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Good reads #5: Roadmapping and communication.


A small handful of articles this week on two overlapping themes; roadmapping and communication. We’ve all had moments when we feel like we nailed both, and others when we stop for a few minutes to let our head rest in our hands as the frustration washes over us. This week’s links will give you some real food for thought and, hopefully, a few actionable pieces of advice to help us all do these things better.


The Art of the Strategic Product Roadmap by Joe Van Os.
I really enjoyed this piece on building product roadmaps. It covers loads of great points and deals with a few roadmapping bad smells that we’ve all probably faced before. For me, I would have loved to have seen more discussion around roadmaps as conversations (with Sales, Success, customers etc), but even without that, a great read. This image, for example, really resonated with me. By “resonated” I mean “touched a raw nerve”.

Diagram: baseline functionality needed to solve problems

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling Applied to Product Managers & UX Designers by Shahed Khalili.

Truly, product managers and user experience designers are storytellers. We constantly need to be telling stories when communicating with everyone.

🙌 Preach! Where better to learn how to tell a good story than from Pixar, the company that flicks our emotions on and off at will? All of the advice in this post will make you a better Product Manager, I promise.

Prioritize Opportunities, Not Solutions by Teresa Torres.

I cringe every time I see product teams use a spreadsheet to rank the ideas in their backlog based on some made-up math formula usually consisting of things like business value, user value, and technical difficulty.

Uff. We’ve all fallen for or seen something similar to this before, right? I sure have. Damn, even the tool that we use for Product Management process has features built in to do this (we don’t use them 😉).

In this post, Teresa shares her thoughts on the subject of roadmapping, prioritisation, and seeking opportunities.

Do This Now: 8 Ways to Focus your Product Team on Impact, Not Features by John Cutler.
The point of this post isn’t to go through it counting the things you already do, trying to get a sense of “we’re not doing so badly”. I totally did that, but that’s not the point of the post. John gives us some good, practical advice on things that Product teams could change tomorrow to have a meaningful impact on the way that they work.


Podcast: Roadmaps, OKRs, Vision and Prioritisation with Bruce McCarthy from The Product Experience (Mind The Product).
Continuing the theme, in this podcast episode, Bruce McCarthy discusses vision, OKRs, roadmapping, and prioritisation in detail. Bruce wrote the book Product Roadmaps Relaunched, which is one of my all time faves.


The #uxthconf2019 hashtag on Twitter.
A few of my favourite speakers made their way to UX Thailand this week and I’ve been following along on Twitter. Head over there to see some familiar faces, and discover some awesome other Product Managers from outside of your usual stomping ground who were tweeting along.