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Product Management in Practice

A Practical, Tactical Guide for Your First Day and Every Day After

Paperback Engels 2022 9781098119737
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Product management has become a critical function for modern organizations, from small startups to corporate enterprises. And yet, the day-to-day work of product management remains largely misunderstood. In theory, product managers are high-flying visionaries who build products that people love. In practice, they're hard-working facilitators who bring clarity and focus to their teams.

In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition, Matt LeMay provides real-world guidance for current and aspiring product managers. Updated for the era of remote and hybrid work, this book provides actionable answers to product management's most persistent and confounding questions, starting with: What exactly am I supposed to do all day?

With this book, you'll learn:
- What the day-to-day work of product management entails--and how to excel at it
- Why no job title or description will resolve the ambiguity of your role
- How to bridge the false dichotomy between "strategy" and "execution"
- Why the temptation to focus on decks and documentation can be bad for your team (and for you)
- How to prioritize your time and pick your battles


Aantal pagina's:250
Hoofdrubriek:Algemeen management


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Author’s Foreword to the Second Edition
Why I Wrote This Book: My First Day as a Product Manager
Who This Book Is For
How This Book Is Organized
Stories from Working Product Managers
“Your Checklist”
O’Reilly Online Learning
How to Contact Us

1. The Practice of Product Management
What Is Product Management?
What Is Not Product Management?
What Is the Profile of a Great Product Manager?
What Is the Profile of a Bad Product Manager?
No, You Don’t Have to Work 60 Hours a Week to Be a Product Manager
What About Program Managers? Product Owners?
Summary: Sailing the Seas of Ambiguity
Your Checklist

2. The CORE Skills of Product Management
The Hybrid Model: UX/Tech/Business
The CORE Skills of Product Management: Communication, Organization, Research, and Execution
...But What About Hard Skills?
Summary: Changing the Conversation About Product Management
Your Checklist

3. Showing Up Curious
Taking a Genuine Interest
Cultivating a Growth Mindset
The Gift of Being Wrong
Staying Off the Defensive
Asking Why Without Asking “Why”
Spreading Curiosity
Summary: Curiosity Is Key
Your Checklist

4. The Art of Egregious Overcommunication
Asking the Obvious
Don’t Deflect, Be Direct
Not Everything Is Your Fault, and Outcomes Matter More Than Intentions
The Two Most Dangerous Words in Product Management: “Looks Fine”
A Tactical Approach to Move Past “Looks Fine”: Disagree and Commit
Accounting for Different Communication Styles
Communication Is Your Job—Don’t Apologize for Doing Your Job
Egregious Overcommunication in Practice: Three Common Communication Scenarios for Product Managers
Scenario One
Scenario Two
Scenario Three
Summary: When in Doubt, Communicate!
Your Checklist

5. Working with Senior Stakeholders (or, Throwing the Poker Game)
From “Influence” to Information
An Answer You Don’t Like Is Still an Answer
“Our Boss Is an Idiot,” or, Congratulations—You’ve Ruined Your Team
No Alarms and No Surprises
Staying User Centric in a World of Company Politics
Senior Stakeholders Are People Too
Throwing the Poker Game in Practice: Three Common Scenarios for Senior Stakeholder Management
Scenario One
Scenario Two
Scenario Three
Summary: This Is Part of Your Job, Not an Impediment to Your Job
Your Checklist

6. Talking to Users (or, “What’s a Poker Game?”)
Stakeholders and Users Are Different
Yes, You Need to Learn How to Talk to Users
Personae Non Grata
Product and Research: From Frenemies to BFFs
Summary: No, Seriously, You Need to Learn How to Talk to Users
Your Checklist

7. The Worst Thing About “Best Practices”
Don’t Believe the Hype
Falling in Love with Reality
Frameworks and Models as Useful Fictions
You Are Here
What Are You Solving For?
“But This Worked at the Last Place!”
Working with the “Process Averse”
The Best Thing About Best Practices
Summary: A Place to Start, Not a Guarantee
Your Checklist

8. The Wonderful, Horrible Truth About Agile
Debunking Three Common Myths About Agile
Turning to the Agile Manifesto
From Manifesto to Monster
Rediscovering Alistair Cockburn’s “Heart of Agile”
Agile and the “Proprietization of Common Sense”
When Doing Agile “Right” Makes Things Worse
When Doing Agile “Wrong” Makes Things Better
Seven Conversations About Agile I Never Want to Have Ever Again
Summary: Ambiguity Lives Here Too
Your Checklist

9. The Infinite Time Suck of Documentation (and Yes, Roadmaps Are Documentation)
“The Product Manager Owns the Roadmap!”
It’s Not the Roadmap, It’s How You Use the Roadmap
You Gantt Always Get What You Want
Your Product Spec Is Not Your Product
The Best Documentation Is Incomplete
No First Draft Should Ever Be More Than One Page and One Hour of Effort
If You’ve Got It, Template
A Quick Note on Proprietary Roadmapping and Knowledge Management Tools
Summary: The Menu Is Not the Meal
Your Checklist

10. Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategy, and Other Fancy Words
The Outcomes and Output Seesaw
SMART Goals, CLEAR Goals, OKRs, and So On
Good Strategy Is Inexorably Tied to Execution
Good Strategy Is Simple and Obvious
If You’re Not Sure, Ask for an Example
Summary: Keep It Simple, Make It Useful
Your Checklist

11. “Data, Take the Wheel!”
The Trouble with the “D” Word
Start with the Decision, Then Find the Data
Focusing on Metrics That Matter
Using Survival Metrics to Set Clear Expectations
Experimentation and Its Discontents
From “Accountability” to Action
Summary: No Shortcuts!
Your Checklist

12. Prioritization: Where It All Comes Together
Taking a Bite of the Layer Cake
Every Decision Is a Trade-Off
Keeping the Entire Experience in Mind
From Shiny Objects to Jewels of Understanding
But This Is an Emergency!
Prioritization in Practice: Same Options, Different Goals and Strategies
Summary: Think Big, Start Small
Your Checklist

13. Try This at Home: The Trials and Tribulations of Remote Work
Building Trust from Far Away
Simple Communication Agreements Create Meaningful Trust
Navigating Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication
Synchronous Communication for Distributed Teams: Choreographing Time and Space
Asynchronous Communication for Distributed Teams: Setting Specific Expectations
Making a “Synchronous Sandwich”
Creating and Protecting Space for Informal Communication
Hybrid Moments: Balancing In-Person and Remote Work
Summary: Strength Training for Your Communication Practice
Your Checklist

14. A Manager Among Product Managers (The Product Leadership Chapter)
Climbing the Ladder
Surprise! Everything You’re Doing Is Wrong
The Standard You Set for Yourself Is the Standard You Set for Your Team
The Limits of Autonomy
Clear Goals, Clear Guardrails, Short Feedback Loops
Externalizing Yourself
Product Leadership in Practice
Scenario One
Scenario Two
Scenario Three
Summary: Stepping Into Your Best Self
Your Checklist

15. In Good Times and Bad
The Soothing Lull of an Organization on Autopilot
The Good Times Aren’t (Always) the Easy Times
Carrying the Weight of the World
Imagine You Work for the Best Company in the World
Summary: It’s Hard Work, but It’s Worth It
Your Checklist
Whatever It Takes

A. A Reading List for Expanding Your Product Management Practice
B. Articles, Videos, Newsletters and Blog Posts Cited in This Book

About the Author

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