• Near-term, Mid-term, Long-term: Where’s a Product Manager Supposed to Focus?

    1 January 2012
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    Revenue from every product will decline some day – encroached by competitors, eclipsed by newer technologies, and disrupted by changes in the market environment. The Three Horizons Framework – initially espoused in The Alchemy of Growth by Baghi, Coley and White provides a simple way of thinking about balancing a company’s attention to, and investment in, the near, mid- and long term cycles of a business.  Since its publication a decade ago, their framework has become a popular tool for strategy development at the corporate level.

    However, we’re finding that product managers are also applying it to product line management, helping them sustain growth by balancing the pressing needs of current products against the need to make the most of emerging product opportunities and maximize their potential for future growth.
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  • Product Teams: Whose Job is it to Decide? Whose Job is it to Deliver?

    9 February 2011
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    Great product strategies and innovative product ideas can be powerful drivers of company growth, but only if their execution is solid. I’ve been hearing recently from product managers about their difficulties with execution.  Those difficulties have been aggravated by tight resources and soft marketplace demand.  But there is a low-cost approach to improving your results with your product teams.

    Some of the telltale signs of execution problems take the form of poor information flow and of people not being sure what they need to do.  For example, team leaders become indecisive; decisions take too long; when they’re made, they aren’t quickly translated into action; they’re second-guessed; executives are called in to resolve disputes; no one is sure who’s accountable for what; nobody knows who should be involved in making a decision; too many people are involved; information doesn’t get to the people who need it.  Or sometimes it’s the opposite – too many people are sent too much information; people go off-track with their efforts; conflicting messages get sent internally and externally, etc.

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