Excerpt from: A Beginner’s Guide to User Interviews

I believe user interviewing is a core skill for all product managers in the industry. Its hard to learn to do without guidance and so I ensure that I teach it in all of my classes and when I coach new product managers. To get folks started, I wrote another post about User Interviewing for General Assembly. Below is an excerpt.

We all know the products that are successful; the ones that seemed to come out of nowhere and then change the way we go about our lives — like the smartphone, ridesharing, or turn-by-turn navigation. But there are a lot of products that didn’t make it. Though there are many reasons why products aren’t successful, one that often comes up is that people don’t see value in what it does. Or, they don’t see enough value in it to pay for it.

One way to avoid going down that path is by conducting user interviews. This is where product teams go out into the world and talk to people who fit their product or service’s personas, observe their behavior, and ask them questions.

Read the full post to learn about:

  • How to Find Users to Interview

  • How to Ensure a Successful User Interview

  • User Interviews at General Assembly

Excerpt from “A Beginner’s Guide to Lean Practices and Lean Startup Methodology”

Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote for General Assembly on skills needed for lean teams.

Skills for Lean Teams

Not all teams are able to function in a lean environment. Some companies have a lot of necessary risk they need to mitigate that generates a need for more process, documentation, and predictability. But for those who are able to cut out unnecessary process, there are a few skills that can be beneficial.

Be comfortable with change.

Since the idea of lean is to adjust based on learning, teams can only function leanly if they aren’t married to their ideas or dogmatic in their processes. This is why lean practitioners love simple tools like whiteboards and sticky notes — what they write or draw on them only takes a few moments to create, and that content is so easy to erase or throw away that it helps keep emotional distance from the idea. That way, they can determine honestly whether they’ve proven or disproved their hypothesis.

Read the rest on General Assembly’s site: https://generalassemb.ly/business/product-management/lean-methodology-and-lean-startup

#Project 365

I’m 40 days into Project 365 and so far its a bit harder than I thought. Not because I have to take a photo everyday, but because I feel competitive with the rest of the Instagraming world that my photos should be as good as theirs. They aren’t. Luckily, when I decided to do this project I gave myself randomly chosen adjectives as a theme for each day which has at least provided me with some guidance and structure. Nonetheless, I’m happy I’ve stuck with it.

40 days down. 325 to go.