Article archives

Here you can find links to all the articles published on this website.

You can also view the PRODUCTHEAD newsletter archive.

  • What’s the name for ‘continuing to find product-market fit’?

    What’s the name for ‘continuing to find product-market fit’?

    Do you have a name for continuing to find/refine product-market fit? Or is product-market fit something you find once and then ignore after you found it?Read more ›

  • Reading aloud

    Reading aloud

    I’m trying to make my blog and other websites as accessible as possible. This has led me to all sorts of questions that I need your help to answer.Read more ›

  • 71: The PMO strikes back

    71: The PMO strikes back

    Okay, okay, so maybe likening the Project Management Office (PMO) to the Empire hunting down the Rebel Alliance is perhaps a teensy bit combative. But it’s how I feel sometimes. Just don’t let my desire for a weak pun give you the wrong impression. Let me explain.Read more ›

  • 70: You need a delivery manager on your team

    70: You need a delivery manager on your team

    In the UK government digital teams, you don’t see project managers or even Scrum masters. Why? Because they have delivery managers instead. In this article, I’m going to convince you why you need delivery managers on your teams.Read more ›

  • May you live in interesting times

    May you live in interesting times

    Not an article about product management per se, but a justification (to myself, if anything) for continuing to write not-entirely-serious articles about product management in the middle of a really-quite-serious global pandemic.Read more ›

  • 69: It matters what you say and what you do

    69: It matters what you say and what you do

    I perhaps naïvely assume that a company’s stated product vision and corporate mission are what the organisation is actively working towards. Disappointingly, this is not always the case.Read more ›

  • 68: 4 common user persona mistakes

    68: 4 common user persona mistakes

    More often than not, user personas are just a laborious way to decorate the walls. Are you making these common mistakes?Read more ›

  • 67: Why cake is important for product leaders

    67: Why cake is important for product leaders

    Building or changing a product culture in your organisation isn’t just about having the right ingredients, it’s about knowing how to combine them successfully.Read more ›

  • 66: Show the thing

    66: Show the thing

    ‘Show the thing’ sessions encourage a culture of openness, of sharing information. They create opportunities for peers to learn from each other, thus multiplying the value of the thing created or learned that someone shows.Read more ›

  • Podcast: Learning Product Leadership

    Podcast: Learning Product Leadership

    I’ve just been on Ross Webb’s new Product Coach podcast talking about learning product leadership. You can listen to it on the widget below or on Podcast.co.Read more ›

  • What exactly is a “Freelance Head of Product”? (Interview for Working Products conference)

    What exactly is a “Freelance Head of Product”? (Interview for Working Products conference)

    3 questions and answers: What exactly is a “Freelance Head of Product”? What is a great product? What are the key criteria for a great team?Read more ›

  • What makes a good UX designer? (from a product manager’s point of view)

    What makes a good UX designer? (from a product manager’s point of view)

    Hi Jock, what makes a good UX Designer from the perspective of a product manager?Read more ›

  • Can I pick your brain about product roadmaps?

    Can I pick your brain about product roadmaps?

    “Hey Jock, I would love to pick your brain about product roadmaps.”Read more ›

  • 65: The secrets of meaningful product roadmaps (redux)

    65: The secrets of meaningful product roadmaps (redux)

    Product managers often struggle to keep on top of their product roadmap. I recently gave this talk on the secrets of meaningful product roadmaps at Landing Festival Berlin to explain where people often get lost.Read more ›

  • Should I take a different role before applying to become a product manager?

    Should I take a different role before applying to become a product manager?

    Hi Jock, I’m an entrepreneur, product/program manager and hardcore gamer. I’m facing a dilemma in my career’s direction.Read more ›

  • What skills do I need to be a freelance product manager?

    What skills do I need to be a freelance product manager?

