At ProductPlan, we love content. Especially product management content. That’s why we’ve published hundreds of blog posts and product management resources over the past few years. This year alone we’ve published more than 100 new articles on product management, and there’s plenty more on the way in 2019.

As we prepare to ring in the new year with new content, we’d also like to revisit a few of our favorites from this year. So, here are our top 6 product management blog posts of 2018.

Why Soft Skills Are a Hard Requirement for Product Management Career Growth

We love sharing new perspectives on product management career best practices here. Earlier this year we sat down with Ashok Bania, Director of product management at Headspace, to discuss how soft skills lay the foundation for successful product management.

Bania shares insight derived from the experiences that shaped his career, including how to build rapport with colleagues when approaching a new product management role.

In any new product role, I’d encourage product managers to embrace a beginner’s mind. You’re the new kid on the block. What’s most important is that you understand what people are working on, how they’re working on it, and why they’re working on it. When you want to take action, start by focusing on baby steps. Try and find little things you can do to help your new coworkers. By doing this, rapport-building is accelerated and confidence is gained quickly. – Ashok Bania

P.S. Product management hard skills are important too! We also addressed those in 6 Key Hard Skills in Product Management

Making Sense of Planning in an Agile World

If you’ve ever worked with an agile team, chances are you’ve heard this excuse: “But we’re agile, we don’t plan.” However, even agile teams need a disciplined approach to planning. In this post, agile expert Jeremy Jarrell shares the tool he uses to demystify the many layers of agile planning.

A structured approach to planning is essential to a team’s success, even for agile teams. However, you must first understand the different levels of planning at your disposal. You must then discern which level is the right choice at the right time. These skills are what separate those teams who simply deliver a product from those who truly enable the success of their customers.– Jeremy Jarrell

sketch of all the layers in the agile planning onion

Read Jeremy’s article and get the grand tour of what he calls “The Agile Planning Onion,” an approach to agile planning used by many successful agile teams.

The SaaS Product Metrics Pyramid

Having a healthy appetite for information is a prerequisite for good product managers, but only if you know how to properly satiate this hunger. Thanks to new technologies, we have an immense amount of data at our fingertips that we can use to inform our SaaS product decisions. At the same time, we need to prevent ourselves from overindulging! In this article, we discuss how a healthy SaaS product metrics diet can help product teams cut out the junk and focus only on the metrics that truly matter to their products.

Read The SaaS Product Metrics Pyramid to learn about some of the most common SaaS product metrics for product managers and how to strategically determine which ones matter most.

5 Ways Product Managers Can Reduce Scope Creep

Product managers and engineering teams alike are probably familiar with the sneaky nature of scope creep. A little extra bit of work here, and a tiny new commitment there…Those seemingly innocent mid-sprint additions to the plan add up. And ultimately, they can and will slow your product’s progress.

Fortunately, product managers can help prevent scope creep by following a few best practices. In this article we share our tips for combatting scope creep, and for getting your entire organization on the same page about the importance of preventing it.

6 Ways to Prioritize your Product Backlog

Q: How do you make sure the product backlog doesn’t evolve into a black hole?

A: Careful, strategic prioritization.

One thing that can hinder a product manager’s ability to drive their product forward is an ineffective, disorganized backlog. Unfortunately, without a structured process and format, the backlog frequently evolves into a catch-all for ideas. Yikes. In this article we discuss several tactics for maintaining a tidy product backlog and share several ways product managers can connect the strategy outlined in their product roadmap with the tactical plan in the backlog.

8 Product Management Blogs to Bookmark Immediately

Need more product management content to binge on? One of the things we love most about working in the product management space is the vast variety of educational resources and publications out there for product people. Blogs are a great way for product managers to stay on the cutting edge of the field, so we put together a list of some blogs that have a home in our respective bookmarks folders.

There you have it, 6 of our favorite pieces of product management content from 2018. What are your favorite product management resources from this year? And what topics would you like to see us tackle next year? Let us know in the comments below.