New Year’s Resolutions For Product Managers

Yesterday we summarized “Amélie” In 10 Screencaps Or Less™. Now, let’s see what this shy, quirky waitress can teach us about product management.

As 2008 draws to a close, we’re looking at a new year set against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and a very challenging, competitive business landscape.

Here are three new year’s resolutions, inspired by Amélie, that every product manager can utilize to help prepare for the challenge…

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Jack The Ripper, H.G. Wells, And Choosing The Right Strategic Partner

Yesterday we summarized “Time After Time” In 10 Screencaps Or Less™. Today, we extract a product management lesson from that 1970’s time travel mash-up.

In the opening scenes of Time After Time, H.G. Wells introduces his dinner guests to the new Time Machine that he’s invented. Unfortunately, one of his guests is secretly Jack The Ripper who promptly steals the Time Machine to continue his serial killings in modern-day San Francisco.

To the best of my knowledge, no product that I’ve ever worked on has been linked to time traveling serial killings. However, I have been involved in at least one strategic partnership that was disastrous.

Now, I wasn’t involved with vetting or approving the partner; it was thrust upon me and I did what I could to mitigate the oncoming storm. But in the end, there was no choice but to ride it out, which put a tremendous burden on everyone involved internally as well as on our customers.

What went wrong? Like H.G. Wells, we trusted someone we shouldn’t have–and had to live with the consequences.

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What Does A Product Manager Actually Do?

What does a product manager actually do? The role of “product manager” is often loosely defined and not well understood . . . but a good PM can mean the difference between a product shipping on time or not, and meeting customer needs or not.

I’ve developed this presentation to help explain the role of the product manager to new and prospective PMs as well as those who will interact with PMs. Your feedback is most welcome!

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