Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

It was nice to read Steven Haines view on product management. Another good book for anyone wanting a solid overview of the product manager role…

“Many people confuse product management with product development, and some confuse product management with project management…

..The system of product management touches and influences all the organic supporting structures-all the business functions. Think of the human body; product management is in the circulatory system, the neural network, and, of course, the command and control center (the brain).”

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos says “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

And the final nugget from the book “measure twice, cut once”.

Want to know more about the product manager role?

New to product management?

Stuck spending most of your time on tactical work and need a recap on the fundamentals of being a product manager?….

…then I’d recommend this book by Josh Anon where he’s written a really good comprehensive guide to becoming a great product manager.

Fantastic book by Stephen R. Covey

If you’re into self-improvement I couldn’t recommend this highly enough.

Four generations of time management:

1st generation – notes and checklists

2nd generation – calendars and appointment books

3rd generation – important idea of prioritisation, of clarifying values, and of comparing the relative worth of activities based on their relationship to those values

4th generation – recognises that “time management” is really a misnomer-the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves

5th generation – tbc

The way this book uncovers the key capabilities that drive improvements in software delivery performance is brilliant.

It was interesting to read the science behind the research findings and the rigorous research methods used which was predominantly done by surveys, which I’m a big fan of.

I’d definitely recommend this book by Nicole ForsgrenJez Humble and Gene Kim

Whilst I have minimal B2B product experience, this book by Geoffrey Moore gave good insight into the complexities and challenges of scaling high-tech products, as well as practical advice on how to avoid the various pitfalls when attempting.

Although the Crossing the Chasm model is B2B, I couldn’t help notice how many similarities there were to B2C when it comes to scaling a product to mainstream customers with a ‘whole product’ offering and targeting customer segments.

A fascinating read by Thomas M. Siebel where he writes about how enterprise digital transformation powered by cloud computing, big data, AI and IoT (Internet of Things) has caused mass extinction and mass diversification in the business world…..

PwC’s 2017 study projects an increase of $15.7 trillion in global GDP by 2030 due to AI.

Analysts expect IoT will contribute up to $11.1 trillion in annual global economic value by 2025.

Industry analysts estimate that the AI software market will exceed $250 billion by 2025.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack would disable the vulnerable US power grid for years with only 1 in 10 Americans surviving after one year.

My experience with digital transformation is to always start from problems to solve (use cases) / business value rather than diving into ‘data lakes’ which could swallow up years of resource with minimal business value.

Great read by Marty Cagan which covers the entire Product Management area.

Whilst a significant amount of the book is focused on the importance of solving customer problems – outcomes over outputs, which is the theme of a lot of product books around, there are 67 chapters covering:

> The different growth stages of tech companies, lessons and some really good success stories from Product Managers of Google, Adobe, BBC, Microsoft, Netflix and Apple
> The challenges and the reality of being a Product Manager
> The different roles of the Product/Agile team, supporting roles and additional leadership roles needed as you scale
> Tons of advice about product vision strategy and KPIs
> Huge amounts of discovery and transformation techniques
> Stakeholder management

And it also accurately describes the top reasons for loss of innovation and loss of velocity.

Incredible book by Robert Cialdini which includes ~50 amazing experiments from psychologists around influence, as well as a great selection of experiences which Robert has been through himself.

I found the most fascinating chapter was around reciprocation, because it explains why those who naturally give/help others out in a selfless way, get more successful outcomes in the long run than those who don’t. Very relevant in business especially for roles involving Agile, product management, marketing and of course sales.

The book also covers Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity

If you’re into psychology, I’d recommend this book.

This was a good read by Terry Schmidt, with some fantastic practical tools such as the LogFrame used for strategic product planning, which also generates a hypothesis.

A good alternative to the VMOST framework.