Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cargo Cult Requirements

Photo of Melanesians with bamboo plane

Is your team focusing on the mechanics of creating good software, without understanding the connections from your efforts to your goals? Are you primarily focused on the structure of use cases, the syntax of user stories, and the cardinality of your domain diagrams? All of these things are important to effective communication – but if this is your primary focus, you may be in a cargo-cult environment.

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Why Do Products Fail? – Ignoring Context

Wrapping up the your product failed because you didn’t enable your users to realize value branch of the root causes of product failure, is this article on the context in which your user is using your product.  If you ignore your user’s context, they won’t be able to realize the value you provide – or won’t be interested in solving those particular problems at that particular time.

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Why Do Products Fail? – Incomplete Solutions

This article continues the series exploring the root causes of product failure.  Even when you target the right users, and identify which of their problems are important to solve, you may still fail to solve the problems sufficiently.

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20/20 Vision – Innovation Game in Action

Having an outside-in bias as a product manager is important – you need to understand how your customers (or your customer’s customers) would value capabilities you might build into your product.  When running a workshop to collect that information, playing some “serious games” is a great way to get more and better information.  We ran a few 20/20 Vision games last week, to great effect.

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Tally the Score – Comparing Products Part 8

After building an understanding of which problems are important to your each customer you want to serve, and rating each competitive product , you’re ready to tally the scores and see how your product compares with your competition.  This tells you if you’re likely to crush it, and if not, lets you know where you should invest later.  This series on comparing products starts here if you need to get caught up.

And now, on to the finale…

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A Prototype is Worth a Thousand Lines of Code

A picture is worth a thousand words.  A prototype is worth a thousand lines of code.  Two key elements of product management – and of agile development are elicitation and feedback.  Low fidelity artifacts can significantly improve both.  Polished, codified prototypes can create problems that prevent you from getting the benefits of communication.

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Don’t Listen to Your Market

pyramid

Most companies ignore their markets – and they will struggle to survive.  Some companies listen to their markets – and they have an opportunity to succeed.  You have the opportunity to understand your market, and transform it into your market – but you can’t get there just by listening.

Don’t listen to your market, understand your market.

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