Food for Thought #27: Product Dysfunctions, User Needs, Pivots, Scaling Scrum, JTBD

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of February 7th, 2016 covers: How to stop B2B product dysfunctions, aka the sales guys, uncovering true user needs, to pivot or not, hard lessons learned from scaling marketplaces, how to work with the jobs to be done framework, how to become a great product guy, scaling Scrum works for Ericsson Eurolab, 7 Scrum sins to avoid at all cost, today’s collaboration cult: is it killing the flow needed for knowledge work, and has the era of innovation come to an end?

Jock Busuttil (via Mind The Product): How to Stop Common B2B Dysfunctions in the Product Team

How to Stop Common B2B Dysfunctions in the Product Team

Here’s why: when a sales person identifies a plausible opportunity with a customer, they’re typically expected to forecast the deal. This prompts them to look ahead to the commission that they’d gain from the deal. In their minds, that commission is already theirs for the taking. Loss aversion means they push even harder to close the deal and secure the commission. Details such as the practicality and suitability of the solution for the customer – and feasibility for the vendor – can be left by the wayside.

Tomer Sharon (via The Lean Startup): Tomer Sharon, Don't Listen to Users, Sample Their Experience!

Uncovering true user needs is one of the most challenging aspects of product development. Oh-so-many organizations develop products and services that nobody needs. The Experience Sampling Method is a simple research technique for uncovering user needs. In a typical Experience Sampling study, research participants are interrupted several times a day to note their experience in real time.

Alex Devero (via Medium): Pivot — How to Go From Survival To Epic Success

Pivot or not? Making the decision to pivot is not that easy. You are de facto killing your baby. Goal of this post is to give you all the knowledge necessary to recognize if your idea is worth pursuing or you should pivot.

Oisin Hanrahan (via Medium): Starting a marketplace is hard. Scaling a marketplace is harder.

Trying to turn an idea into reality is hard — it’s hard because you don’t know where to start, it’s hard because convincing people to do things they haven’t done is hard, it’s hard because you need to believe something will work when everyone tells you it won’t.

The first scaling challenges always catch you by surprise, they wait until 6:00am on Sunday to call you and shake you awake. They come in the form of the distraught cleaner calling your phone to say they opened a customer’s front door and their cat, Muggles, escaped.

Chad McAllister and Chris Spiek: TEI 057: Applying the Jobs to be Done Framework

However, accomplishing this brings up questions like: who do we talk with, what do we ask them, and what information is most important. The practical answers to all these questions is in a framework called Jobs-to-be-Done. When used properly, it positions product managers to greatly increase the success of the products they develop – because the products are solving a real job the customer has in a way the customer recognizes as being most valuable to them and easiest to choose.

Sachin Rekhi: How to be a Great Product Leader

One of the challenges we've long acknowledged in the tech industry is how difficult the transition can be from a software engineer to an engineering manager due to the vast distinction in the skill set to be great at the new role.

Rich Mironov: A VP Product's Checklist

Individual product managers drive individual products or services. VPs of Product Management establish the broader context for getting great products/services built and successful. They use a combination of processes, trust-building, hiring, mentoring and cross-functional leadership to help their individual product managers succeed.

Mike Belsito (via Mattermark): What Product VPs At High-Growth Startups Have In Common

With that, I went on a mission: To dissect the senior product roles in the highest growth startup technology companies in order to understand who these companies bring on board to entrust product vision and execution.

(via InfoQ): Large Scaled-Scrum Development Does Work!

We at Ericsson Eurolab in Herzogenrath, Germany have tackled and conquered [scaling Scrum] with the help of kaizen and other adjustments to agile practices. We can proudly claim that large-scale Scrum development DOES work!

Nilesh Shah (via Scrum Alliance): 7 Sins in Scrum: Practices even experienced teams should avoid

In this article I want to point out some of the mistakes or misconceptions around Scrum that must be avoided, those I like to term "sins" in Scrum.

(via The Economist): The collaboration curse

Oddly, the cult of collaboration has reached its apogee in the very arena where the value of uninterrupted concentration is at its height: knowledge work.

Tyler Cowen (via Foreign Affairs): Is Innovation Over?

Is Innovation Over?

Almost seven years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy continues to grow at a sluggish rate. Real wages are stagnant. The real median wage earned by men in the United States is lower today than it was in 1969.

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