Summer Night Product Person Party and More!

Thank you to everyone who made it to our HOT Summer Night Product Person Party!

Over the course of the night, a few of our highlights were…IMG_20130718_204911

YOU!  Thank you to everyone who made it!

Our next meetup is just around the corner…

Thursday, August 1st
RSVP Now!

Stay tuned for more announcements about August’s Featured Product, WellcomeMat!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group!

And, don’t forget to check out our new job board exclusively dedicated to Product jobs @ http://TheProductJobs.com.  Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy
http://tpgblog.com

This Week’s Featured Product Management Jobs (Week of July 20, 2013)

tpj-logo-w_lkw_thumb1_thumb_thumb

Sr. Product Manager @ Paltalk (New York, NY)
Keywords: API, community, content, user testing, video
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=618&lf=twf

Sr. Product Manager @ RetailMeNot.com (Austin, TX)
Keywords: b2c, coupons, ecommerce, internet, retail
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=597&lf=twf

From Flattening Out to Getting Board

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights. What are you reading this weekend?

product_trust

On Product Management…

http://uxmag.com/articles/7-actions-that-earn-user-trust
Trust in (some of) the products.

 
 

On Starting Up…

http://steveblank.com/2013/07/09/dont-give-away-your-board-seats/
Get board — but the right kind.

startup_boardseat
modularinnovation_keys

On Modular Innovation…

http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/14/google-explains-why-its-cloud-service-is-different-when-it-comes-to-lock-in/
Throw away the keys and step on in.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://designmodo.com/flat-design-web-print/
Flatten out and look good.

design_flatten

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

The Deal with Agile

Guest Author: Jay Fox

Big week! The company I work for, The Deal (www.thedeal.com), launched a product  that I have been working on for nearly a year that creates LinkedIn-like functionality for people in the deal-making space using our proprietary data.

Not only is this the biggest new product launch for the company in 5 years, but it represents our first effort in transitioning from waterfall to agile development process. I am extremely impressed with our development team in making this transition – and while we have a long ways to go – we are operating much more efficiently than before.

How the transition has worked to our benefit…

Pre-agile: Long, detailed (read: boring), spec docs taking months to write were handed over to dev, who would take months to write code, and then business side would only see the product when it was in test, right before the given launch date. This caused a lot of frustration for the business side when the envisioned product was not achieved, and even more frustration for the dev side when deadlines were missed.

Post-agile: No spec docs, just weekly product development meetings in which daily scrums between business and dev side were summed up and discussed. I used wireframes to communicate design intent, and people in the meeting could give real-time feedback.

Pre-agile: Virtual Chinese wall existed between dev and business side with communication only happening in formal setting once a week at company-wide meetings. Biz side usually think one thing while dev side thinks another. Usually we wouldn’t find out what the other side was thinking until it was too late and deadlines has passed…

Post-agile: Frequent communication with dev team both in weekly formal setting and in daily chats by the water cooler. Much more open atmosphere of tossing ideas back and forth about design, UI, UX, and dev challenges. Collaboration is the name of the game. I believe this is the sole reason the product that launches tomorrow is meeting its deadline.

Pre-agile: Clients only got involved once the product or feature "went live." Feedback then went into an endless ticket cycle that was never implemented.

Post-agile: Dev set up a client testing site that allowed us to "beta" the new product early on in the development cycle. I even showed clients mock-ups before the testing site was available. This helped define what features we needed to be "launch ready". Plus, even after we launch tomorrow, we will still iterate frequently based on feedback. No long ticket process.

Here’s a screenshot of the main tool:

Image

A few things we are still working out…

  • How can we be truly agile when a large part of our development is outsourced to a team in India? Going back and forth on tweaks following client input was difficult and often ended up in a game of telephone where what was communicated wasn’t what we ended up getting. This process ultimately didn’t affect the launch date but still wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. Would appreciate folks sharing thoughts or similar experiences in the comments. 
  • I had a hard time getting client input throughout – pinning them down was tough and so iterating through input was not easy. Ultimately, we will launch the product, then get client input and decide if we’ve got an MVP or if we need to go back to the drawing board. I suppose this is a bastardized version of agile 🙂
  • We were operating without a UX design team – it was really me, the project manager, and the developer, none of which have hard UX experience. Any thoughts? Again, please share in the comments.

Thanks & would love to hear what you think!

Guest Author Bio

Jay Fox has been involved in financial and legal industry product development for nearly 5 years and has recently assumed the role of product director at The Deal (www.thedeal.com). The Deal is a media company owned by The Street (of Jim Cramer fame) that reports on M&A, Private Equity, regulatory issues, and restructuring. Follow Jay on twitter @FoxNY1 or on LinkedIn at http://lnkd.in/c2we8c.

This Week’s Featured Product Management Jobs (Week of July 13, 2013)

tpj-logo-w_lkw_thumb1_thumb

Head of Product (200K) @ PledgeMusic (New York City)
Keywords: Analytics, Music, Product, Strategy, User Experience
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=542&lf=twf

UX Designer @ Betterment (New York, NY)
Keywords: Information Architecture, Mobile, User Research, UX, Web
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=417&lf=twf

Customer Acquisition Director @ Powerlinx, Inc. (Empire State Building, New York, NY)
Keywords: B2B, Community Director, Customer Acquisition, Inbound Marketing, Marketing
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=533&lf=twf

From the Cheapness of Agile to Investing in the Tangible

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights. What are you reading this weekend?

product-weigh-agile

On Product Management…

http://tynerblain.com/blog/2013/07/09/is-agile-really-cheaper
Weigh the cheapness of Agile.

 
 

On Starting Up…

http://www.alleywatch.com/2013/07/software-out-hardware-start-ups-in/
Invest in the tangible.

startup-hardware
modularinnovation-todo

On Modular Innovation…

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2013/06/24/the-quandary-of-to-do-apps-without-apis/
Get done more connected.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.downgraf.com/coding/html_css/20-perfect-admin-templates-of-your-next-project/
Administer in style.

design-administer

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Product Management Fortune Cookie: He who desires repeatable business value delivery should not seek for credit and pride.

ego-fortune-cookieHave you heard yourself say this? Have you heard someone else argue?

"That was my idea."
"Doing anything else would be ridiculous!"

Ouch. Phrases that I know many of you have expressed at some point, whether you are new to product management or have several years under the belt.

This was not one of those easily learned lessons. For, if everyone doesn’t know you are generating all of the ideas what’s the point? Right?

Everyone needs to follow my product strategy. Of course they do, that’s why I am here, that’s what I get paid for. Isn’t it? It’s my neck on the line. Right?

Tamping down ego, pride and emotional attachment to one’s ideas is never an easy lesson.

A product manager’s pride, ego, credit and recognition are not as important as the business value delivered. Lead from out front, lead through influence, lead from behind; in the end, the business value delivered is what matters.

What Product Management fortune cookies do you have to share?

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy