Being a PM never gets boring - you need a diverse set of skills, lead people without actual authority, and support your customers as well as your business in always achieving great outcomes. I'm here to help you steering through the sheer amount of tasks.
Currently, I’m PM Lead at Caya, with the goal of creating a true product organization. Caya is not only converting letters and many more documents to digital, but also makes those documents smarter.
Previously, I was leading the B2B endeavours of Europe’s biggest marketplace for home services, discovering new markets for Helpling in Saudi Arabia & UAE, successfully expanded into new target groups as the first PM of job matching platform, and launched my own (but later liquidated) computer vision & ML based tech company .
Looking forward to talking about your product challenges! and sharing mine ;)
My Mentoring Topics
- Product Strategy
- OKR Setting
- Agile Development
- Stakeholder Communication
- Product Management Career
- Aligning Discovery & Delivery
- Team Leadership
Product Roadmaps Relaunched - How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty
C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, Michael Connors
Key Insights from the Book Product roadmaps are not fixed plans: They should be flexible, dynamic, and open to changes as business needs, market conditions, and technology evolve. Customer-centric perspective: A successful roadmap focuses on the customer's problems and their solutions rather than just product features. Strategy drives the roadmap: A roadmap is not a list of features or a project plan, but a strategic document that communicates the direction and progress towards strategic goals. Stakeholder involvement is crucial: A roadmap should involve inputs from all stakeholders including customers, management, sales, marketing, development, and customer support. Transparency and communication: A roadmap should be transparent and communicated to all relevant parties to ensure alignment and manage expectations. Use of visualization: Roadmaps are typically visual documents to help communicate complex ideas and plans effectively. Embrace uncertainty: It's important to acknowledge and plan for uncertainties in roadmaps. They should be flexible enough to adapt to changes. Outcome-driven approach: Roadmaps should focus more on the desired outcomes and benefits for the customer rather than specific features or solutions. Validate assumptions: Before committing resources, validate assumptions through customer feedback, market research, and prototypes. Time horizons and themes: Roadmaps should consider different time horizons (near-term, mid-term, long-term) and should be organized around themes that align with strategic goals. An In-depth Analysis of the Book "Product Roadmaps Relaunched" provides a fresh and modern approach to product roadmapping, focusing on its role as a strategic tool rather than a rigid plan. The authors, Lombardo, McCarthy, Ryan, and Connors, with their combined experience in product management, design thinking, and customer experience, provide comprehensive insights into creating and maintaining effective product roadmaps. The book is founded on the premise that product roadmaps are not fixed plans but flexible, dynamic tools that guide the direction of the product. The roadmap should adapt as business needs, market conditions, and technology evolve. This flexibility is essential to embrace uncertainty, a key theme of the book. The authors emphasize a customer-centric perspective, suggesting that roadmaps should focus on solving customer problems rather than just listing out product features. This is a shift from the traditional feature-based roadmap to an outcome-driven roadmap. It aligns with the modern product management philosophy of delivering value to customers, which ultimately drives business success. Strategy is the driver of the roadmap. The roadmap serves as a visual representation of the strategy, demonstrating how the product will achieve the strategic goals. This strategic alignment is vital for getting buy-in from stakeholders and for guiding the product team. Stakeholder involvement is highlighted as crucial in developing and maintaining the roadmap. The authors recommend regular communication with stakeholders, including internal teams like sales, marketing, development, and customer support, as well as external stakeholders like customers and partners. Transparency and communication are another core theme of the book. The roadmap should be a living document, accessible to all relevant parties. Regular updates on the progress, changes, and rationale behind those changes are essential to manage expectations and maintain alignment. The authors promote the use of visualization in roadmaps. Visual elements can simplify complex concepts and effectively communicate the product direction and strategic goals. Tools and templates are provided in the book to assist this effort. The book also advocates for an outcome-driven approach over a feature-driven one. By focusing on the outcomes or benefits for the customer, the product team is free to find the best solutions, encouraging innovation and customer satisfaction. Validating assumptions before committing resources is another key recommendation. This can be achieved through customer feedback, market research, prototyping, and other validation techniques. This reduces risk and ensures that the product is on the right track. Finally, the book provides practical advice on considering different time horizons and organizing the roadmap around themes that align with strategic goals. This ensures that the roadmap is comprehensive and maintains a strategic focus. In conclusion, "Product Roadmaps Relaunched" provides a thorough and modern guide to product roadmapping. It shifts the focus from a static, feature-based plan to a flexible, outcome-driven tool that embraces uncertainty and focuses on delivering value to customers. With its practical advice, tools, and templates, it is an invaluable resource for product managers and other professionals involved in product strategy and planning.View
Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz
