The analyst racket

As product managers and product marketers our role can bring us into contact with the big technology analysts – with their magic quadrants, waves and cycles.

But are there some potential conflicts of interest?

Firefighting – is that your job?

Product managers spend nearly half their time firefighting.

But is this wrong? Well it depends on what you think product management is for.

Agile hype and Scrum dogma

So, is Agile better than Waterfall? Scrum better than Stage-Gate? We don’t necessarily think so.

There is no single best way of developing even though some people would like us to believe there is!

Do sales give your product away for free?

Does your sales team sell your product (in exchange for money) or do they give it away for free?

An excellent blog entry from Jock Busuttil.

How happy is your donkey?

How happy is your team?

Here’s a quick checklist of things that you can do to help check that your team is happy and performing at their best.

Who in your business knows your market best?

Is it you?

Judged on the success of your product?

Should you be judged on the success of your product?

Well the easy answer would be yes however I think back to my early years in product management and think is it really that easy…

Lies, damn lies and business cases

Business cases are a complete waste of time. You know that the numbers will be wrong and made to say whatever it takes to get sign-off. When being first-to-market really counts – business cases just slow you down.

Whilst we don’t believe this we’ve certainly seen this attitude in the past!

A launch project doesn’t finish with the launch!

It should only finish when the product is successfully afloat.

You should have some post-launch KPIs…

Take control of pricing

Pricing is a vital part of your proposition. Why then do so many product managers shy away from active and regular engagement in pricing discussions?

After two years of getting punched, kicked and beat down I feel as though you have just taught me karate, and I am looking forward to immediately putting into practice all of the tools, techniques and best practices to fight back. Thank you for an excellent three days of Product Management training.
Richard Fletcher - Product Manager Security Products, Johnson Controls
Overnight after the training it became easier to raise issues, and design decisions. I can thank the exercises and discussions in class. In future I look forward to applying a few of the techniques when talking with customers, and gaining their feedback on first release…  
Roy Matthews - Business Analyst, Dunnhumby
Thanks so much for running this course. I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful it was for me. I now feel equipped with the tools I need to do a great job. Many thanks!
Sam Cassidy - Product Manager, John Wiley & Sons
Well structured content and solid theory. Makes a massive difference when the presenters are passionate about their subject. Highly recommended for product managers of all abilities and experience.
Andrew Scarborough - Product Marketing Manager, Bottomline Technologies
The tools, templates and checklists provided are super useful. I love the fact that they’re changeable so I can easily adjust them to my company’s way of working.
Karin Kuster - Product Manager, Iddink Group
We recently used Product Focus to deliver some excellent bespoke training to our Product and Marketing team and the feedback was really great – thank you!
Hanna Smith - HR Director, Madgex
Anyone who would benefit from understanding the role of product management should attend this course. One of the best training courses I have done, the pace was just right, it was very interesting and engaging. Never boring.
Conor Tweed - Product Analyst, Realex Payments
Excellent course, wish I'd done this a year ago when I started as a PM. It would’ve changed my view on leaving product management, but decision already made!
Cheryl Paterson - Product Manager, Allocate Software
Product Focus is one of the best run specialist training businesses I’ve visited. They are clearly positioned as market leaders in their field. They produce high quality output through marketing, sales and training delivery materials and their back office is run in the same high-quality manner.
Doug Shaw - Learning & Performance Institute (LPI)
A great course delivered by a dynamic and knowledgeable expert with real world industry experience. I believe regardless of their experience level anyone would learn something new. Best investment I have made for my team and business this year.
Phil Hornby - Head of PM Platforms, Diagnostics & Services, Continental

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