most of his or her attention during the game, even though he or she is judged at the end of the season on the big picture of win/loss ratio.
For product managers, the big picture is the release. And the detail level is the tasks that the programmers are working on to create the functionality. But the most interesting level for product managers is the “chunks of value” level. Elsewhere I use the term “feature,” and you can also call them “requirements” or “user stories” or any term you like. But the clunky, clumsy term “chunks of value” gets to their real meaning – value that I could deliver to the customer or market.
Some of the basic facts around chunks of value:
This is another excerpt from my upcoming new book, a template that product management organizations can use to automate the PM process. Look for it soon from an e-book distributor near you. To be notified when it’s available, please sign up for my mailing list over in the right sidebar.
Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.
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