just occurred to me that part of the product managers job is to frame decisions in a way that actually INVITES disagreement, dissent, challenge.

let me explain

it is easy to frame things that ppl will agree with (1/n)
..lots of successful product managers are good at this. The problem is that they aren't inviting other perspectives. They frame it up -- nice consultant like -- in order to sell the direction.

Nods all around. YES. But months later...

That approach gets things in motion quickly, but it doesn't lead to the best decision quality.

Now other people are so vague that neither support or dissent are possible. There's nothing to go on. No rationale whatsoever.

UM. I guess so?

This is helpful either...(3/n)
The alternative is really putting the assumptions up there. Inviting others into the conversation. Leveraging different perspectives.

Don't sell. Catalyze and guide.
Don't over-simplify. Tell progressively more detailed stories.
Invite productive dissent


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More from @johncutlefish

24 Jan
the idea that remote is universally good for introverts (notwithstanding the many variations of introversion) is problematic...

1/n First, to create *any* environment that is safe and inclusive takes intention and care. It is not magic...introvert * remote=good.
2/n Case in point, there are many in-person work environments that are intentional with respect to the needs of introverts. And many remote environments that aren't...
3/n In many newly remote settings, you simply see decision making shift to smaller, select groups.

What feels comfortable and easier, is merely a reduction in collaboration, healthy tension, and transparency.

Possibly "easier" for the introvert. But not in the long term
Read 6 tweets
14 Jan
Since writing about feature factories in 2016, I've since started to referring to some orgs as "functional feature factories". What do I mean?

they deliver reasonably usable work, things don't feel dysfunctional, the reflect/adapt on how they work, but...(1/n)

12 Signs Post 👇
...they still haven't really cracked the nut .... where product development becomes the key driver for sustainable, differentiated, ethical growth and impact.

And in many ways this is a tougher situation to grapple with because stuff isn't obviously "broken".

...for many companies this is a step up from what was happening before.

So you have an issue with complacency. Why shake things up? The company is doing fine?

In many industries you can survive and even thrive...to a point. Until cant (3/end)
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
here's a bit of advice I give to a lot of companies at my day job (@Amplitude_HQ ) re: analytics

Start By Counting Things

Skip magic metrics.
...goal setting and success metrics.
...trying to "justify" a strategy.
..."benchmarks" and what your competitors do.

...focus on counting things that happened that you care about. Stay firmly grounded in the customer domain. Name things sensibly. Add extra context with human understandable properties. Decouple counting from the interface-de-jour.

Start By Counting Things

Why? ... (2/n)
...this is the muscle you need to build.

When you can count things, the rest falls into place ... especially with a product like @Amplitude_HQ which handles the nitty/gritty of making that data useful for you.

too many teams jump straight to a silver bullet (3/n)
Read 7 tweets
5 Jan
"The engineers on my team just want to code. They don't want to have anything to do with product. They just want specs. What do I do?"

1/n Are you asking them do to X *and* do their "day job" as defined by their managers (and frankly your roadmap) ?

If so, start there...
2/n Do they have a reason to believe that doing X will in any way improve the quality of the product and make their lives easier? Have they ever seen X "work" ?

Show don't tell.
3/n Is there average day/week a quagmire of unnecessary meetings, wading through tech debt, struggling to get *anything* to work ... and jumping through process hoops to prove their worth?

If so...no they will not have bandwidth.
Read 9 tweets
3 Jan
the product manager is responsible for the product's success...

simple. But....wait....

1/n There are many $ successful products that are terrible for humans (both inside/outside a company). Is that success?
2/n Conversely, what about "great products" that end up being "not successful" ?

Did the product manager do their job? Where does their role begin and end?
3/n Success over the lifespan of the product? next quarter? until they leave? while company exists?

There are many ways that short term success can come at the expense of mid/long term impact
Read 10 tweets
2 Jan
something just occurred to me...

I think ppl look at [popular tech co] product management advice and think "oh goodness...the rigor!"

...when in fact it is really about the intentional reduction in process overhead and leaner governance/budgeting
... this is especially important for bigcos believing they "don't have the 'talent'" to operate like X

...when in fact they don't have an environment where talent can flourish like X. They have trouble letting go.
... part of this is pure $.

They might be a money printing machine, but highly highly risk averse.

They talk about "innovation" but it is in the context of a massive amount of inertia to shave off %pts in cost and a very shallow excel-drag-to-right revenue forecast
Read 4 tweets

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