1️⃣ Why do people hate product managers?
Aug 2021 • 4 min read • #selfimprovement
If you are lucky, you might have just enjoyed a vacation and you’re well-rested… Keep calm for this breaking news: 1/ some people hate us, 2/ for good reasons. Learn more about our sins and what to do to avoid them. I’ve been an overstepper at times until I learned to empower the team (this article from PM Snacks #35 might help) & can still be a complexifier (when I’m passionate about a product). What about you?

2️⃣ Execution at Facebook
Aug 2021 • 9 min…

1️⃣ A simple three-part framework to align your team’s efforts
Jun 2021 • 6 min read • #execution #roadmap
Intercom is back at it with a newer and better framework than RICE. No, I’m kidding. There isn’t any magic weapon. A good prioritisation framework:
1/ captures the preoccupation of the company. In their case it’s to create innovation (= build usage or defendability) while keeping on check investment and urgency (to be right on time w/ the market)
2/ aligns the different teams (especially the main stakeholders) on the criteria. …

1️⃣ Product Leader’s First 100 Days Plan
Sept 2017 • 3 min read • #execution #startHere
The most comprehensive resource I’ve read on how to begin as a Head Of Product. It is applicable for any product job, whether you are new in a company or just on a new product line. In a nutshell:
1/ Discover: the product, market & PMF; the company culture & processes; the people, from stakeholders to users
2/ Plan: find growth levers & main opportunities, draw product lines & objectives
3/ Execute: prioritise roadmaps & work on the team growth

2️⃣ Rituals for hypergrowth…

1️⃣ How To Maximize Your Team’s Impact
May 2021 • 4 min read • #execution #empowerment
Asking your designer to “mock the feature X” is like asking “Gordon Ramsey to follow your grilled sandwich recipe”… not a good idea. This article gives clear examples & a framework from Brandon Chu to really empower your team:
1/ Consider the relative skillset of a team member (designer, data, eng) & your relative skillset
2/ Depending on the answers the relationship will fall in 3 possible buckets: support, partner, lead. …

1️⃣ Flow Efficiency: Powering the Current of Your Work
Mar 2019 • 5 min read • #execution
I speak regularly about why I don’t like to do “estimates” of the work we do as a team. There are 2 main reasons:
1/ Estimates are usually made up (even with an experienced team), and takes too much time to evaluate (and it’s never fun for anyone). But in my opinion, there are better alternatives. To control the output, the “flow efficiency”-indicator is a solution. Lead & cycle times are another.
2/ To build a commitment, I prefer to work backwards like an…

1️⃣ Product Management — play it like Walt Disney
Apr 2021 • 8 min read • #execution #inspiration
I love articles like this that draws inspiration from other fields. On a similar note, I highly encourage you to read the book Creativity Inc on the story of Pixar (a book that impacted me a lot). You’ll discover:
- There weren’t administration buildings in Disneyland. Walt wanted the employees to operate the park by being with the clients & observing them in order to improve the experience as much as possible
- Why they work so much on creating an emotional bond with their…

1️⃣ Adding is favoured over subtracting in problem solving
Apr 2021 • 5 min read • #strategy #manageyourself
A bias worth taking into account when you design a system: we tend to think by “addition” (features, settings, offering) rather than subtraction. Not convinced? Think of a new product one-upping a competitor by adding one more feature or even the law (in France we went from 214k to 331k legal rules between 2002 and 2021). When designing, always start with the questions: can we unship things? can we simplify?

2️⃣ Upsides to Unshipping: The Art of Removing Features and Products
May 2021…

1️⃣ Empowered product teams and metered funding
Apr 2021 • 9 min read • #strategy #execution #mustread
I often talk about Product Managers as Investors (I developed this idea in this French video). The metaphor goes this way: your fund (= your squad’s time), your bets (= the initiatives you’ll work on), your investments (= the time you are okay to invest in each idea to have an impact). This article refines some ideas:
1/ Big returns don’t require big bets. Instead, invest as little time as possible. As the VP Eng @Shopify puts it: “Optimizing for speed leads to faster learning…

Sept 2019 • 10 min read • #strategy #execution #mustread
This is a very good piece connecting the content shared in the last few weeks around product strategy. It starts with the company’s objectives, down to the “outcome” roadmap, giving specific advice & prompts to start. Bonus: a good piece on the differences between a feature & an outcome roadmap by Gibson Biddle & a recommended deep dive in how Malt & Jobteaser do it by Le Ticket (FR)

2️⃣ Pre-mortems: How a Stripe Product Manager prevents problems before launch
Apr 2021 • 5 min read •…

Olivier Courtois

10y+ in Product, now freelance / coach / advisor • Newsletter at productver.se • ex- VP-Product comet & Product Director ManoMano

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