From Software Engineer to Product Manager
In this post I will try to share my experience on learning product manager’s job as a software engineer. What the job is like, what’s involved, as an introvert can you be a become a product manager, and many other questions you might have. Having worked in the IT industry for almost 15 years, I haven’t met that many product managers. In fact, this number is just 2. Both in the startups building one product.
With shipit’s goals feature, you can now create OKR-driven product roadmaps.
We just released a new feature: goals. Goals implement the widely used OKR framework. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. They originate from the tech-industry (Intel, Google) but can be effectively applied in any field, product, or department. The basic idea is that you 1. Set company and product objectives that you want to achieve with the team within a certain period of time 2. Track progress through a handful of key results per objective 3.
What's new? Product roadmap changelogs!
“So, what changed on the product roadmap since we last talked?” asked the VP of Engineering. Such a question can be surprisingly difficult to answer. As an agile product manager, you keep reprioritizing the roadmap. You update requirements and add implementation tickets for near-term initiatives. And you collect and add ideas for farther out items. So it can be easy to forget to mention an important change to keep everyone in sync.
6 tools for remote product managers
Product management in a remote setting can be challenging. Since managing products is inherently very cross-functional and requires frequent communication, a remote setting can add barriers. This applies to any remote scenario, including being part of a remote office, being a remote employee, or as part of a fully distributed company. Besides having the right processes in place (a separate post will cover these), having the right tools in place can make a big difference.
Time tracking tools to use in 2020 (updated in 2021)
Many people think that unless they are freelancers and need to charge per minute/hour, there is no point in using time-tracking tools. If you want to become more organized and do better planning, then tracking your time becomes an essential habit. When part of your job is dealing with people, ie resolving conflicts, conducting development interviews, hiring, and overall lots of speaking, by the end of the day you might not remember what you’ve done.
Automatically fill your product roadmap from Jira Epics
Jira integration allows you to automatically create epics when you add new items on the roadmap. However when you just start it is important to have your existing epics on the roadmap to see how shipit works, test the flow, and get started quickly. The current implementation of this feature is still in beta testing and we’re looking for any feedback you might have in terms of improving it. To start, go to the Settings -> Integrations and select Jira:
How to work from home with your children
Who knew that the remote work revolution would happen so suddenly? In the beginning there were just a handful of visionaries who “dared” to hire remote employees, at least some of them. Then there was the nomad movement which also ignited the remote-first startups. But until recently, number of companies working and hiring remote employees globally has been around 2500-6000. It’s hard to estimate now how many people are working from home.
Spring brings new features and improvements on shipit
Spring has arrived, and we have been hard at work improving and extending shipit. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s new: You can now export your roadmap as PNG. For example for using it in presentations. (This is in addition to the existing export functionality for CSV and Excel.) Drag and drop performance for roadmap items is much faster. We also enabled drag-and-drop to support moving items between quarters and tracks.
Prioritise roadmap initiatives by including your team members
Prioritisation of roadmap initiatives is one of the most important recurring activities of product managers. Typically you want to include stakeholders and team members in that process. It is our experience that it can be a practical challenge on how to effectively collect people’s input, normalise their data, and then review it in a meaningful way. Often, input comes fragmented and in different forms and people can be in different locations or time-zones.
OKRs and product roadmaps
OKRs have become a popular way to set and track company objectives and associated results. They have been successfully applied both in large corporates and small startups. And rightfully so: OKRs are a simple, yet powerful way to align teams on company goals. This also applies to product teams. One immediate question that arises often is: how do product roadmaps and OKRs relate? In the outstanding book “Inspired” Marty Cagan suggests that OKRs are to some extent a superior alternative to product roadmaps.
Should you use Gantt charts for your product roadmap?
Gantt charts are one of the most common ways to visualize project plans. Hence they are also frequently used for product roadmaps, and most roadmapping tools offer Gantt chart views. But are Gantt charts the appropriate way to plan and visualize your product roadmap? This article explores alternative ways to show your product roadmap, and how to use Gantt charts without creating conflict with modern approaches such as Agile or outcomes over output.
Using shipit to present your product roadmap in PowerPoint or Keynote presentations
Most product managers have to deal with the recurring task of presenting an updated product roadmap to whoever needs to be informed. I know it was- and still is in all of my cases. Often, these presentations cover more than a roadmap alone and are part of a larger deck using PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google’s Slides. Making a visually attractive roadmap (and updating it manually for every presentation) can be a bit of a pain.