Building High Performance Teams

Posted by Marty Abbott on November 13, 2007

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This article was contributed by Marty Abbott.

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Product Management in an Agile Environment

Posted by Marty Cagan on November 5, 2007

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Many software product teams are either currently experimenting with Agile methods, or have recently moved. I have written elsewhere about the benefits of Agile methods, including Scrum and XP, but I wanted to highlight here the keys for product management in an Agile environment.

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Product Management vs. Engineering

Posted by Marty Cagan on October 31, 2007

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If a great product is the result of combining a real customer need with a solution that’s just now possible, then it’s easy to see why the relationship between the product manager and the engineering team is so critical.

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Personas for Product Management

Posted by Marty Cagan on October 22, 2007

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Product management is all about choices. Making decisions about what opportunities are worth chasing, which problems are worth solving, what features will provide the most value, what the best time-to-market trade-offs are, and which customers are most important. While you’ll never make all the right choices, you have to make most of them right for your product to succeed.

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Product Management vs. Project Management

Posted by Marty Cagan on October 9, 2007

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Earlier I’ve written about how important it is to clearly distinguish the roles of product management and product marketing (see Product Management vs. Product Marketing). But many companies suffer from a related problem, which is when the roles of product management and project management are combined.

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Prototype Testing

Posted by Marty Cagan on October 1, 2007

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Readers of these articles know that I view the high-fidelity prototype as the primary means of describing the product to be built. I have written elsewhere why a prototype is significantly more useful to the product team than the typical paper-based specification. However, that's really the secondary benefit. The primary reasons to create a high-fidelity prototype are to help you gain a much deeper understanding of your product, and ulimately so that you can actually test your ideas with real users before you have your engineering teams take months to go build something that you have no real evidence will serve its purpose.

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Prototype Testing

Posted by Marty Cagan on October 1, 2007

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Readers of these articles know that I view the high-fidelity prototype as the primary means of describing the product to be built. I have written elsewhere why a prototype is significantly more useful to the product team than the typical paper-based specification. However, that's really the secondary benefit. The primary reasons to create a high-fidelity prototype are to help you gain a much deeper understanding of your product, and ultimately so that you can actually test your ideas with real users before you have your engineering teams take months to go build something that you have no real evidence will serve its purpose.

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Product Discovery

Posted by Marty Cagan on September 24, 2007

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Have you seen this situation before? Your company gets all excited about a product idea, and as product manager you are asked to define it. You are told that the engineers will be finished with their current project in 4 weeks, so that means take all the time you need, as long as you are ready in 4 weeks.

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Recruiting Product Managers

Posted by Marty Cagan on September 10, 2007

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Probably the single most common question I get from CEO's is where to find great product managers?

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Managing Product Managers

Posted by Marty Cagan on September 4, 2007

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In my last article (Product Management vs. Product Marketing) I discussed why product management is very different from product marketing, and how critical it is to have capable product managers. The note seemed to strike a chord in that a record number of you wrote to express your agreement and the need to educate companies about this issue. However, quite a few managers of product management mailed me to say that while they agreed, they had inherited an organization where many of the people with "product manager" titles were really product marketing people with all the problems I described, and they were struggling to correct the situation.

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