In ProductPlan’s free book, we share best practices for planning, building and communicating your product roadmaps. It also includes sample roadmaps and prioritization frameworks you can use at your company. We’ve distilled our learnings from working with some of the world’s most forward-thinking product teams, and are in turn sharing our knowledge with you.
The Guide to Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge, or ProdBOK, is comprehensive guide to product management and related professions developed with the collaboration of many leaders in the field. ProdBOK was sponsored by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM).
Author: Marty Cagan, Partner at Silicon Valley Product Group
Drawing on his experience working at some of the world’s leading technology companies, Marty Cagan shares his insights into what separates companies who make the best products from all the rest. He identifies best practices for deciding what to build, validating the market space, managing conflicting demands from stakeholders, and creating a successful MVP.
Author: Clayton M. Christensen, Professor at Harvard Business School
In this book, Clayton M. Christensen explores why even well-established products and companies that seem to do everything right still sometimes fail. He explains how most companies miss new waves of innovation, and suggests that successful enterprises know when to abandon traditional lines of thinking and capitalize on disruptive innovation.
Author: Ben Horowitz, Co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz
Ben Horowitz, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, shares his experiences and challenges running a startup. The book takes an honest look at what it takes to sustain a technology company, and will be of interest to product professionals and anyone trying to grow a successful business.
Author: Eric Ries, Entrepreneur
Eric Ries explores why most startups fail, and more importantly, how failure can be prevented. He advocates for adaptability, constant experimentation, and a taking scientific approach to building and managing sustainable companies. Rather than sticking to traditional business plans, Ries believes the future belongs to those who constantly test their product vision and accurately measure their progress.
Author: Steve Blank, Entrepreneur and Academic
This is the book that launched the lean startup movement. Steve Blank outlines a four-step process for customer development, and offers practical advice for what to do at different stages of building your business. His underlying premise is that startups are fundamentally different from mature companies. The former are constantly defining what works and what doesn’t, while the latter execute business models that have already established.
- Ship It: How Agile Product Managers Can Build and Ship Better Products
This book explores what we call “Agile Product Management” and serves as an introductory guide to agile practices and processes for product managers. It is one of the first books out there about agile created specifically for product managers. Bonus: it’s completely FREE.
Groups and Organizations
Pragmatic Marketing offers a wide variety of resources for product managers, from courses and trainings to eBooks and webinars. Their mission is to teach technology companies effective go-to-market strategies, based on a market-driven approach to product management.
Pragmatic Marketing hosts regular, public events across North America, in addition to offering private, onsite trainings for individual companies. Their courses are based on the Pragmatic Marketing Framework, a blueprint for managing and marketing technology products. Also, check out this ProductPlan and Pragmatic Marketing joint webinar on pricing SaaS products.
Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG) was created by Marty Cagan and other technology industry veterans as a platform to share best practices for all stages of the product lifecycle. The group specializes in four areas in particular: product management, product marketing, technology, and user experience design.
Mind the Product is a product management community that organizes monthly meetups called ProductTanks in major cities worldwide. Mind the Product also runs product conferences in London and San Francisco, and curates the web for product management jobs, articles, and other content of interest to the community.
The group’s mission is to bring together product people from all backgrounds — engineers, designers, founders and product managers — for the purpose of shipping better products and delivering better solutions.
The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is an organization that provides professional development, education and other resources to product managers and product teams. You must pay to become a PDMA member, but membership affords you access to exclusive resources and discounts on education programs.
PDMA hosts an annual conference, research forums on new product development, and several virtual meetings — you can find their full events calendar here. You can also earn a New Product Development Professional (NPDP) certification by completing an application process and passing an exam administered through PDMA.
The 280 Group offers consulting, contractors, and trainings in product management and product marketing. Their methodology is based on the the 280 Group Optimal Product Process, a seven-phase framework that covers all stages of the product lifecycle.
The 280 group also publishes toolkits, eBooks, and self-study courses for product managers. Their philosophy is that well-trained product professionals will be best equipped to build high quality products and drive high customer satisfaction. The group’s Product Management Manifesto describes why they believe product management is such an important profession.
Websites and Blogs
Rich Mironov is a consultant who coaches product executives, product management teams and agile development organizations. In addition to running workshops and mentorship programs, Mironov regularly speaks at product management events across the country and shares many of these recorded talks on his website.
Mironov is the author of The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator, a good read for those interested in how to think about product management. Also check out his website for product management articles and slideshares from his speaking engagements.
Product Talk is a product management and UX blog written by Teresa Torres, a product coach whose goal is to help product leaders build data-driven, user-focused products. She writes about best practices for idea generation, understanding your customers, experimenting, measuring your impact and more.
Strategyzer is a software company that provides tools for creating business models and value propositions. Their blog offers insights on entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, and other topics that may be of interest to product managers.
Pivot Product Hits is a weekly bulletin of product management news and articles published by Paul J Pivot, a Director of Product at Get News Smart. Pivot collects content from across the web and delivers the the best posts in a weekly newsletter.
The Clever PM is a product management blog run by Cliff Gilley, and veteran product manager and lawyer. Gilley writes about product management best practices, agile development, and problem solving. He also offers career mentoring for individuals and consulting services for organizations.
ProdMgmtTalk is a weekly podcast for product professionals that features an expert guest answering pre-posted questions. Listeners can join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #ProdMgmtTalk.
This is Product Management is a podcast for product teams that features interviews with product leaders across multiple disciplines. The podcast is hosted inbound marketing specialist Mike Fishbein and produced by Alpha UX. New episodes are posted Mondays.
Rocketship.fm is a podcast about entreprenuership, strategy and growth. Although its focus is on startups, many featured speakers come from established companies and their stories can be applicable to PMs at organizations of all sizes.
Written by Silicon Valley CEO turned venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, this is a classic article that concisely summarizes what separates good product managers from bad ones. Although it was published nearly 20 years ago (in 1996), its basic premise — that good product managers take full responsibility for their products while bad product managers make excuses — still holds true today.
This article by Kris Gale, VP of Engineering at Yammer, explains the hidden problems of accumulating what Gale coins “complexity cost,” or the debt that accrues by complicating features in order to solve problems. Gale encourages product managers and engineers to embrace simplicity whenever possible.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is so different than other businesses. In this article, David Skok writes about metrics for early stage and later SaaS companies. It’s an excellent resource for anyone trying to understand and optimize a SaaS business.
Y Media Labs asked leading experts in the field of product management for their input into what skills – soft and hard – people in the role should have. They interviewed 15 successful product managers working for companies like Ricoh, Qualcomm, and Experian. The product managers share the strategies they used to become great at their jobs.