Product Roadmaps

The Real Value of a Product Manager

real value of a product manager

Who is the most misunderstood in technology? I would say it is the person who plans what will be built next. This person — often called the product manager — is a puzzler to many. Just consider how many different job titles are used for people who do the work of product management: product manager, product owner, business analyst, and even program or project manager sometimes. To keep it simple — let’s refer to these folks as product managers. 

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Product Manager to Customer: “What Do You Really Want?”

dog clothing box subscription product

Listen to the customer. This is the advice given to many product managers. But what if you are listening — yet hearing all the wrong things?

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Product Manager Beware: Your Roadmap Is Confusing Customers

confusing traffic signs

“What are you planning to deliver in the second half of the year?” We were wrapping up a meeting with our customer advisory group when someone asked me this question. As a product manager, I should have known how to answer. Unfortunately, I caused more confusion than good. Here is what happened.

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How Marketing Teams Benefit From Clear Product Roadmaps

hand pulling a fire alarm brick wall backdrop

I have never been a fan of fire drills. Not the drills to ensure you can get out of a building in under 120 seconds. I am talking about the ones that every marketing team knows and dreads — the last-minute, hair-on-fire work problems.

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Visualize Your Product Roadmap Strategy

Great products are typically the result of having a breakthrough plan. That’s a strategy. Aha! makes it easy to set your product vision, goals, and strategic initiatives and link them to your releases and features. We call this the “red thread of strategy” and believe that it’s fundamental to the roadmapping process. And now you can visualize, via an interactive diagram, your entire strategic business and product framework.
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How to Craft a Winning Product Roadmap Presentation

product manager giving group presentation of product roadmap

So, you just built an awesome roadmap. Congrats. Customers are going to love it because you prioritized what many of them were asking for. You did a fine job working with the sales team to make sure they were aligned with the product’s direction. And engineering was standing tall right by your side in full agreement.

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6 Things Product Managers Should Do Before Building a Roadmap

The product roadmap is one of the most essential documents your company creates. It shows what your product aims to achieve, how it will fulfill important goals, and how your product will impact the larger organization.
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The Product Roadmap vs. the Project Roadmap

It’s amazing what you learn when you stop talking at work and start listening. This is particularly true when you are meeting with the world’s best innovators and product builders. We get to practice our listening skills a lot, because at Aha! we speak with hundreds of product managers each week.
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5 Easy Steps to Build Your First Marketing Roadmap

Marketing teams need a strategy. Your strategy tells you where to focus, like how to adapt when there aren’t enough dollars in the budget to advertise everywhere. And as marketing continues to become more complex, strategic planning becomes that much more important.
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4 Simple Tricks for Product Roadmap Alignment

“Most organizations have too many top priorities to achieve the level of focus they need to succeed.”

Patrick M Lencioni, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

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6 Questions to Ask Before Planning Your 2016 Product Roadmap

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

—Winston Churchill, British prime minister

The best lens on the future is the past. It’s not perfect, but there are trends that it will reveal. Ultimately, that means the plans you make for next year must be guided by your results from this year.
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4 Roadmapping Secrets From Successful Product Managers

Product managers need a visual roadmap. Why? If you do not know where you are going, you cannot expect to get there — or build a great product while you are at it.
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Product Managers: Stop Hiding Behind "Technical Debt"

Thanks to Daniel Elizalde for his recent guest post on how amazing product managers stop adding features and start eliminating technical debt. It was a good summary of the challenges that product leaders face working to create the greatest value for their customers and company. And it provided a fine warning as well for PMs who are always focused on “the next great feature.”
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The Best Way to Prioritize Customer Ideas on Your Roadmap

The dreams of product managers perish in the gap between what customers say and what they actually do. Product ideas gathered from customers are crucial. However, they should not be accepted as absolute truths. In a similar vein, complaints from users often motivate product teams to react at the expense of fulfilling long-term goals. This is an enormous mistake.
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How to NOT suck at product roadmap presentations

How to make PPT presentations not suck

Buying a used car or delivering a presentation to a large group — what irks you more? Presentations are a necessity for product managers, but they usually aren’t something that folks look forward to giving (or attending). But if you want to be successful in product management, you are going to need to get good at them. Really good.

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