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Good reads #1: Product Managers, successful projects, org structure, and media echo chambers.


2019-01-27


A few things caught my eye this week. Read on for interesting reads on the craft of Product Management, how organisational structure impacts outcomes, and on journalistic filter bubbles.


Articles:

15 Things You Should Know About Product Managers by John Cutler
“This post is meant to build empathy for product managers” opens John. In this post John grapples with the struggles and conflicts that PMs encounter daily, and articulates them in a way that’s easy for people of all disciplines to understand. There’s no ego here, just astute observation, and it rings true (to me, at least). It’s a long read, but worth every second of your time if you’ve ever wanted to get inside a Product Manager’s head to understand their motivations and needs a little better.

5 Tips for Product Managers to Ensure Success on Every Project by Drew Falkman
Whenever I come across posts like these, they invariably say the same things. I read on in the hope that they deliver some refreshing new point of view, but invariably find myself disappointed. Not this time.

When I read the first section, “Define Success”, I thought, “here we go again”. But no, the second section is titled “Make No Concessions”. Be still my heart, what’s this?!

One of the most common mistakes a product manager makes is to capitulate to outside forces.

We’ve all been there, and with that very confident assertion, Drew gets my attention. I think this post on the Mind The Product blog deserves yours, as well.


Social media:

This thread by Simon Wardley
This thread is full of insight about the relationships between organisational structure, culture, and outcomes. It’s worthy of being an article in its own right. Not everything in here will directly apply to you, I’m sure, but the thread of logic and insights is a real draw. Be prepared to think a little about your own organisation after reading this.

This tweet by Fergal Reid
This is the week that Roger Stone was indicted by the Mueller investigation. Twitter lit up. Fergal took a look at how people were reacting to the news on Facebook, and two tribes were very easy to see. The “hahas” and the “angrys”, roughly delineated across partisan lines, with the former being more liberal readerships and the latter more right leaning.

Why is this so interesting to me? Aside from being a lovely, data-backed articulation of how much we all love a little confirmation bias, it leads very nicely to the next read in the list..

This thread by Reuters Institute
The Reuters Institute published its January report entitled, “More Important, But Less Robust? Five Things Everybody Needs to Know about the Future of Journalism”. It’s a good read.

Tweet number three in the tread says, “This move to digital media generally does not generate filter bubbles. Instead, automated serendipity and incidental exposure drive people to more and more diverse sources of information.” Hmm.

Whilst we may well be engaging with more diverse sources of journalism (are we?), we certainly seem to be sharing and engaging with content in ways that seem to confirm our biases. At least, that’s what I see day in, day out when looking at the big stories of the day.