Featured

Product Thought of the Week – Start Today

My Son Loves Obstacles – Picture by Me.

What are you as a Product Person, Owner and/or Manager, going to do today to bless and serve your people? Your Customer; your Team. Start with people and everything else will just magically happen.

I was only going to post a “one-liner” to LinkedIn today. But, then the Spirit moved me, saying this is too important to “just post a one-liner.” With that, fingers crossed, this will be quick hit post.

As a Product Person, you are probably coming into your day with challenges. (I know; you just rolled your eyes and said, “No Duh!”) Tom Chi says that the medium a Product Person works in is “uncertainty.” I totally agree with that! It’s what makes the job fun! (I know, you just rolled your eyes again.) Now, think about what watercolor artists do with their medium. They for sure use it to find fulfillment and have fun, but they also strive to use it to bring meaning and message to people. We as Product People do the same thing – to bring meaning and message to our people. Value to our customers. The Why to our teams.

What are you going to do today for your people? What message are you brining to your teams? Are you truly giving them the support and backing they need? Are you living your Why for your customer and evangelizing that to your team?

Start with people and everything else will just magically happen, including overcoming those challenges.

Featured

What Do _You_ Want To Read

(Photo Credit – Me)

I write about a lot of different stuff here, but, it generally falls into a few central themes.  My hope and goal is that 99% of the time these posts will be of value to someone.  Alas, I know people may be interested in some of my themes, but not others.

With that in mind, this site is categorized by these themes.  (Down the right side or at the bottom.) That way you can click there and read more about a particular theme you are interested in.

Of course, I hope you might come across another theme you were not expecting and find a “gem in the sand” that changes your life.  Who knows! 🙂

Best,

Jeffrey

Product Thought of the Week – Does It Work

Discount Code Product Feature from Travelocity

Does your Product Feature really work end to end – especially in the hands of the customer?

My family and I recently did an epic cross country road trip. Not related to this post, I had many epiphanies about many things – one being our Country; our roads, little and large towns, and people generally seem to be in much better shape than they were when we made similar trips back in 2015. But, I digress. During this road trip, I needed to book hotel rooms. So, the “Roaming Gnome” came to mind (marketing did its job on me) and I surfed over to Travelocity.

On their website, it said “get 10% off with your first hotel booking” if you use the app. So, I took the bait, downloaded the app, found my hotel, booked, and wait for it… there was no place to put in the promo code. I did an online chat with customer service and their best answer was, “well, you should have put in the code the first time – there is nothing we can do.” I booked two additional hotels during the trip and never found the spot for the promo code.

Product Managers – it is your responsibility to make sure your features work, “womb to tomb.” It’s your failure when they don’t. Agile is there to help. Your team is there to help. But you ultimately have to make sure the feature is a success for your organization, or risk reputational and other risks. In Travelocity’s case, it’s a darn good thing I’m greeted by the Roaming Gnome when I open the app. Without that, I would dump Travelocity and use another product.

Thought of the Week (for the New Year 2022) – Intentionality

Son and Cat Pausing at Christmas – by Me

I haven’t blogged in forever.   I have wanted to, however distractions or requests for my time run abound. I am not reading Seth’s post as much as I had promised myself to remind myself about this pitfall of modern life.  However, as Christmas time is here and the end of the year approaches, I am stopping and reflecting, a little bit – more than I have been blogging. 😉  For sure, I am giving thought to my foundation in my life.  For me that is truly the root of Christmas with the birth of Jesus.  Along with Christmas comes one of my favorites – listening to old Christmas Songs.  Those songs have me thinking about our life here on Earth – as humans and citizens.

For sure, it is possible this is on my mind as, yup, I am getting old.  But, as I listen to these old Christmas songs – I think there is more to it than that.  Plant these lyrics into your mind for a minute:

“I’ll be home for Christmas.  You can count on me.”

And…

“I met a man who lives in Tennessee,
He was headin’ for,
Pennsylvania, and some home made pumpkin pie.”

There is real, direct, intentionality in these songs.  We used to have to intentionally stop, pick up a phone, dial a number, be tethered, and talk to our loved ones.  Today?  “Hey Siri, Facetime mom on speaker,” as we continue with whatever distraction has us captive.  We used to have to intentionally plan time with family.  Now, I can be at work and my eight-year-old can call me on Alexa anytime.  So, the urgency of making sure I go home (or leave the home office) is much less, along with the intentionality of focusing on his need.  Developers used to have to think much more intentionally about coding.  Remember when we edited in Text Editors?  Now the Integrated Development Environment does it all for you.  Frankly, I run into more developers today who say “Oh, huh, yeah, I’ll have to play around with that” more and more because they have thought less and less about and have done less and less coding.  And, finally, at work – when I wanted to flush out an idea in the past, we would get together, whiteboard; post-it notes, hand gestures.  Today, everyone wants to Zoom.  Get on camera and interact?  “Oh, no, no – I don’t want to do that.”  Contribute on the “interactive” “whiteboard” that hardly works?  “Oh, what?  Sorry, yeah, I wasn’t paying attention.” 

And, I suspect you are saying, “but, Jeff, it’s COVID.  You don’t go to the office today.”  I do.  I’m fully vaccinated.  And I do all the right things to remain healthy.  And I’m intentional about work.  I met with a developer in person and in 15 minutes solved an issue that we had discussed twice in two 30-minute Zoom Meetings and countless Stand Up’s.  It was magical – just like this season.

I LOVE technology; don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been in technology literally all my life and would not give it up.  But, I urge you in this holiday season and new year to reflect on the use of such.  Could your family life be better by putting technology down?  How about work?  Your general human existence? Your spirit and foundation in life?  Are there areas of your life you need to think about and be more intentional about?  I bet there are.