Key Facts or Insights from "Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" Startups should focus on one metric that matters (OMTM) at each stage of their growth. The Lean Analytics stages of a startup: Empathy, Stickiness, Virality, Revenue, and Scale. Every business model, whether it's B2B, B2C, e-commerce, or SaaS, has different key metrics. Lean Analytics is about learning continuously through the process of measuring, learning, and iterating. Data-driven decisions can help mitigate risks and guide a startup toward growth and success. Startup growth is a function of the right product, the right market, and the right business model. Qualitative data (empathy and user interviews) is as important as quantitative data. There's a strong correlation between the speed of iteration and success in a startup. Building an effective data culture in the startup team is crucial for Lean Analytics. Lean Analytics is applicable beyond startups, including in corporate innovation labs, government, and nonprofit organizations. An In-Depth Analysis of "Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" "Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz is an essential guide for modern entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders. It integrates the principles of Lean Startup and data analytics, offering a structured approach to navigate the chaotic and uncertain journey of starting a new venture. The core idea is to focus on one metric that matters (OMTM) at a time. These metrics change as the startup progresses through five stages: Empathy, Stickiness, Virality, Revenue, and Scale. This focus allows the startup to devote its resources and attention to achieving one key goal at a time. This concept is reminiscent of the Theory of Constraints, which emphasizes that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. By focusing on one metric at a time, startups can effectively identify and strengthen their weak links. The authors elucidate that every business model has different key metrics. For example, a SaaS (Software as a Service) company would be more concerned with Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and churn rate, while an e-commerce startup might focus on shopping cart abandonment rates and average order value. This reflects the principle of context specificity in management, where strategies and actions must be tailored to the unique circumstances of each business. An essential part of Lean Analytics is the cycle of measuring, learning, and iterating. This is akin to the scientific method, where hypotheses are tested, results are analyzed, and conclusions are drawn to form new hypotheses. It's a continuous learning process, which is a cornerstone of the Lean Startup methodology. Startups should strive to make this cycle as fast as possible, as there's a strong correlation between the speed of iteration and success. Data-driven decisions are emphasized throughout the book. In an era of information overload, being able to sift through noise and focus on relevant data is a critical skill. As Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise" posits, the ability to distinguish useful signal from irrelevant noise is vital in today's world. By leveraging data, startups can make more informed decisions, mitigate risks, and increase their chances of success. However, the authors also highlight the importance of qualitative data, through empathy and user interviews. This is a nod to the design thinking methodology, where empathizing with users is a crucial step in understanding their needs and pain points. Building an effective data culture in the startup team is also discussed. This involves fostering a mindset where everyone in the team understands the importance of data, is comfortable with using data to make decisions, and contributes to the data collection and analysis process. Lastly, the book points out that Lean Analytics is not just for startups. Its principles can be applied in various settings, including corporate innovation labs, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. This aligns with the broader trend of data democratization, where access to data and analytics is spreading across different sectors and roles. In conclusion, "Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" provides a practical and comprehensive guide to using data to navigate the journey of building a startup. It integrates key principles from Lean Startup, data analytics, design thinking, and other management theories, making it a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders.View
Strong Product People - A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers
Key Insights The role of product people: The book emphasizes that product people, especially Product Managers (PMs), are pivotal in the success of any product-centric organization. Developing product people: It provides comprehensive guidance on how organizations can create and foster a culture that helps product people to grow and thrive. Product discovery and delivery: The book delves into the importance of product discovery and delivery, highlighting their significance in the product development life cycle. Stakeholder management: The author stresses the role of PMs in stakeholder management, explaining how they can create value by aligning stakeholders towards a common goal. Feedback and development: The book suggests practical ways for PMs to solicit and leverage feedback for their development and for the improvement of their products. Product strategy: The book provides insights into how PMs can effectively develop and implement product strategies, drawing on real-world examples. Product leadership: It also explores the distinct yet interconnected role of product leaders, who should be able to guide PMs while creating a conducive environment for them to thrive. Product management skills: It outlines essential skills for PMs, such as communication, decision-making, strategic thinking, and influencing, among others. Career development: The author offers advice on how PMs can manage their career development, suggesting ways to navigate through the challenges and opportunities in their career path. Product management tools and techniques: The book presents a variety of tools and techniques that PMs can use to boost their efficiency and effectiveness. Product management in different contexts: It discusses how product management can be adapted to different contexts, including start-ups, scale-ups, and large organizations. Deep Dive into the Content Petra