Building Empowered Teams

As product leaders, if we want to build great teams, we need to do more than assign tasks and deadlines. We need to create a culture of ownership that empowers and accountables our team. Three areas we need to look at as we lead others include: How can we help create this sort of team […]

What risk?

As I was walking down a trail outside of Vancouver, I encountered this warning sign. It was one of several signs highlighting the risks some cliffs ahead posed to life and limb. Clearly, those who came before us failed to consider the risks, and they installed both a fence and numerous signs in the mild […]


Product teams launch mediocre products when we fail to learn as we build. We build for months, even years, never truly learning if we are building the right thing. “What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability, and the tools to discover which parts of […]

Defining your MVP

What exactly is an MVP for your product? Some see it as a way to avoid feature creep. Others as a way to phase out development. Still others will argue it’s a prototype or a mini finished product. I’ll leave the definitive answer to someone else, but one thing must be true. You need to […]

Rework is Agile

Rework or change requests are the enemy to a project manager. But to the Agile Product Manager, they’re the result of learning. I don’t believe we are truly Agile if we only plan to build and release each feature once. To me that’s gambling. To be Agile, we must admit that we need to learn […]

The Illusion of Progress

Clayton Christensen in Competing Against Luck calls out how many companies have activities that give the illusion of progress, without actually causing it. To use Yogi Berra’s word, “We’re lost, but we’re making good time!” This happens when we fail to understand the “why”. Why do our customers choose our products? Why do they choose […]

What are you invested in?

I’m in the process of selling my car, and making a 20-year old truck my dad gave me my primary vehicle. The car was paid off, reliable, comfortable, and I really enjoyed driving it. So why get rid of it? Because I realized I didn’t want to invest my money in it any longer. I’m […]

What if it all changed?

Despite years of “digital transformation” many companies have found themselves unprepared to actually operate and thrive in the digital only environment we’ve found ourselves in this year. The video conferencing tools that were “good enough” while we were mostly in the office, are now showing their weaknesses. Those collaboration tools from IT, now seem clunky […]

Our Product Is Not For You!

I attended a talk several years ago by the CEO of a very successful software company, and afterward a current customer asked about a product enhancement. Most CEO’s would respond with something like, “It’s on our roadmap” or “That’s good feedback, we’ll take it under consideration.” Not this CEO! His response, “Our product is not […]

What are you celebrating?

I was rereading Marty Cagan’s book Inspired and I came across this quote: “Good teams celebrate when they achieve a significant impact to the business results. Bad teams celebrate when they finally released something.” Marty Cagan, Inspired It’s a good reminder that as a leader we need to pay attention to what we celebrate. Launching […]