Viewing entries tagged with 'product owner'
Many companies I meet are confused about roles and responsibilities. They're not sure the difference between product managers and project managers, or between product managers and product marketing, or between product managers and interaction designers, as just a few common examples.
Recently I was asked by a very smart CTO: "I understand the need for a great user experience designer, but if we have a strong designer, and that person is paired with a strong technology lead, do we really still need a product manager?"
If I were starting my career in product today, I would do anything I could to get into a very innovative program at Stanford called the Stanford Design School (aka "d.school"). I absolutely love the curriculum and the faculty. But this article is not really about this program.
Occasionally in my work with technology product teams around the world, I run into product managers that are still practicing the role as it used to be defined back in the PC era of technology. These organizations are inevitably frustrated, as the role was not terribly effective and often not respected.
All too often I run into companies that have resigned themselves to having two different people covering the product role.
In my last article I wrote about the importance of product passion, and I said that one of the reasons this passion is necessary is for product evangelism.
One topic I’ve never written explicitly about is the need for product passion. I’ve referenced it at the top of the list of traits for good product leaders, but it’s easy to take this for granted especially since the people I surround myself with professionally are generally very passionate about products.
Good product teams must be good at product discovery, which means they must get good at learning quickly. They need to be able to zero in on the appropriate target customer, identify the key problems to solve for those customers, and typically the most difficult part of all, apply technology and user experience design to come up with good solutions that will solve those problems.
There are several skills and activities that are important when coming up with great products. In my last article, I argued for the absolute necessity of having good data about how our products are actually being used.
I know this topic is going to sound far-fetched to many of you, but I am finding too many product teams out there that either aren’t instrumenting their product or site to collect analytics, or they do it at such a minor level that they really don’t know what users are doing on their site or how their product is being used.