Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

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Top five posts of 2008

The Lead on Purpose blog had its first birthday/anniversary earlier this month. During 2008 the blog’s readership has grown substantially through a combination posts about leadership and product management. The following five posts were rated the most popular by readers of Lead on Purpose:

  1. Product manager responsibilities: This post discusses the difference between product owner vs. product manager. It also discusses the responsibility for product managers to create internal productroadmaps.
  2. Five factors of leadership: Product managers have the responsibility to get products out the door on time, with high quality and under budget. However, the people they rely on to get the job done do not report to them. This post identifies five factors that, if understood and applied, will improve the leadership role of product managers.
  3. Ten principles of effective leadership: This post discusses ten principles of effective leadership that will build desired results, relationships and quality of life.
  4. Five stages of problem solving: Well-written problem statements help product managers communicate both the difficulty faced in the market and the potential reward for solving problems. Market problems create opportunities for people and companies who can find ways to solve them. This post gives five steps to help you indentify problem statements clearly and help identify solutions.
  5. Three reasons to visit customers: Professionals working in any industry want to understand the markets to which they sell and the people who are buying their products and services. This post identifies three key reasons why customer visits are not only good but also vital to a company’s success.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers have a great opportunity to become key leaders in their organizations. The Lead on Purpose blog is dedicated to promoting leadership through the discipline of product management. Thank you for making 2008 a great year!

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Product manager responsibilities

The role of product manager is ever evolving, and with the onset of the Agile, the speed of change is increasing. Two recent posts deal with somewhat different, but important aspects of the responsibilities of product managers:

Dean Leffingwell discusses the differences between product owner vs. product manager. Dean doesn’t believe there’s enough product managers in most companies for them to be the product owner (according to the Agile Manifesto Principle: Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project). In a situation where the product manager has too many products, meeting with the team every day and ‘owning’ the product is difficult. The main reason: to really get a grasp on where your product is headed you need to get out of the office. If you’re not in the office you cannot meet with the product team every day. So it ultimately comes down to definitions. In your experience is the product manager the ‘owner’ of the product?

On a somewhat different, but equally interesting topic, Peter Ganza asks fellow product managers whether they create and use product management roadmaps. He’s not talking about an external product roadmap (these are common), but an internal roadmap that establishes the direction the product will take over six, 12 or 18 months. Is this a common practice? Peter posted a survey that’s worth taking a minute to answer.