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Becoming a head of product and managing a group of product people is a significant career step. In this article, I share my recommendations to help you get ready for the new job and be off to a great start.

🎧 You can listen to the audio version of this article here: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/tips-for-becoming-a-head-of-product/

Be Prepared to Look after People, Not Products

When you become a head of product, you move into a line management position. Consequently, your focus shifts from managing a product to looking after the product people on your team and empowering them to do a great job.

Instead of creating, for example, product strategies and…


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I am a big fan of making decisions collaboratively, as it leverages the expertise of the stakeholders and dev teams; it creates a shared understanding; and it generates stronger buy-in. But deciding together can be challenging: The most senior stakeholder might try to dictate the decision, the group might shy away from difficult conversations, or people might get stuck in endless debates without knowing how and when a decision will be made. This article shares eight practical tips to help you avoid these pitfalls and harness the full power of collaborative decision-making.

You can listen to the audio version of…


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The product owner is a role which is often misunderstood and frequently misapplied. In this article, I address five common product owner misconceptions. I explain why they are wrong and how the role can be effectively implemented.

🎙 You can listen to the audio version of this article at https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/.

Myth #1: The product owner has to ensure that the stakeholders are satisfied

Stakeholders can be powerful and influential individuals. But the value a product creates is ultimately determined by its users: No product will be successful in the long run if it does not solve a specific user problem, create a tangible benefit, or help the users achieve a specific goal. While…


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A key challenge of working with KPIs is to select the right indicators: There are so many different metrics to choose from including daily active users, net promoter score, and profit, to name just a few. What’s more, senior managers and stakeholders can have strong views on which indicators should be used. This article helps you select the metrics that really matter and are truly helpful for your product.

An audio version of this article is available at: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-podcasts/how-to-choose-the-right-kpis-for-your-product/

What are KPIs?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that measure how your product is doing. Effective KPIs help you understand if your product…


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The 2020 edition of the Scrum Guide introduced a new type of goal, the product goal. This article shares my recommendations for setting effective product goals.

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

Product Goals Defined

Product Goals Defined

The Scrum Guide released in November 2020 states that “the product goal describes a future state of the product … [It] is the long-term objective for the Scrum team.” It also suggests that “the product goal is in the product backlog. The rest of the product backlog emerges to define ‘what’ will fulfill the product goal.” The…


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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…

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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