    People ask me from time to time about how they can get into freelance product management. Here’s a recent question: Hi Jock, I’ve been working as a product manager for 5 years now. I worked in different industries (financial, loyalty, … What skills do I need to be a freelance product manager? Read More »

  • 64: Good product management

    64: Good product management

    What does it mean to be a good product manager in 2018? It’s not just about being agile and creating products users need – we need to be more human.Read more ›

  • How do I make myself more suitable for a senior product role in UK government?

    How do I make myself more suitable for a senior product role in UK government?

    Here’s a question I’ve been asked recently: Hi Jock, I’d appreciate your advice on working for the GDS and different ministries. I have recently applied for senior positions (Deputy Director and Head of Product) at GDS and another UK government … How do I make myself more suitable for a senior product role in UK…

  • I need a product manager with specific experience, can you help?

    I need a product manager with specific experience, can you help?

    Good product managers are agnostic of technologies (and markets).Read more ›

  • 63: The whole agile thing

    63: The whole agile thing

    “Agile” is a term that has been abused by organisations to such an extent that its original meaning is all but forgotten. Here’s a reminder of what it should mean.Read more ›

  • How on earth am I going to start managing a second product?

    How on earth am I going to start managing a second product?

    “How on earth am I going to start managing a second product?”Read more ›

  • 62: How to measure product manager performance

    62: How to measure product manager performance

    A real-life case study for measuring the performance of a team of product managers, with examples to downloadRead more ›

  • 61: The 16 most important technical skills every product manager needs

    61: The 16 most important technical skills every product manager needs

    In addition to the ‘soft’ skills I discussed in the last post, a good product manager also needs ‘hard’ skills (product management techniques). Read on for my list of the 16 most important technical skills a product manager needs.Read more ›

  • 60: The 12 most important soft skills every product manager needs

    60: The 12 most important soft skills every product manager needs

    I’m often asked what skills a product manager needs. In my view at least, a good product manager needs both ‘soft’ skills (emotional intelligence) and ‘hard’ skills (product management techniques). Read on for my list of the 12 soft skills every product manager needs.Read more ›

  • 59: Find the tipping point in your user research

    59: Find the tipping point in your user research

    The more closely we examined the problem, the more complicated it became. When this happens to you, it can feel overwhelming. Don’t quit your research too soon.Read more ›

  • How did you get into product management?

    How did you get into product management?

    This is an interview I did a little while ago with a user experience author living on the US East Coast. She was interested in moving into freelance product management.Read more ›

  • What’s the one thing retailers are doing wrong in ecommerce?

    What’s the one thing retailers are doing wrong in ecommerce?

    When it comes to the ecommerce checkout process, what’s one thing that retailers are doing wrong? What’s one thing they’re doing right?Read more ›

  • 58: What Eurovision taught me about product management

    58: What Eurovision taught me about product management

    For a glitzy song contest, Eurovision has a lot to answer for. There is a product management angle to this post. Eventually.Read more ›

  • 57: Cut through red tape

    57: Cut through red tape

    If bureaucracy and organisational inertia frustrate you, read on.Read more ›

  • How do you keep user needs front and centre?

    How do you keep user needs front and centre?

    I was recently asked this question: How do you keep user needs at the centre of your product management process? Read on for my answer.Read more ›

  • The secret behind meaningful product roadmaps

    The secret behind meaningful product roadmaps

    I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This final bit tells the secret behind meaningful product roadmaps.Read more ›

  • 56: The coffee shop problem

    56: The coffee shop problem

    How much of a problem is it if something similar to your shiny new product idea already exists on the market?Read more ›

  • The benefits of open and transparent data

    The benefits of open and transparent data

    I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This bit is about the benefits of open and transparent data.Read more ›

  • What sources of information should people use to build products?

    What sources of information should people use to build products?

    Here’s a question I was asked recently: What sources of information do you suggest folks building their product plans today rely on, so that they can get the evidence they need to build the product that will meet the needs of end users? Here’s my answer:Read more ›

  • What user trends do you see?

    What user trends do you see?

