I continue to be surprised by how many product managers aren’t familiar with dual-track development.
I don’t care if you know the buzzwords or if you can define the difference between product discovery and product delivery.
But if you work in product management, you should know that a fundamental shift has been happening in our field for years. And it’s time you start exploring that shift.
The Lean Startup came out in 2011. That’s five years ago.
Design thinking predates that by many years. As does user research and customer development.
And yet, almost every day I meet product managers who spend little to no time talking to customers. They think experiments belong in science labs. And they still haven’t prioritized instrumenting their products.
I understand that many organizations have barriers to adopting these practices. It’s not easy for an individual product manager to enact change within their organization.
I get it. I help organizations through this shift every day. It’s what I do for a living. And it’s hard.
But every single product manager should be aware that this shift is happening in our industry. And regardless of what is happening at your company today, if you want to keep being a product manager tomorrow, you need to be investing in the skills that are required to do modern product discovery.
Video: An Introduction to Product Discovery
To help build awareness and to move the conversation forward, I’ve created a 25-minute video that walks through an introduction to modern product discovery.
Even if you get it, even if you talk to customers every day or run a dozen A/B tests a week, I want to encourage you to watch it.
Some companies are starting to kick ass at this. This is the future of product management. Are you ready to keep up?
If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.
In this introduction to product discovery, you’ll learn:
- What modern product discovery is (in a big-picture sense)
- How most people are deciding what to build—and the limitations of this model
- What some of the best product teams are doing differently—and how you can implement their methodology
- Which artifacts can be used to build a deep understanding of the customer’s world that’s shared across your team, promotes empathy, and helps everyone retain information
- How to uncover your own underlying assumptions—and how to test them
As product managers, our initial ideas fall short most of the time. It takes work to evolve ideas into something that will work. But if we aren’t experimenting and measuring the impact of our product changes, we remain in the dark about our mediocre ideas.
Traditionally, product teams have followed the same methods, working under assumptions that have often led them astray. In this video, I’ll outline those assumptions and uncover why they can lead to costly mistakes and wasted resources.
I’ll also share how the most forward-thinking product teams are doing things differently. There are two dimensions to modern product discovery, and the video goes into specific examples of each of those dimensions as well as a few techniques to ensure that your team becomes equally proficient in both.
Throughout the video, I draw upon concepts from The Lean Startup, Change by Design, and The Four Steps to the Epiphany as well as what I’ve observed as a discovery coach and as product manager. I’ll reveal some of the common pitfalls that prevent teams from fully adopting modern product discovery and how you can make sure to avoid them. And, of course, I’ll share some best practices that I highly recommend following.
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