PRODUCTHEAD: Rearranging the deckchairs

PRODUCTHEAD: Rearranging the deckchairs

PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.

fake product trees


Procrastinating on a TED talk about procrastination

How to get stuff done if you’re a procrastinator

Using procrastination to your advantage


As a serial procrastinator, when I’ve got something important to do, suddenly everything from doing the laundry to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic becomes more pressing. Promising to someone I’ll do it by a certain date is often the only way I’ll stay focused for long enough to get it done.

The last few months have been a case in point. Towards the end of June 2020, I undertook to write and deliver a series of four talks as a mini-conference series.

“It would be great if you could film some video teasers to promote it,” they said.

“Sure,” I said. “No problem.”

I conveniently ignored the fact that I’d never done anything remotely resembling videography before.

So off I went and found a couple of tutorials on filming interviews, and looked at some examples (mainly from the UK’s Government Digital Service). I bought a decent lavalier microphone and audio recorder, then borrowed Lovely Wife’s digital SLR camera to record myself being interviewed by an empty corner of the room.

Next: open source software for the win. Audacity to clean up and compress the audio before editing, and OpenShot to stitch the audio onto the video, then to edit down into something coherent. Add in a sprinkling of lovely b-roll from Pexels and other sources, and a music track courtesy of my talented and famous sister-in-law. The result? Five one-minute teaser videos all posted up on YouTube.

Fabulous. All I needed to do then was to WRITE THE *&#!?@% TALKS. (I hate myself sometimes.)

Speak to you soon,


what to think about this week

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Tim Urban of Wait But Why was invited to give a TED talk. While procrastinating and still without a topic, he decided to talk about procrastination. He then left it until the last possible moment to get his s**t together. Talk about a subject matter expert.

Release the Instant Gratification Monkey


Positive procrastination

At university, my housemates and I were practically fighting to do the washing-up, which had otherwise lain festering for weeks, over the more eminently pressing task of revising for our finals. 

I have since reached the conclusion that I could put this tendency to procrastinate to profitable use.

Find the equilibrium between desirability and boredom


How to make procrastination productive

Procrastination means you’re highly motivated to keep putting off a task for as long as possible. Use that to your advantage.

Do something worthwhile


Oh no!

You’ve missed my Product Management Masterclass! The four sessions in the series ran live each Tuesday in October.

They were:

What Does a Product Manager Do (And Not Do)?
Understanding User Needs
The Secrets of Meaningful Product Roadmaps
Landing and Starting Your Product Manager Job

But all is not lost.

If you’d like access to the recordings or want me to run the sessions again, just contact me to register your interest.

recent posts

Open, honest and always improving

In government, product is borne out of transparency, quite a lot of cake and a fanatical desire to serve the needs of users.

In this recent video for ProdPad’s webinar series, I talk about the acute challenges of culture clash. You’ll also discover what can be achieved by highly motivated, principled and capable people when they set an example for the rest of an organisation – or the entire Civil Service – to follow.

Product management with revenue out of the picture


Voxgig Fireside for professional speakers

In the podcast episode, I reveal how I turned my flair for product management into a speaking career, and how I set up a home studio for live streaming using an old television.

Talking about speaking


Growing together: developing and retaining your product team

34% of product managers surveyed said they left their previous role because there were no opportunities to grow.

In this video, Lucie McLean (Zalando) discusses growth and career progression for product managers with Jock Busuttil (Product People Limited) and Daniil Pavliuchkov (Tier).

Team coaching and career paths


Misunderstood metaphors: Product manager as conductor

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.

Conductors don’t tell the players what to do


The dirty little secrets of decision making

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?

How to make better decisions


can we help you?

Product People is a product management services company. We can help you through consultancy, training and coaching. Just contact us if you need our help!

Product People Limited logo

Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from the pauses in between sentences.

Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

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

Jock Busuttil is a freelance head of product, product management coach and author. He has spent over two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, which provides product management consultancy, coaching and training. Its clients include BBC, University of Cambridge, Ometria, Prolific and the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS). Jock holds a master’s degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the popular book The Practitioner’s Guide To Product Management, which was published in January 2015 by Grand Central Publishing in the US and Piatkus in the UK. He writes the blog I Manage Products and weekly product management newsletter PRODUCTHEAD. You can find him on Mastodon, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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