About Ron and Aha!

Ron is a product guy. He is the Sr. Director of Product Management at Aha! - the world’s #1 product roadmap software. He previously founded and sold his own company and has been on the founding team of multiple venture-backed companies.

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How to Avoid Team Chaos When Your Product Plans Change

product manager crisis communication plan

Let’s set the scene. Your team is prepping for a major product launch. Marketing has been working on the go-to-market activities for weeks. Sales has been teasing the new functionality with customers. And engineering has been polishing the experience. Then the worst scenario — two days before launch, a major bug is revealed. A stop-everything-you-are-doing kind of bug. Read more…

6 SWOT Analysis Templates for Product Managers

product manager SWOT analysis

Product teams know a lot about their products. It is a requirement for doing the job well. It can also be a curse. Why, you ask? Because you cannot know what you do not know. (Yes, a bit of a riddle.) This is one of the best things about a SWOT analysis — it forces your product team to step back and consider your product and the market from a different perspective. Read more…

My 5 Tips for Remote Product Managers

remote product manager aha

The job listing called for an experienced product manager. The opportunity: Work on software built by and for product managers. The location: Anywhere in the United States. At first, I was confused — anywhere? But I was intrigued. So I followed my curiosity. And I am so glad I did. Read more…

The Problem With Being a Fix-It Product Manager

fix-it product manager

It starts off with the best intentions. You are planning an upcoming release and notice that the support documentation needs to be updated. You could turn to a teammate and ask them to jump in. But instead you think, “I’ll just do it this once — it will be quicker this way.” Before you know it, you are spending lots of time in an area where your colleagues are experts. You have become the fix-it product manager.

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The Product Plan vs. the Release Plan

product plan vs. release plan

Do you like to focus on the big picture — or get down in the details? It is true that our brains tend to favor one side or the other. But if you are a product manager your answer to this question should be “both.” Growing a successful product requires both top-down and bottom-up planning. 

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How Good Product Managers Deliver Bad News

product manager bad news

I have some bad news. And it will not be surprising for most product managers. Our job frequently involves telling people things they do not want to hear. In fact, I would say the job of a product manager involves more difficult conversations than most. Even communicating what some would consider very bad news.

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6 Podcasts That Product Managers Love

product management podcasts

I spent an hour driving three miles. Welcome to Los Angeles — that was my commute. I was working as a product manager at an e-commerce company on the west side. Some call the area “Silicon Beach.” Most days it felt more like “Silicon Gridlock.” But there was something that eased the frustration.

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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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User Interviews: 6 Best Practices for Product Managers

User interviews for product managers

I learned a hard lesson early in my career — one that I never forgot. I was working on product strategy for a media company. Third-party studies showed that prospective customers were interested in a new content format. So we decided to revamp the site. When the mockups were ready, we interviewed our existing customers to get their take on the new look. And boy, am I glad we did.
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What Kind of Product Manager Will You Be in 2017?

black 8 ball on a pool table

“What kind of product manager will you be this year?” This was THE QUESTION that smacked me early on in my career. I had just come back from a holiday break and was catching up with my boss. I wanted to give a strong reply, but I needed time to unpack the question.

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The Product Plan vs. the Project Plan

two orange goldfish in clear glass bowl

Great product managers ask questions — lots of them. But product managers need to answer questions too. And the more complex the work, the more questions abound. When I was working at another SaaS company in the HR space a few years ago, this became very clear.

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