PRODUCTHEAD: Tsundoku (piles of books waiting to be read)
PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.
packt like products in a crushd tin box
Piles of books by experts in disciplines you’ll be working with on your product team
a favour: please share this with other product people
every PRODUCTHEAD edition is online for you to refer back to
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a pile of books sitting on a shelf, patiently waiting to be read. Apparently there is a name for this: tsundoku.
To restore my faith in my ability to read, I like to have a few books on hand that convey wisdom concisely, and which I can read without committing to a long-term relationship.
Here are my current favourite little books of knowledge.
Speak to you soon,
P.S. Special offer this week: there’s 20% off passes to this year’s Product-Led Festival for PRODUCTHEAD subscribers — take a look below.
what to think about this week
This book is not about ‘great services’, ‘unique services’, ‘thrilling’ or ‘magical’ services. It won’t tell you how to ‘wow’ your users with something they didn’t expect, or build something that the world has never seen before.
This book will tell you how to design a service that your users can find, understand and use without having to ask for help.
Between 2010 and 2014, Sarah and her team at the Government Digital Service invented the discipline of content design by applying new techniques to their work. In this book, Sarah explains what “content design” really means, and tells you how to put those techniques into your organisation and your web project.
This book is short, lively and practical. Using real-world examples and imagined examples, it takes the reader through the content design process one step at a time, explaining everything along the way.
[SARAH WINTERS (née RICHARDS)]
Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. Done well, it will save your team time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way.
Erika Hall distills her experience into a guidebook of trusted research methods you can implement right away, no matter what size team you’re on or budget you’re working with. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group. You’ll start doing good research faster than you can plan your next pitch.
Whether you’re new to product management or have been a product manager for years, a coaching session can help you to step up your career.
We’ve coached people wanting to get into product management, product people with nobody in their organisation to manage them, and experienced product managers preparing to apply for a promotion.
We can help you prepare for your product manager interview, including mock interviews.
“Jock has been instrumental in my personal growth as a product leader but also as a person.”
Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, Napo
A proportion of the fees from every coaching session is donated to charity. Just reply to this email if you’re interested in finding out more.
Communities of practice have many valuable benefits. They include accelerating professional development; breaking down organisational silos; enabling knowledge sharing and management; building better practice; helping to hire and retain staff; and making people happier.
In this book, Emily Webber shares her learning from personal experiences of building successful communities of practice within organisations. And along the way, she gives practical guidance on creating your own.
It helps you communicate faster and more flexibly, adjusting what you say to changing circumstances.
It helps you use a human tone of voice, and a little creative flair, to get your point across to busy people.
And a quick bonus book from my friend and collaborator here at Product People:
It’s not just you.
In this warm and empathetic guide to the modern workplace, Helen Holmes tackles precisely what’s going wrong in your workplace – and how you can improve your working week. Drawing upon expert research and employee interviews, she answers questions such as:
- Why does that difficult colleague refuse to take ownership of anything?
- What can I do about the constant data overload of email and meetings?
- Why am I still not being paid fairly?
I’ve included some affiliate links to Amazon this week, which means we receive a small commission on any purchases you make.
Recently people all seem to be encountering the same problem. Their engineering teams are choosing to work on projects that make them look busy, but which don’t actually move things forward. What they’re usually working on is a convoluted — and arguably doomed — attempt to replatform a legacy ‘cash cow’ product.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
A recent tweet by John Cutler provoked some interesting reactions. It got me thinking about whether there are unifying principles of product management that apply in all contexts.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
When companies set out to improve a service or redesign a product, the results can sometimes be underwhelming. Instead of delivering service transformation, the team recommends only minor efficiency tweaks. If this has been happening to you, there can be many underlying causes. I’ve identified a few common problems and what you can you do about them.
[I MANAGE PRODUCTS]
upcoming talks and events
19th-21st October 2021
The Product-Led Festival is returning to the virtual stage on October 19-21. 🎪
3 days. 5 stages. 30+ product giants.💥
🎙️ Facebook – Director, Product Management
🎙️ Walmart – Principal Product Manager
🎙️ Amazon – Senior Product Manager
🎙️ Comcast Business – Product Owner
🎙️ Cisco Systems – Vice President, Products, Emerging Technologies & Incubation
🎙️ Typeform – Director, Product Management
🎙️ Gainsight – Founder & CTO
…plus many more to come.
PRODUCTHEAD subscribers get 20% off an Access All Areas pass, just use PROD20 at checkout. 💸
Book me to speak
I’ve spoken at various product management and technology conferences around the world. I share ideas primarily on the topic of product management, and this tends to overlap with agile and ethical product development, digital transformation, and fostering healthy product cultures and communities.
“Day 2 saw an impressive presentation by Jock Busuttil on user testing. He asked the attendees to lend each other a smartphone and take a picture. What a turmoil that caused ;-) ”
Marketing & Business Development Director, BlueGlass Interactive
If you’d like to book me to speak at your event, please get in touch.
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!
Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.
PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from diminishing space on bookshelves.
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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