Linda Gorchels blogs

Product management

Top Skills for Product Manager Success

Welcome to 2019! And your first steps to learn about successful product managers.

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you are—or would like to be—a product manager. What questions do you have entering the new year? Perhaps you wonder if you have what it takes for success. Or what type of company is right for you. Maybe you’re looking for that magic tool that will make your life easier.

I’ll touch on several of these topics this year, with a product management post on the first Friday of each month. (On the remaining Fridays, my posts will address cover other topics.)

Today’s topic focuses on what makes product managers successful. There are ample variations of this question on Quora. There are so many, in fact, that some answerers have recycled prior responses.… Read the rest

Product Management 101: What is Product Management?

what is product management

Is product management a job? A career? A discipline? It depends on whom you ask. The landscape is forever changing, yet forever staying the same.

My Story

When I started out in product management (quite a few years ago) it was pretty much uncharted territory. Except in consumer packaged goods.

While being a female with an MBA wasn’t exactly rare, it also wasn’t common. I had successfully run a marketing research department. I had customer knowledge. And several direct reports. Presumably that would be a good foundation for product management. But that was true only to a point. As a product manager with no direct reports, I had to attain my goals through influence. I had to work with all levels and types of people.… Read the rest

Templates, Templates Everywhere … But Not a Stop to Think (Using product management templates)

I see this happening over and over again. Product managers (and others) shift into firefighting mode, working harder and putting in more hours. In an attempt to simplify their lives they seek out preconfigured templates to make their jobs easier. They fill in the blanks of the templates (sometimes almost mindlessly) and then move on to more ‘urgent’ matters. But did they make better decisions or plans because of the product management templates?

Do product management templates cause better decisions?

Perhaps yes. Perhaps no.

Let’s take a step back to think about what templates are. Historically, templates were patterns or molds used in technical or mechanical work. They guided the effective duplication or reproduction of something. The term was later extended to guide the effective duplication or reproduction of processes, plans, and approaches.… Read the rest