For you and your teams

Principles and Techniques

  • Timebox to beat Parkinson’s Law: Do this based on how much time (also known as money) you want to spend on said task. To more effectively timebox activities, partition the problem or opportunity to solve into smaller and more manageable chunks. A timebox, at least for core parts of a software project, should really never exceed six weeks at a time, and you should collect feedback along the way if possible/applicable. We need to not get better at estimating, as that is futile, but at batch shaping and scope hammering of discovered tasks. A good target: Ensure at least ~80…

Moving people forward, together


If you want to know the zeitgeist of an organization, attend a few of its internal meetings. Nine out of ten times, you’ll see room for improvement.

If you want to be agile, or whatever you were told you have to do to become customer-centric and move fast, start by fixing the way your teams hold meetings. This is a surefire way to improve how groups of individuals across your organization interact, make decisions, and organize their work.

For context, let’s start by looking at the following data reports:

A collection of models and frameworks to support your product organization

I have pulled some templates/frameworks from various articles I have written on Medium and categorized them here for your convenience.

Recruiting (for product managers):

A helpful resource for general PM interview questions:

Explaining the role and responsibilities to PMs:

Getting PMs to competency:

How leaders and teams should interact with product teams:

One way to design a product team calendar to drive out busy work:

Modernizing an organization:

Tracking the health of teams and your organization:

Self-assessment (for all employees):

Deploying the WHY and WHAT and Empowering Teams to Define the HOW

Techniques and principles for objective setting


  • Strategy is so much more than, say, the outcome of a successful strategy, e.g., such as a desired growth metric (increase subscriptions by 70%). Strategy is thinking about the critical issues worth concentrating resources on and rethinking (or reframing) the initial identification of the key problem area with more than one response to the stated problem. It is to reduce the problem scope to make it achievable.
  • OKRs are the tactics that describe what teams need to do to achieve part of a stated strategy, usually on a rolling quarter basis, in a fast-moving and uncertain environment. You do not…

Team Topologies Book Summary

Book by Manuel Pais and Matthew Skelton

The team topology approach treats humans and technology as a single sociotechnical ecosystem, and thus it takes a team-sized architecture approach (people first) rather than a technology-first approach, e.g., the monolith vs microservices debate. NOTE: If you have microservices but are still waiting to do end-to-end testing of a combination of services, you have a distributed monolith (a distributed monolith is when all changes in a service require updates to other services).

If you know you need to deploy different parts of the system independently, you need to decouple services. In this environment, you should make your teams small and…

The Final Frontier in Three-dimensional Sound Reproduction

What a product leader can bring to the venture capital investment roundtable

Invest in product experiments for pre-revenue ventures

Source: Elisabeth Fosslien

If you ask a veteran venture investor what are the metrics that matter, the answers might be (depending on their investment stage focus):

  • Payback Period
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Customer Acquisition Cost
  • And many other standard accounting metrics, e.g., gross margin
  • And, in some cases (such as in B2C businesses), DAU/MAU as the % of users that come back to use x feature(s), i.e., real usage to feed into retention as a predictor over time (driven by the magic moment (desired UX outcome))

These metrics can help you understand what product/market fit…

What people should know about what product people need to know

Product, Market, Problem Space, and Customers/Users

Disclaimer: This article is not collectively exhaustive as it relates to product management domain knowledge.

Domain knowledge breaks into four components:

  1. The market/industry/ecosystem (rivals (direct, secondary, and indirect)), competitive dynamics, regulatory constraints, rising fixed costs, inflection points/attractor states, supply chain, etc.)
  2. The product (how programmatic advertising works, how app stores work, how SMS infrastructure works, etc.)
  3. The type of problem (podcasts — capturing ear share, games — addictive viral loops, enterprise software — saving companies time/$, productivity software — helping people be more efficient)
  4. The customer segments (who are they, and what are their needs, pain points, desires, wants, goals, and motivations?)

The discipline breaks into three components:

  • Product strategy management: Connecting…

Making a choice does not always have to be hard

How Product Managers and Leaders Can Reduce Complexity

The principles of jūdō (柔道) represent speed and agility.

Frederick Taylor is by no means the best source of wisdom for modern product or innovation managers. He did, however, have a few gems.

Andrew Carnegie once asked Taylor what he should do with his business. Taylor said: “I would advise you to make a list of the ten most important things you can do, and then start doing number one.”

The point here is to not pursue multiple ambitious goals at once. …

The means to achieve product/market fit

The Product Discovery Platform

JAMstack MVS example.

The audience intended for this article includes, but is not limited to:

  • Pre-seed (pre-launch) technology businesses
  • Technical and non-technical founders attending accelerators
  • Seed (and some series A) stage technology companies
  • Incubators, venture studios, and holding companies that buy tech, engage in acquihires, and/or own and manage product portfolios

Mainly, any pre-product/market fit internet businesses using software as a tool to test assumptions with the intent to develop products at scale that people want.

Regardless of what your business needs are, you should at least consider the possibility that your minimum viable experiment (commonly known as MVP — minimum viable product) of your product might be used in a production scenario. In those…

Matt Lane

Product management leader focusing on culture, organizational performance, and strategy.

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