Tag: Corporate Life

  • Defusing Dramatic Conversations

    Defusing Dramatic Conversations

    Change happens. Maybe it’s a new strategic mandate, or altered priorities from customers, or realization that a technical approach won’t work. Your vendor disappears in a puff of smoke, you can’t be ready for unveiling at a conference so the deadline moves, your customer adds more requirements, your executive staff decide the feature should be […]

  • Writing a Resume

    Writing a Resume

    Given the surge of layoffs over the last few months, there’s a lot of people looking for new roles. Often resumes are a few years old, or perhaps misaligned for available roles. Here’s some tips on freshening yours up. Focus and Brevity I’d have written a shorter letter if I’d had the time — the […]

  • Chaos, Control, and Team Bonding

    Chaos, Control, and Team Bonding

    Let’s do another quadrant: vertical axis is how chaotic the company is, horizontal axis is how bonded the teams are. Team bonding level is of course not a constant. The Tuckman model applies to all teams, and we human go through cyclical rhythms of togetherness and separation as we grow personally and professionally. That said, […]

  • How to Present a Product Proposal Executive Deck

    How to Present a Product Proposal Executive Deck

    I’ve been writing and presenting my entire career, so this set of learnings was definitely puzzling to acquire. But it turns out that you need a different deck for executive presentations than you do for conferences, sales, or product updates. First, a general note for technical or academic people. There’s an attitude or tradition, perhaps […]

  • Building The Habitual Year

    Building The Habitual Year

    As a new Product Manager, you’ve got a huge increase of demands on your time. You’re now the person responsible for answers about the product, and if you’re selling it globally or developing it overseas, that means you’ve now got a never-ending day. Additionally, it’s not just those tactical questions of “does it compete with […]

  • How to Run a Standing Team Call

    How to Run a Standing Team Call

    A standing team call is any call where a group of people meet regularly.  Every time you notice that it’s coming up, try to take a few minutes to do these things: Figure out what type of call it is, then ask, does this call still need to exist? Some possible answers: If you can’t […]

  • Mission Statements

    Mission Statements

    A good mission statement is an aspirational goal that helps everyone move in roughly the correct direction.  It is not strictly descriptive of what the organization is currently like, but it should reflect the best moments attained. An aspiration that is not grounded in the possible is easily ignored, or worse yet leads to folly. […]

  • Planning R&D Time

    Planning R&D Time

    Granted that reality will disrupt the plan, I still find it useful to do a quarterly planning exercise. I’m fond of doing this with a zero based budget of person-time that has already had maintenance requirements removed. So you’ve got N full-time equivalent (FTE) people. They’re going to be sick and vacating and training 25% […]

  • Internal Transfers

    Internal Transfers

    Role, tech stack, and culture. A new hire for a role must come up to speed on all three areas, and will be coming from behind on at least one. Some organizations are lucky enough to have a broadly common set of cultural or role expectations so that people can easily transfer skills from elsewhere. […]

  • Executive Dashboards

    Executive Dashboards

    Executive dashboards go through the Tuckman model… like team members, they have to be understood before they are accepted.  Forming: a need for a dashboard is recognized and that dashboard is introduced to the executive staff. It may or may not be challenged, but its place is not certain. Storming: if not at introduction then […]