In today’s lightning-fast technology world, good product management is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Yet, managing human beings and navigating complex product roadmaps is no easy task, and it’s rare to find a product leader who can steward a digital product from concept to launch without a couple of major hiccups. Why do some product leaders succeed while others don’t?
This insightful book presents interviews with nearly 100 leading product managers from all over the world. Authors Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw draw on decades of experience in product design and development to capture the approaches, styles, insights, and techniques of successful product managers. If you want to understand what drives good product leaders, this book is an irreplaceable resource.
In three parts, Product Leadership helps you explore:
Themes and patterns of successful teams and their leaders, and ways to attain those characteristics
Best approaches for guiding your product team through the startup, emerging, and enterprise stages of a company’s evolution
Strategies and tactics for working with customers, agencies, partners, and external stakeholders
The Product Leader
Chapter 1What Is Product Management?
The Product Management Role
How Product Management Evolved
What’s Next for Product Management?
Chapter 2Why Is Product Leadership So Relevant?
The Product Leader’s Impact
Challenges Specific to Product Leadership: More Than Just a Seat at the Table
What Product Leadership Is Not
What Makes Product Leadership Strategic
What Keeps Product Leaders Awake at Night
Chapter 3Being a Great Product Leader
Setting Product Principles
Setting a Product Vision
Moving from Vision to Strategy
Moving from Strategy to Roadmap
Product Is a Team Sport
Balancing Discovery and Delivery
Just Enough Process
Communication and Constraints
Clarifying the Question of Authority
Chapter 4Is There a Formula for Success?
What Does Product Leadership Success Look Like?
Measuring Success as a Problem-Solving Ability
Common Characteristics of Successful Product Teams
How to Identify Product Leaders
Chapter 5Hiring Product Leadership
Hiring and Onboarding Product Leader Talent
Becoming a Product Leader
The Right Leader for the Right Time
Chapter 6The Startup Organization
Startup Product Leaders
Product Founder Versus First Product Hire
Startup Product Teams
Chapter 7The Emerging Organization
The Biggest Challenges for Emerging Product Leaders
Practical Advice for Transitioning Leaders
Chapter 8The Enterprise Organization
The Biggest Challenges for Enterprise Product Leaders
Working with Customers, Agencies, Partners, and External Stakeholders
Richard is a the CEO and co-founder of Boston-based user experience agency Fresh Tilled Soil. He started his tech career with MultiChoice, Africa's largest broadcast communication and Internet company. He then left MultiChoice to become co-founder of Acceleration, an international adtech business headquartered in London (now owned by advertising giant WPP). Under Richard’s leadership Fresh Tilled Soil has delivered digital product design and product strategy to 700+ clients around the world. Richard has published two other books, Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products, which he coauthored with C. Todd Lombardo and Trace Wax and Design Leadership: How Top Design Leaders Build and Grow Successful Organizations.
Martin Eriksson is a product management professional with over 20 years experience building leading online products all over the world, from small startups to global brands such as Monster and The Financial Times. He is the Founder of ProductTank, a global meetup for product people with over 50,000 members across 100+ cities worldwide. He is also the co-founder and Curator of Mind The Product—the world's largest product management community, blog, and conference, with annual events in San Francisco and London. He also serves as a consulting Chief Product Officer, advising startups and enterprises on how to build successful product teams.
Nate Walkingshaw is the Chief Experience Officer at Pluralsight. He started his first company in 2004, where he revolutionized medical evacuation with Paraslyde, later acquired by Stryker Medical. He then built Brightface, a product development company that focused on mobile and web applications including Cycleface (acquired by Strava). He then became the Chief of Research and Innovation at Tanner Labs, where he built O.C. Tanner’s first human-centered product development team. Nate joined Pluralsight, the largest providers of online technology learning, as Chief Product Officer, and in February 2016, Nate’s role expanded to Chief Experience Officer to also oversee development, content, and product marketing.
Glad to see all the chapters are finally out. I've been reading the previews as they've been released. I just finished the book and have to say this should be required reading for anyone in product. I stumbled into the product world from design, and this covers the stuff that no one really teaches you like managing people (people you manage and even how to manage up), how to grow a team, and how to tweak processes to get more from your team.
It was cool to get an inside view on how leaders from companies like Adobe, Uber, Autodesk, and Zipcar work to build great products. Particularly the sections on setting and measuring metrics, and how to be a better communicator have been my areas of focus so far. Looking forward to getting a physical copy soon.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend