The Software Product Management Blog

Grab a front-row seat to the world of software product management, where I share everything from industry insights to personal anecdotes, aiming to enlighten, educate, and empower those passionate about crafting cutting-edge software products.

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When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods

There are many different ways to research your users. So many in fact that it’s hard to know when to use a particular method. In this post, the author lays out framework you can follow to help you determine which UX research method to follow. In When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods the author describes a framework for choosing which research method to use based on where you are in the lifecycle of a project.

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5 Scrum Experts Weigh in on Splitting User Stories

User Stories are the building blocks used by Scrum teams to develop working software. When stories start out they often describe large areas of functionality that can’t be completed in one sprint. Beginning Scrum teams often fall into the trap of breaking the stories down by technical area (i.e., front end work, back end work, database work, etc.) The problem with this approach is that the resultant stories don’t deliver value to a customer.

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Prioritizing Product Requirements with Scorecards

One of the product managers core responsibilities is to effectively prioritize product features. To an outside observer this often looks like reading tea leaves. Creating a process in your organization to effectively rank product initiatives will help create transparency and avoid squeaky wheel prioritization. I’ve collected some research on the topic below. This first article from Karl Weigers suggests using a cost / benefit ratio to prioritize product features. I’ve used this method in the past and thought it was pretty effective.

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How to delight customers like Papa John’s Pizza

A recent trip to Papa John’s Pizza Yesterday, I decided to order pizza from Papa John’s. It’s not typically my go-to choice, but its convenience is undeniable. I phoned in my order and was informed it would take about 20 minutes to prepare. Surprisingly, when I arrived at the store just 12 minutes later, the employee at the counter immediately recognized me and my order, saying, “You’re here for the Pepperoni Pizza, right?

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Great 15 minute overview of the role of Product Owner

Henrik Kniberg, Agile/Lean coach at Spotify & Lego gives a 15 minutes presentation on being a product owner. I love the way he condenses this information down into a digestable bit. https://youtu.be/502ILHjX9EE Some key takeaways here. Your agile teams should be cross functional. Don’t get bogged down in manual regression testing. Invest in automated testing and continuous integration. Every story needs at least one automated acceptance test and unit tests on the code.

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Add Agility to your Product Management Process

Agile is a software development process that focuses on delivering customer facing value in small iterations. This article assumes that your development team works in Agile Scrum. At my current company, the Product Management Process is what I would term Scrumfall. We do not build heavy Product Requirements Documents that we turn over to developers. Rather, we plan iterations while still maintaining an overall vision of what we think the final product should look like.

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Rework Book Summary

The book Rework talks about the product development process at Basecamp. This is an outline of the book.

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Lead the Field Book Summary

The book Lead the Field is one of those old school self-help books who’s advice is still applicable today. It focuses on developing yourself around serving others, developing a positive attitude, personal responsibility and goal setting. I wrote this outline so I could come back and visit the key points in the book. Have you read any good productivity books? I’d love you to take a moment to tell my your favorite in the comments.

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Stop Treating Your Users Like Children

I spent about 15 minutes yesterday bulk deleting photos from Google+. Each time I clicked delete on a photo the computer so kindly asked me “Are you sure you want to do this?” I dutifully clicked “Yes”, as I’ve done thousands of times over the last 20+ years. Then, it hit me. Why am I still doing this? It’s 2013. If my computer were a sentient being and asked me to confirm every time I took some slightly dangerous action I would respond with something very sarcastic.

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