PRODUCTHEAD: Being able to see the chessboard
PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.
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Business strategy is guesswork without situational awareness
Once you understand the game’s rules, you can out-manoeuvre your competitors
Have you ever seen something work in one context, but utterly fail in another? Were you then completely perplexed when you couldn’t figure out why?
Every now and again, I come across something that lifts the veil from my natural state of confusion. A technique or approach that neatly explains and ties together concepts whose relationship I’d never figured out. It’s a bit like when a magician reveals how an illusion works.
Simon Wardley is one such magician. While he may not produce doves from his coat sleeves or rabbits from his top hat, his mapping technique makes it much easier to look at your product or service and determine what are the right strategic plays you should be making. Wardley maps (as they’re known) reveal the context you’ve been missing.
Simon’s entertaining talk from SEACON 2019 below will serve as an excellent primer. This week I’ve pulled together everything you need to get started with Wardley mapping.
Speak to you soon,
what to think about this week
Simon Wardley examines the issue of situational awareness and explains how it applies to technology. Using examples from government and the commercial world, he explores how you can map a complex environment, identify opportunities to exploit, what techniques to use and learn to play the game.
[SEACON / YOUTUBE]
There is not one but two questions of why in chess. I have the why of purpose such as the desire to win the game but I also have the why of movement as in “why this move over that?”
In his book, Simon Wardley describes how he arrived at his mapping technique, and how it can help you to find opportunities, remove waste, to organise a team of people or determine the strategy for a company.
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All the videos of the talks from the annual gathering of enthusiastic Wardley mappers working in the public, private and third sectors.
[LEADING EDGE FORUM]
Fun for all the family! Create meaningless (but plausible-sounding) corporate strategy statements.
[SIMON WARDLEY / BILL WEST]
Product managers are sometimes referred to as the conductor of the orchestra. Some people think that the conductor’s job is to direct the players, to lead them through the music. That would be to misunderstand the relationship. Instead, here’s a different take.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
As individuals, we’re continually evaluating options and taking decisions. As product managers, we have the additional responsibility to balance the often competing needs of users, the business and wider ethical considerations. What makes one decision better than another?
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
I’m asked questions about product management from time to time. This is one I’ve answered recently.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
upcoming talks and events
10th December 2020, 16:00 GMT / 10:00 CST
Shortlist virtual round table
Managing product managers
Let’s talk about measuring product manager performance, providing opportunities for career growth and the challenges of managing teams of product managers and product owners.
Our round table host will be Jock Busuttil – freelance head of product, author and speaker.
Register to attend
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Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.
PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from anomalous PK meter readings.
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Read more from Jock
The Practitioner's Guide To Product Management
by Jock Busuttil
“This is a great book for Product Managers or those considering a career in Product Management.”— Lyndsay Denton