At least your product didn't block the Suez Canal for six days
and other useful stuff about product - Mar 2021
One of the biggest stories in the past month was a giant container ship that got stuck across Egypt's Suez Canal. The ship was stuck for six days, holding up goods worth in excess of $9.6 billion per day. Of course the internet memed the sh*t out of it.
Whether or not you keep a backlog, or work in sprints, I think PMs everywhere can relate to the feeling that there’s always way more to do than is possible in any given time period.
With so much to do, and so little time, here’s the best stuff I found on product this past month.
A B2B Product Management Story: on discovering problems that customers actually care about
You think you’ve discovered a problem your company can uniquely solve. But how do you know if you’re solving the right problem for your customers?
I really like the idea of stack ranking your customer’s problems. All other things being equal, you’d want to pick the biggest problem to focus on.
But all other things are usually not equal – so keep in mind who else is also trying to solve that problem for your customers.
One of the most valuable things I learned from my last manager was how to tell a business story. This article captures it perfectly, which I've summarized in the thread below. (1/4)
The thread is almost 2 years old, but improving business communication will always remain relevant.
So relevant in fact, that shortly after I added this tweet to the draft of this newsletter, Lenny released a newsletter article dedicated to this topic:
In the article, he digs deeper into Barbara Minto’s pyramid principle and how it can be used inside the solution part of your communication. From his newsletter:
The Minto Pyramid Principle came out of a frustration Barbara had while working at McKinsey (where she spent ten years, as the very first female management consultant). While at McKinsey, she noticed that people were awful at crafting persuasive arguments. They didn’t know how to structure their arguments, and they spent too much time upfront building up their case with data and facts. By the time they got to their final recommendation, the audience had already tuned out or been distracted by the details.
He breaks down the pyramid principle, and how it can be used in the Situation-Complication-Resolution framework (or context-problem-solution as he calls it in the above thread).
This is a powerful way to structure an argument. Besides checking out Lenny’s post (and subscribing if you’re not already), I’d recommend the video below if you want a deeper look into this subject.
Tip: if you click on part of the text, the video will start at that point
Live-tweet of PM Fundamentals workshop on customer insights
Lots of good stuff in this one. Here’s a few of my favorites.
That’s it for this month. Stay safe and enjoy the Easter holiday.
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