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Product Management Library of Knowledge


True Grit: Managing Cross-Functional Teams

By: Therese Padilla As a product manager, I found that one of the most important things to understand about a cross-functional team is that no two groups are created equally. Managers tasked with overseeing a single function team; are responsible...

The Buy-In: The Most Important Part of Getting Stakeholders On Board

A discussion of the concept of the buy-in and how this one simple concept is your ticket to getting all of the support you need from senior leadership and beyond.

Bridging The Gap Between The Corporate Culture And The Desperate Need To Innovate

Bridging The Gap Between The Corporate Culture And The Desperate Need To Innovate By Jama Bradley and Chad McAllister Billion Dollar Question: How does an organization bridge the gap between its need to innovate and its corporate culture? We think of SILA as both the philosophy and activities concerned with fitting the pieces of the organization together from the perspective of product leadership and innovation.

Empowering Leadership

Leadership is about making sure the team is functioning well and creating an environment where everyone can do his or her best work. And it takes a whole team of leaders to make a self-organizing team.
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Management Myth #1: The Myth of 100% Utilization

Too many managers believe in the myth of 100% utilization--the belief that every single technical person must be fully utilized every single minute of every single day. The problem with this myth is that there is no time for innovation, no time for serendipitous thinking, no time for exploration, and it often leads to a less successful organization.

A Leader Among Followers...

While most aspire to be the Chief, without the followers, there is no leadership, no group to lead. Emancipating and elevating the role of followship is the quickest way to success. Therefore, a leader with foresight would focus on creating an environment of effective followers; an environment in which the roles of leaders and followers are interchanged and interactive. Since we naturally fulfill both roles simultaneously and inherently, it would be to our advantage to exploit and make the most of that nature within us.

Breaking The Answer First Mode Of Communication

In the corporate world, you are often coached to 'get to the point', 'get to the answer first', 'synthesize and summarize' and other communication techniques to get past limited executive attention. Part of the problem with the method is, it can result in poor decision-making contrary to what it is actually supposed to help.

Five Reasons Why Agile is Lean

In agile, each function has learning up front, a build in the middle, and a validation at the end. Since the customer typically has working software to experience the functionality, and is saying "yes" or "no" to each one as it's completed, it's less likely to need revisions later on. The customer validation after each new build increases leaning earlier in the process and makes the product more accurate. An accurate product gets traction faster, uses less resources and is lean.

Getting Product Managers Up To Speed with New Software and Processes

Whether it is Microsoft applications like Office, Visio or Project or other Enterprise applications used by their company, most of the time Product Managers are left to their own devices to learn how to use the tools that are critical for their day to day success. But as new applications become available that are more powerful and useful, it's important to give your team of Product Management professionals the support they need. This is even more critical if the software is integrated into your existing or new product processes that span across different functional groups in your company.

Stephen Covey's Marketing Legacy

The best way for marketers to not become victims of the Urgent is through the creation of and commitment to a marketing strategy. When a solid, documented marketing strategy that is supported by upper management directs the marketing team's efforts, it is a powerful deterrent to the Urgent.

Moving The Ball Forward

I was thinking about the problems I try to work on each day and the time I spend on different types of tasks. Sometimes I am dealing with people and their issues. Other times, I am trying to get consensus on a decision. Lastly, there is just plain vanilla hard work that has to happen.
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The Top Ten Things that Differentiate Successful Product Development Initiatives from Failed Efforts

Source: The Study of Product Team Performance, 2012™ In January of this year Enterprise Agility and Actuation Consulting joined together to conduct a global survey of product team performance. One of the survey findings that did not make the white paper was based on the question "What characteristics do you believe differentiate your organization's successful product development initiatives from those that have struggled or failed?"

The Perfect Partnership: Product Management and Business Analysis (part two)

By pairing business analysts with product managers at key points throughout the life cycle of a product's development, organizations can optimize bandwidth, expertise, and interest-related challenges that allow both roles to do what they do best - create value.

Chefs and Agile Restaurateur

As more of our clients have moved to agile software development, we've seen a growing need for business agility: getting non-engineering functions involved earlier and more collaboratively, so that companies deliver better revenue results as well as better software. Let's make this more concrete by mapping it to the restaurant business.

Ford's Attempt To Regain Touch With The Market

By Peter P. Roosen & Tatsuya Nakagawa

Ford has big problems – with marketing shortfalls being at the root of much of the company's current woes. Ford's marketing needs improvement. Marketing is defined not in the traditional sense of advertising and other sales related and supportive activities, but rather as the process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably. In short, Ford has lost touch with the market and needs to come up with well-priced products that many people will be happy to buy. Costs need to kept in line with this.

A New Class of Heroes


A New Class of Heroes
Tom Peters

Who are our business heroes? T. Boone Pickens, takeover artist; Ivan Boesky, arbitrageur; Arthur Rock, venture capitalist; and the entrepreneurs: Steven Jobs, formerly of Apple, and Donald Burr of People Express. Inside the corporation, the heroes are Macy's buyers, Hewlett-Packard's engineers, Trammell Crow's real estate deal makers.

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Greatness Is Where You Least Expected It

Greatness Is Where You Least Expected It
By Tom Peters
Tom Peters - 1985 COLUMN ARCHIVES

Car buying is seldom a pleasant experience. Car ownership in often onerous, too. A minor breakdown, a broken turn signal -- and the first thing one thinks about is the inevitable struggle, the hours to be lost fighting with a surly, overcrowded, unresponsive dealership service department. one accepts it, though, because "That's the way things are."

MANAGEMENT: The One Thousand Percent Factor

Tom Peters - 1985 COLUMN ARCHIVES
MANAGEMENT: The One Thousand Percent Factor
Posted on January 07, 1985.
By Tom Peters

Despite the fact that they have never had a season as magnificent as that of the Detroit Tigers in 1984, over the past 25 years the Baltimore Orioles are more than 100 games ahead of the team with the next best winning record in major league baseball. With the same field length as the next team, and a generally poor draft position as a function of their prior season's good performance, the Oakland-Los Angeles Raiders under Al Davis' firm hand have put together an extraordinary record in professional football since 1963. They have 206 wins against 82 losses. Their winning percentage of 0.715 is the best by far in all of big-league sports.

Leadership, The Only Way To Manage People

By Ben Simonton

Managing people is all about leadership because leadership is the only way to bring out their full brainpower, in other words, their full potential of creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment. What's required is a superior leadership strategy because without it, your employees might just decide to "leave their brain at the door" as they enter your workplace.

Planning Procedures for Building Effective Management Systems

Planning Procedures for Building Effective Management Systems
by Chris Anderson Part One of Series:   Next Week: Development

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch the construction of a large building? The daily progress from foundation to top floor is truly amazing, and if you're like me, you wonder "how does it all happen?" The answer: it takes a lot of planning.

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