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As the Manifesto for Agile Software Development celebrates its 20th anniversary, I take a look at how agile practices have influenced and changed product management. I discuss the benefits that have been achieved and the challenges that still remain.

You can also listen to the audio version of this article and watch the video below:

Once Upon a Time in Waterfall Land

Before the advent of agile frameworks like Scrum, a product person — the product manager — would typically carry out the market research, compile a market requirements specification, create a business case, put together product roadmap, write a requirements specification, and then hand it…


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Saying no is a firm part of our job as product people: Trying to please everyone and taking on board every idea is hardly a recipe for achieving product success. But saying no can be tough, especially when we are faced with a senior, assertive stakeholder. This article offers five practical tips to help you say no in the right way.

You can also listen to the audio version of this article and watch the video below:

Imagine that you are talking to John, a senior salesperson who’s been involved with the product for a while. John mentions the…


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OKRs — objectives and key results — have experienced a renewed popularity in recent years. Consequently, I am regularly asked if and how OKRs can be applied in product management. This article shares my thoughts.

OKRs in a Nutshell

OKRs are a method for setting and tracking goals. An objective describes what is to be achieved. The key results state how we accomplish the objective. Let’s say, for example, that the objective is to “increase engagement.” The key results might then be “simplify user journey A” and “enhance feature alpha.”

OKRs can be used to create cascading goals — goals that are systematically linked…


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Despite its importance, product strategy is not always effectively practiced. One of the key issues I encounter in my work is that strategy and execution are not aligned but rather disjointed. To address this issue, I have developed an iterative process called the product strategy cycle. The cycle systematically connects strategy and execution so that the former guides the latter and insights gained from the tactical work help evolve the product strategy. …


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This article offers an overview of product discovery. It explains what product discovery is and why it matters; which questions it should address; when, how and by whom it should be carried out; and what types of discovery there are.

You can listen to the audio version of this article here: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/a-brief-guide-to-product-discovery/

What is Product Discovery?

Product discovery describes the activities required to determine if and why a product should be developed and offered. This increases the chances of creating a product that users actually want and need and achieving product success. Carrying out product discovery involves answering the following questions:

  • What is the…


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Photo by Chrishna on Flickr

The product backlog is an essential product management tool: It captures detailed product decisions and directs the work of the development team. The latter requires it to be prioritised or ordered. But how can you prioritise a product backlog when everything seems equally important? This article shares my answer. It recommends taking four steps to get to an effective, prioritised product backlog.

You can listen to the audio version of this article here: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/prioritising-a-product-backlog-when-everything-is-important/

Step 1: Ensure that you know who the product is for and why people will want to use it

I’ll never forget the day when I suggested to the product manager of a brand-new healthcare product to prioritise its features. The individual looked at me…


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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The product vision board is a simple yet powerful tool to capture the product vision and the product strategy. Despite its simplicity, effectively using it can be challenging. I have seen many boards over the years that suffered from a number of shortcomings including a poorly defined target group, an unconvincing value proposition, and business goals that weren’t measurable. This article helps you recognise and rectify common product vision board mistakes, thereby maximising the chances of creating an inspiring vision and a winning product strategy.

You can listen to an audio version of this article here: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/common-product-vision-board-mistakes/

A Brief Guide to this Article

This article assumes…


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Whenever you require more than a single development team to progress your product, you have choice: You can organise the teams around features or components. This article explains why this decision matters for product people, and it shares my advice on when feature teams are right for your product and when component teams are better suited.

→ You can listen to the audio version of the article here.

What are Feature and Component Teams?

A feature team is a development team that implements end-user functionality end-to-end. Contrast this with a component team. …


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As product people, we rely on the stakeholders to successfully progress our product. But effective stakeholder management can be challenging. It can feel like herding cats with every stakeholder going off in a different direction pursuing her or his individual goal. This article offers practical tips to help you succeed in aligning the stakeholders, involving them in the right way, and securing their support for important product decisions.

You can listen to the audio version of this article here: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/stakeholder-management-tips-for-product-people/

Lead the Stakeholders — Don’t Please, Don’t Dictate

As the person in charge of the product, your aspiration should be to lead the stakeholders in order to create…


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Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

Nearly 20 years after the publication of the first Scrum book, the product owner role is still riddled with misunderstandings. It’s not uncommon for me to meet someone who refers to her- or himself as a product owner, only to discover that the person owns a feature or the product details but not the entire product. Other times, I meet people who say they are product owners but who manage a whole product portfolio. This article helps you reflect on and improve the way the product owner role is applied at your workplace. It describes six common types of “product”…

Roman Pichler

Product management expert. Author of “How to Lead in Product Management”, “Strategize” and “Agile Product Management with Scrum”. www.romanpichler.com

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