Wille's "Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers" is a comprehensive guide that primarily targets product managers and product leaders. It aims to provide insights, techniques, and strategies to help them excel in their roles. Wille begins by emphasizing the importance of product people, especially product managers. She provides a succinct yet comprehensive definition of the role and responsibilities of product managers, highlighting their critical function in driving product success in any organization. The book then discusses how to develop product people. Wille suggests that organizations should foster a culture that permits the growth and development of product people. She argues that organizations should provide support, mentorship, and continuous learning opportunities to help product people thrive. Next, the book delves into the importance of product discovery and delivery. Wille provides an in-depth explanation of these two crucial aspects of the product development cycle. She presents practical examples and strategies to help product managers effectively manage both processes. The book also highlights the role of product managers in stakeholder management, which is often overlooked. Wille explains how product managers can add value by aligning various stakeholders, including customers, business leaders, and developers, towards a common goal. Furthermore, the book explores how product managers can use feedback for their development. Wille suggests that product managers should actively seek feedback from different stakeholders and leverage it to improve themselves and their products. Wille also provides insights into product strategy development and implementation. She uses real-world examples to illustrate how product managers can develop and execute effective product strategies. In addition, the book outlines the essential skills for product managers. These include communication, decision-making, strategic thinking, and influencing, among others. Wille provides practical advice on how product managers can cultivate these skills. Moreover, the book offers guidance on career development for product managers. It provides advice on how product managers can navigate through the challenges and opportunities in their career path, suggesting strategies for career advancement and personal growth. The book also presents a variety of product management tools and techniques. These tools and techniques, according to Wille, can help product managers improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Lastly, the book discusses how product management can be adapted to different contexts, such as start-ups, scale-ups, and large organizations. Wille explains that while the core principles of product management remain the same, the approach can and should be tailored to the context. In conclusion, "Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers" is a comprehensive guide that provides practical insights, strategies, and techniques to help product managers excel in their roles. It is a must-read for anyone involved in product management, regardless of their experience level.View
Escaping the Build Trap - How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value
Before diving into a comprehensive analysis of "Escaping the Build Trap," let's first outline some of the most important key facts or insights that the book offers: The significance of understanding the difference between building products and creating value. How to identify and escape the 'build trap' - a cycle of endless product development without strategic value. The role of effective product management in creating real value. The importance of aligning product strategy with business strategy. The necessity of building cross-functional teams for successful product management. The need for an outcome-oriented approach as opposed to an output-oriented approach. The critical role of feedback loops and learning in product management. The importance of product discovery in mitigating risks and maximising value. The concept of 'Product Kata' as a framework for continuous learning and improvement. The need for a cultural shift in organizations for successful product management. The role of leadership in fostering an environment for effective product management. An In-Depth Analysis and Summary "Escaping the Build Trap" by Melissa Perri is a seminal book that delves into the intricacies of product management while underscoring the importance of creating real value. In the realm of product development, organizations often fall into the 'build trap,' where they become incessantly obsessed with building features without understanding if they bring any strategic value to the business. This is the first lesson that Perri expounds on, highlighting the significance of understanding the difference between building products and creating value. The book then moves on to educate readers on how to identify if they are in the 'build trap' and offers a roadmap on how to escape it. This is a critical insight as it helps organizations identify a pervasive issue that can significantly hamper their growth and success. By aligning product strategy with business strategy, organizations can ensure that every product development effort contributes to overarching business goals. Another crucial facet that Perri discusses is the role of effective product management in creating real value. She emphasizes the need for product managers to transition from being 'feature brokers' to 'value creators.' This transition can be facilitated by building cross-functional teams that work collaboratively towards common objectives. Perri also highlights the need for an outcome-oriented approach as opposed to an output-oriented approach. While the latter focuses on the quantity of products or features developed, the former emphasizes the impact or value these products create for the customers and the business. This shift in perspective is essential for organizations to escape the 'build trap.' The book also underscores the critical role of feedback loops and learning in product management. By integrating feedback loops into the product development process, organizations can continuously learn and adapt based on user feedback and market trends. This is closely linked to the concept of 'Product Kata,' which Perri introduces as a framework for continuous learning and improvement. Furthermore, Perri emphasizes the importance of product discovery in mitigating risks and maximizing value. This involves validating ideas and assumptions before investing heavily in product development, thereby reducing the chances of failure. Finally, the book asserts that escaping the 'build trap' requires a cultural shift in organizations. This involves fostering a culture of learning, experimentation, and customer-centricity. The role of leadership is crucial in this regard as they need to create an environment that encourages these values. In conclusion, "Escaping the Build Trap" provides a comprehensive guide for organizations to break free from the cycle of endless product development and shift towards creating real value. By intertwining practical insights with theoretical concepts, Melissa Perri provides a valuable resource for anyone involved in product management.View
