Product Owner vs. Product Manager

Product Owner vs. Product Manager: Product Management is a challenging role and requires diverse skills. Large organisation often introduce a split between two similar, close roles – Product Ownership and Product Management. Both requires a large set of skills.

Jordan Bergtraum, The Product Mentor, a mentor at The Product Guy, leads a conversation on this split.

Source: The Product Guy.

The North Star Playbook

The North Star

As a concept, the North Star principle gained a lot of attention in Product Management recently. Amplitude, a vendor of analytics tools, has a guideline to this concept. Their playbook walks product managers, those that want to enter the domain or even those just curious about methods and principles through the ideas. But also sets the scenes for potential applications by walking through exemplary goals to achieve with this approach.

Stapler - The North Star
Stapler (by James Bowe)
Picture unrelated.

The playbook comes in 7 chapters, starting by describing the ideas to apply with the North Star concept. Only after the introduction the playbook enters the practical application of the concept, and with a chapter on product metric checklist checklists, it emphasises the importance of metrics. With this it also stresses the importance of selecting the right metric and not to lose a product in vain. E.g. active users would be the wrong metric, given the goal that shall be achieved.

More practical guidelines come with the chapter on running workshops in part 3, and the chapter on defining the right guiding metrics. In between, the document also gives success stories: there are sections that talk through a successful implementation of North Star at Netflix. But also Amplitude is leveraging the methodology and shares their experience in a section.

The closing chapters dedicate to debugging the processes attached, implementing them and over time changing directions.

Takeaway

In all the recent hype around the method, the key take away is to simplify ideas for your organisation. The approach is supposed to make it easy for your teams to understand the direction the product is taking. And even more following this direction. For a product management, communicating ideas should be a core skill. This approach gives great tools in doing so.

The guide to discovering your product’s North Star to improve the way you manage and build products.

from the Amplitude Playbook

Source: AmplitudeThe North Star Playbook

The possibility to understand: SaaS Product Metrics

Colorful Rulers to Measure
Do you measure up?

Part of the compelling nature of SaaS Products is the possibility to understand the user and improve on the go. Any Product Manager will literally have to understand what are the use-cases for customers and how to focus on the important areas. Just recently our team led the debate which metrics would be the right ones to focus on.

Nancy Wang, Head of Product Management at Amazon Web Services, highlights six product metrics enterprise SaaS companies should track.

In this Article, Nancy Wang, head of Product Management at the most successful cloud service providers, shares her insights on important metrics to keep an eye on. The possibility to understand often goes overboard and requires focus.

The case under discussion in the article revolves around paid products. Derived metrics are a foundation that serves as a blueprint to other products in the SaaS space. Goals differ, but ultimately, to make a product successful, it requires an understanding of how successful customers were, using the product. Following the established funnel pattern, users are being segmented into funnel. Along that funnel, the metrics acquired need to reflect the stage of the journey the user is on.

At the top of the funnel, most often the interaction is anonymous and requires profiling to understand the audience coming in. Further down in the funnel, metrics capture engagement and transaction. Towards the end of the funnel, the metric needs to relate to retention.

Source: Do You Measure Up? Metrics for Enterprise SaaS Product Managers

Breaking Walls Between Business and Engineering

All too often, two departments are burried in deep arguments for most of their days. While business, the outbound oriented Product Management department, leads customer conversations and verifies business requirements, engineering is pushing towards a better product.

Their goals are not always aligned despite the necessity to build a product together. Overcoming controversial goals can be difficult, yet frustrating to Product Managers in their quest to build better products.

Itamar Gilad shares a few thoughts how to overcome this gap.

Managers and product managers are often frustrated by the apparent lack of care the development team is showing for the needs of the…

Source: Breaking The Walls Between Business and Agile Teams

Essential Product Metrics

Data driven product management requires measurements and metrics. Over at Product Management Insider, shares some detail about the pirate („AARRR!“) system and the HEART model.

The article is here.

User Onboarding the Right Way

For a Product Manager, User Experience is a huge topic that draws a lot of thought and energy. Crunchbase today sent me this in their newsletter, discussing an aspect that is often underestimated. While the example seems odd, it has a good point, countering other guidance to raise customer engagement. For people that remember Ok Cupid or match.com, the article is a good read.

OK Cupid
Ok Cupid

How do you do user onboarding right? Here is what Alex Paley, Head of Studio at Glu Mobile learned over his years building onboarding experiences in mobile games.

Source: User Onboarding the Right Way: 3 Tips for Better Product Onboarding

Data-driven Product Management

Dashboard

In the age of Big Data, product management can leverage plenty of feedback. Any product decision can be based on data, too. Product Coalition has an article. Setting up User Analytics.

How to measure product market fit

Looking at the right metrics to achieve a product market fit.

Department of Product

Doing the heavy lifting together

Running products in large organisations is a challenging task. Sebastian Lindemann of Product Coalition shares a few thoughts on high impact team cooperation modes.

How product teams can work together to maximize impact “Driving is easy if you are the only one the road“ … my driving instructor had many wise words to share. This one stuck with me as it is applies to so much more than driving a car.

Source: Doing the heavy lifting together

Product Team FAQ

Marty Cagan of the Silicon Valley Product Group published an article only yesterday, comparing Product and Feature Teams. Apparently, the article generated so much feedback that Marty found it worthwhile clarifying a few of his thoughts and collect the gist of the feedback he received.

Every so often one of my articles seems to strike a chord, and this latest one on the difference between Product Teams and Feature Teams certainly seemed to do that.  I am grateful for the very positive response.  This morning I woke up to well over a hundred people that took the time to e-mail […]

Source: Product Team FAQ | Silicon Valley Product Group