Innovative organizations are transforming to be more customer-centric, value learning over winning, and to start with problems rather than products. Product leaders within these companies are the driving force behind such critical shifts, and understand that it requires stakeholder action to make an impact. Continue reading
The lean movement has become the rallying cry of entrepreneurs everywhere, keeping enterprise product managers on their toes as they try to understand how, or even if, they should be implementing the iterative learning methodology into their processes.
But beyond supposedly leading to ‘more innovativeness’ more efficiently, what does lean mean for today’s product managers? By understanding where the term came from, I think product managers can better understand where it’s going, and how it impacts them.
I’m often approached by young, aspiring entrepreneurs who ask some variation of the following:
I’m interested in starting a company in [Industry] that does [Laundry list of features], so where do I start?
They usually want introductions to investors and developers – rarely are they seeking advice. So I respond with a question in turn, something I know they can relate to.
Nearly five years ago Luke Wroblewski, formerly the Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! Inc, advocated a radical new concept. Shocking the audience of web developers at An Event Apart in Seattle, Wroblewski announced that it was time for ‘mobile first!’ Given an undeveloped app market for the 700 million people with mobile devices globally at the time (that number has since more than doubled), he believed that mobile offered an opportunity for explosive growth that products for PCs could not match.
He also underscored the importance of constraints and capabilities that mobile realities enforce and provide for product managers, a critical factor for innovation that Peter Sims has detailed in Little Bets.
When I began designing websites at the age of 17, I had lofty aspirations. I was going to one-up the status quo. But, as many do, I quickly discovered how difficult it can be to build a truly inspiring user experience. I found myself instead relying on the oft-repeated adage, which has become something of a cornerstone of user experience design for novices (and even some experts, like Picasso): “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”