Do Cool Sh*t - Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After
Key Facts and Insights from "Do Cool Sh*t" Entrepreneurship as a lifestyle: The book promotes entrepreneurship as a way to escape the monotony of a 9-5 job and achieve a fulfilling life. The power of creativity: Innovative ideas are the backbone of successful entrepreneurship. Positive mindset: Maintaining a positive mindset and resilience in the face of challenges is crucial. Building a brand: The importance of creating a strong brand identity and its impact on business success is emphasized. Networking: The strategic value of creating connections and relationships in business. Funding: The book provides insights into various methods of funding a business. Work-life balance: The importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance while pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Passion and purpose: Miki Agrawal emphasizes the need for passion and purpose in pursuing entrepreneurship. Risk-taking: The willingness to take calculated risks is a key factor in entrepreneurial success. Learning from failures: The book encourages learning from failures and using them as stepping stones towards success. The power of authenticity: Authenticity in your personal and professional life can be a driving force for success. An In-Depth Analysis of "Do Cool Sh*t" At its core, "Do Cool Sh*t" is a manifesto for entrepreneurship and a guide to living a fulfilling life. Miki Agrawal shares personal experiences, triumphs, and failures while offering practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. She presents entrepreneurship not merely as a career choice but as a lifestyle, a path that, while fraught with challenges, can lead to a fulfilling and balanced life. The author highlights the importance of creativity and innovative thinking in entrepreneurship. She insinuates that a unique idea, even if it seems absurd at first glance, could be the foundation of a successful business. This aligns with the concept of disruptive innovation, a theory coined by Clayton M. Christensen, that describes how small, often under-resourced businesses can challenge established industry leaders. The book underscores the need for a positive mindset and resilience. Entrepreneurship is often a rollercoaster ride, and maintaining a positive outlook during the lows can be pivotal. This aligns with the research of psychologist Carol Dweck on growth mindset - the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Agrawal emphasizes the importance of building a strong brand identity. She believes that a solid brand can not only differentiate a business from competitors but also create a loyal customer base. This aligns with the work of branding experts like David Aaker, who argue that a strong brand can be a company's most valuable asset. Networking, according to Agrawal, is not just about making business contacts. It's about building relationships and fostering a sense of community. This notion is backed by Robert Putnam's theory of social capital, which suggests that networks of relationships have value and can lead to more productive outcomes. The author provides insights into various methods of funding a startup, from bootstrapping to venture capital. She encourages entrepreneurs to consider all options and choose the best fit for their business model and growth strategy. Work-life balance is another key theme in the book. Agrawal suggests that while entrepreneurship requires hard work and often long hours, it's essential to make time for personal pursuits and relationships. This echoes the findings of numerous studies indicating that work-life balance can lead to greater productivity and job satisfaction. Agrawal stresses the importance of passion and purpose in pursuing entrepreneurship. She argues that entrepreneurs who love what they do and believe in their mission are more likely to succeed. This resonates with the work of Simon Sinek, who in his Golden Circle theory, places 'why' – the purpose, cause or belief – at the core of an organization's activities. Risk-taking is another critical aspect of entrepreneurship highlighted in the book. Agrawal encourages calculated risk-taking as a pathway to success. This aligns with the risk-return tradeoff principle in finance, which suggests that higher potential returns are associated with higher risk. The author's approach to failure is refreshingly positive. She sees failures as learning opportunities and stepping stones towards success. This mirrors the concept of failure as a learning process in entrepreneurship literature, which posits that failure can contribute to future entrepreneurial success by providing valuable experience and insights. Finally, the power of authenticity resonates throughout the book. Agrawal believes that being true to oneself in business and personal life can be a driving force for success. This aligns with the authenticity paradox, a concept introduced by Herminia Ibarra, which suggests that leaders who remain true to themselves are more likely to inspire trust and loyalty. In conclusion, "Do Cool Sh*t" is a compelling read for anyone considering the entrepreneurial path. It offers practical advice, personal anecdotes, and an authentic glimpse into the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Above all, it is an inspiring call to action to quit your day job, start your own business, and live happily ever after.View