    “Are you seeing any key trends from the user perspective that companies need to be thinking about at the aggregate level?” Read more ›

  • What kinds of questions should I be asking in discovery?

    What kinds of questions should I be asking in discovery?

    I was recently asked this question: During the problem exploration phase, what kinds of questions should I be asking and how do I go from 1000 problems to the core problems that will unlock the solution? Read on for my answer:Read more ›

  • How UK government digital services gather and use evidence

    How UK government digital services gather and use evidence

    I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This bit is about how UK government digital services gather and use evidence.Read more ›

  • How closely aligned should product organisations be with marketing and personas?

    How closely aligned should product organisations be with marketing and personas?

    Here’s another question I was asked recently: If you’re concerned about buyer needs and their objectives, how closely aligned do you suggest product organisations be with marketing and with the persona development to ensure they are creating a solution that does meet those needs in the market? Here’s my answer:Read more ›

  • Why we can’t help jumping to conclusions

    Why we can’t help jumping to conclusions

    I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This bit is about why we can’t help jumping to conclusions.Read more ›

  • How much evidence is sufficient for decision-making?

    How much evidence is sufficient for decision-making?

    I was recently asked this question: Do you have a rule of thumb for deciding how much evidence is sufficient for decision making? I often see decisions made on the basis of a sample of one. Here’s my answer:Read more ›

  • Expensive and risky assumptions (and why you should check them)

    Expensive and risky assumptions (and why you should check them)

    I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This bit is about expensive and risky assumptions (and why you should check them).Read more ›

  • How do I get my waterfall organisation to be more agile?

    How do I get my waterfall organisation to be more agile?

    I was recently asked this question: How would you recommend working with organisations who are used to a traditional / waterfall approach, transition towards agile / iterative development? Here’s my response:Read more ›

  • How do I distil users’ wish lists of requirements to a core handful?

    How do I distil users’ wish lists of requirements to a core handful?

    I was recently asked this question: Can you make suggestions of how best to distil users’ wish lists of requirements/outcomes to a core handful that will encompass most people’s problems? Here’s my answer:Read more ›

  • 55: How to beat writer’s block

    55: How to beat writer’s block

    I share my tips for beating writer’s block. In an article I used to beat writer’s block. How meta.Read more ›

  • Building a product community in government

    Building a product community in government

    We have many product-minded people in the Government Digital Service (GDS) and across government, but we’re only just beginning to operate as a product community. I’m currently helping GDS out and have written a post for their blog on how we’re beginning to improve things.Read more ›

  • 54: How to stop common B2B dysfunctions in the product team

    54: How to stop common B2B dysfunctions in the product team

    There are several common dysfunctions plaguing product teams in B2B companies the world over. How can you stop them? Read on for suggestions.Read more ›

  • 53: THIS is what product-market fit looks like

    53: THIS is what product-market fit looks like

    Product-market fit is one of those concepts that seems relatively straightforward in theory but ends up being elusive in practice. But what does product-market fit actually look like when you get there?Read more ›

  • 52: It only takes one bottleneck

    52: It only takes one bottleneck

    On my arrival in Australia I was initially impressed by the slick service design of their automated SmartGate immigration process. Until I found myself back to having to fill in declaration cards with a pen, that is.Read more ›

  • The £20 bottle of Blue Nun

    The £20 bottle of Blue Nun

    To all wannabe e-commerce entrepreneurs: you no longer have any excuse. It’s possible to fire up an MVP for a wine delivery business in under an hour using just a mobile phone. Read how… Get articles when they’re published My … The £20 bottle of Blue Nun Read More »

  • 3 ways to build a better sales team

    3 ways to build a better sales team

    More often than not the relationship between product management and the sales team frustrates both sides. Here are three ways to build a better sales team.Read more ›

  • Should I start a bank?

    Should I start a bank?

    After yet another day of outage from my business bank, I found myself thinking: “I could do this better. I should start a bank.”Read more ›