How Handshakes Predict How Fast You Ship

This is a guest post that was originally published by Madhu Punjabi on Medium.

A mathematical insight into how products get shipped.

I love the white board. I mean, I really love the white board. As a Product Manager, I love the part of my job that allows me to dream of a better future (with our product in it, of course) and then watch it all come true.

I always thought that fast growth would mean faster product development. I’ve worked at Google, TellApart, Pinterest, and even did a short stint at Amazon. For the most part, I’ve watched companies at least double in size. You would think that fast growth means faster development. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, by adding more people to a company, product development can actually slow down and take 2x or 3x as long to get something done. Strange, isn’t it?

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Product Q&A with Justin Watt

PMHQ Community AMA Sessions - Justin Watt

For those who are unaware, AMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’ where you’ll have the chance to ask our featured guest any question you’d like. Our product guest of honor is:

Justin Watt

About: While attending university for psychology, Justin ventured in to project & product management where he took part in internal products creation for Shaw and IBM. He worked on projects with MetaLab on the side starting in 2012 and officially joined the team in 2015 where his formal title is Project Manager which at MetaLab includes product management as a focus. He’s worked on and launched products for Fortune 10 companies and startups. When not doing this he’s a big fan of running, music festivals, and continuous learning in all things product management.

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How To Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands  

How to Build a Product Roadmap Everyone Understands

This is a guest post that was originally published by Andrea Saez on ProdPad.

Up until recently, no one really knew what product roadmaps were supposed to look like, but we all knew something had to change.

At my old companies, we were using JIRA and a release planner to communicate our product plans. They were long, complicated, and detailed – because you know, they’re made for devs – and made for messy backlogs that were extremely hard to follow.

Today, roadmapping is a contentious subject but at least one thing is self-evident: We know that no one really reads overly detailed roadmaps (TL;DR!)

We’re also discovering how powerful it is when when a roadmap is so clearly designed that teams put it at the center of product decisions, and companies put it at the center of their business decisions.

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Product Q&A with Nils Davis

PMHQ Community AMA Sessions - Nils Davis

For those who are unaware, AMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’ where you’ll have the chance to ask our featured guest any question you’d like. Our product guest of honor is:

Nils Davis

About: Nils Davis currently works as a Director of Product Management at Innotas, a San Francisco-based company with a project and portfolio management product. He has also previously been a Product Management Consultant. He is a long-time product manager and his most interesting claim to fame is that he managed a tool for product managers for seven years (Accept360). That company died, taking Accept down with it, sadly, but he learned a lot about product management and product managers in the process. Since then he’s been writing about product management on his blog, and attempting to offer up helpful ideas for people on PMHQ. He’s also doing a podcast called “All The Responsibility, None Of The Authority” with fellow PMHQ member @RobMcGrorty.

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2015 Annual Report for Product Managers


This is a guest post that was originally published by Paul Jackson on his blog.

I’ll try to keep it brief.

2015 was a colossal year for Product Managers and digital Product in general. Drawing on 000s of tweets, posts and presentations, here’s Pivot’s take on the key themes, events and players in Product Management over the past 12 months.

2015 was the year that:

Product Managers needed to understand Growth (formerly known as Marketing)

‘Growth hacking’ as a term fell right out of favour but everyone agreed that understanding your product’s Growth Model is now essential for Product Managers, as is working closely with the Growth Team.

Some speculated that Growth might even consume Product Management entirely, others were keen to define the Growth Team’s role more clearly although no one disputed that a great Product is the starting point for successful marketing of any kind.

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The Myths of Product Management

Myths of Product Management

This is a guest post that was originally published by Christina Wodtke on Medium.

There have been a bunch of articles lately from designers on product management in the Silicon Valley. It’s making me slightly crazy, so I’m going to write a short and sloppy essay from my perspective. I’ve been a designer, a design manager, a startup CEO, a product manager and a GM who managed multidisciplinary teams. I’ve got some insights.

Caveats! I have lived in Palo Alto/San Francisco for over 20 years, and worked at good companies (Yahoo back in the day, Linkedin, Zynga, and more) with really good PMs. So my view is skewed by both place and luck.

#1 Product Management Is a New Thing in Tech.

People, I got into the interwebs in 1995, and software already had PMs. Web design was all shiny and new and half the companies had PMs, half had producers, and many had Project Managers. But by the time we were partying like 1999, everyone around here had Product Managers.

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