The past year was a lot, but dull wasn’t one of them. With so many social media posts, blogs, videos, ebooks, and podcasts, it’s hard to keep up. Look at how many browser tabs you have open right now for things you still want to read! To help you get over your FOMO on any amazing content from your friends at ProductPlan, we’ve pulled together the most-viewed articles, blogs, and glossary entries this past year. So, without further ado, here are the top ten pieces from ProductPlan for 2022!
10. 10 Great Questions Product Managers Should Ask Customers
Kicking off our top ten is a top-ten list of its own! It’s a tenet of Product Management 101 that PMs need to get out of the building and talk to real-live customers… even if it’s just over Zoom.
But while fresh insights from actual users are always invaluable, you’ve only got so much time to pick their brains. To make the most of it, these ten questions maximize your opportunity to collect primary research by asking open-ended questions that coax real nuggets of insight from these interview sessions.
Best of all, it means you’ll do more listening and less talking, which is always a good thing.
9. Misfits, Geniuses, and Ringleaders: Why Product Management May Be Perfect for You
This guest post from LogMeIn Principal Product Manager Carey Caulfield helps readers understand if their entrepreneurial mindset and career aspirations are a good fit for product management.
Weaving in a few anecdotes and experiences from her career, Caulfield forces readers to take a clear look inside themselves to determine if they have what it takes and whether it’s a job they actually want.
This primer on why product management may be perfect for you is a great read for those considering leaping to another career or for senior product leaders to share with colleagues outside the product team yearning to join.
8. 4 Key Responsibilities of Outstanding Product Managers
Whether you’re writing a job description for a future hire, preparing for your first day at a new position, or simply investigating whether product management sounds like a good gig, you need a solid understanding of what the job entails. But beyond the obvious bullet points, such as “maintaining a product roadmap” and “understanding customer and market needs,” our VP of Product Annie Dunham says she’s looking for PMs to go above and beyond in certain areas.
Annie’s top four integrate some of the key soft skills product managers need to build trust and operate transparently while still holding the line against any departures from the core product strategy. See what it takes to stand out in her organization.
7. The Product Manager Career Path
With no direct pipeline from trade schools or a specific college major, all sorts of people end up in product management at different phases of their careers. But whether you’re a freshly-minted MBA, a converted project manager/customer service rep/engineer, a product management “lifer,” or still on the outside looking in, there’s always an on-ramp to the PM life and new tiers to reach within the discipline.
Our guide to product management careers runs the gamut from entry-level roles to the C-suite, explaining the responsibilities of each position and some tips on how to level up within the field.
6. Product Manager vs. Product Owner
Although the “vs.” in this article’s title might think these roles are adversarial, PMs and POs can and should work together. But like any ensemble, they need to know their part and stay in harmony with the rest of the band.
At the highest level, it’s about one concentrating on strategic matters while the other focuses on tactical execution, but this article delves further into which skills each role demands and their inevitable overlap. It also touches on cases where the same individual may fill both roles in smaller organizations.
5. 11 Revealing Product Manager Job Interview Questions
All the job switching and newly created product positions this past year meant a lot of product management leaders were busy trying to determine which candidates were a great fit for their teams. But getting a strong sense of an applicant’s skills, mindset, work ethic, and style is tricky when you can only have a short amount of time with them.
To help interviewers maximize their opportunity to find diamonds in the rough and kick the pretenders to the curb, we’ve got 11 tried-and-true questions that will reveal a little more about the candidates’ inner selves than their resumes put on display. From putting them on the spot to pitch you a product to having them define product management to ensure both parties are aligned on what this specific job entails, these go-to questions will give interviewers a fuller picture of the person sitting across the table…or on the other end of the video call.
4. 4 Product Management Certifications that are Worth Your Time
In this crazy job market, everyone knows you need to stand out in the crowd and show potential employers you know your stuff. So it’s no surprise many current, and aspiring product management professionals were looking to burnish their credentials.
This list of 4 Product Management Certifications saves you the trouble of sifting through the many options on the market. We outline what we like about each program to help you narrow things down and accelerate your path to certified product management expertise.
3. Acceptance Criteria
After a meandering diversion through career-related content, our top three pieces return to the nitty-gritty details of product management work by defining a few key terms product managers were exceptionally curious about this year.
As Mick Jagger once told us, you can’t always get what you want, but… you get what you need. Acceptance criteria help stakeholders separate “want” from “need” by stating the minimum necessary to move forward.
Alignment around this “definition of done” is essential in the fast-paced world of Agile development since engineers are given more leeway in the specifics of each implementation. Clearly, articulated acceptance criteria list precisely what must be present before product development even thinks about testing and shipping a new release while informing the test plan for quality assurance.
2. MoSCoW Prioritization Model
This rollercoaster of capitalization nabbed second place… hopefully not just because people wanted to know what that wild acronym stands for! More likely, readers remain intrigued by the particular pros and cons of this technique for deciding what to build next.
The MoSCoW Prioritization Model is a fitting follow-up to acceptance criteria as it slots potential functionality into four definitive tiers:
When the team is aligned around which bucket each feature or capability falls into, there’s no mystery surrounding what to work on first, what might sneak in, and what belongs on the back burner for now.
1. RICE Scoring Model
Topping the charts this year was another prioritization method, the RICE scoring model. This acronym stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort, and the model scores each potential initiative against each of these elements.
Using this method helps teams compare the relative ROI of each project under consideration based on how many people will realize meaningful value from it, along with how certain the team feels about that and how much work it will take. This really shifts the internal debate to consider each idea holistically to make realistic cost-benefit calculations to drive their roadmap, staffing, and more.
Still hungry for more?
Suppose those 10 pieces haven’t sated your craving for top-notch product management content. In that case, we encourage you to explore our Learning Center, where you’ll find tons of blogs, articles, glossary definitions, and eBooks to help you master your craft and keep releasing amazing products that satisfy and delight your target audience.