Matthew Andrews
Product Manager ・ Software Engineer ・ Executive MBA Graduate ・ Tokyo Resident

Week Notes #3 — Running (again), Goals, Waterfall → Agile

This is third weekly note of my weekly Week Notes. Why not read post one first?

Running

Running continues to go well. I ran my first half marathon 21km in a single session, smashing my 2 hour goal by completing it with a time of 1 hour, 45 minutes and 45 seconds.

I’m closing in on 600km total so far this year so it looks like I’m going to need to revise my other goal of running 1,000km by the end of this year.

Goals

Except for running 21km within 2 hours and 1,000km within 1 year, some other personal goals include:

3 practical tips to improve your product management process

What I loved about the talk itself was how it did not paint a picture of a perfectly idealised product process that is unreachable for most teams. Instead, it focused on practical, prioritised tips to make any product process a bit better.

The vast majority of us do not work within a perfect Discovery & Delivery culture. We work in situations that exhibit one of more of the old ways of doing things. Furthermore, the speaker, Todd Birzer, recognised not every team should be working in the new way. The old way can be appropriate in situations where there is a high degree of safety risk, or where it is expensive to fix mistakes.

In spite of this, there are 3 things all product teams can learn from the new way of product development, even those bound (for sensible reasons or otherwise) by sequential processes:-

  1. Talking directly to real customers
  2. Testing product concepts
  3. Releasing incrementally

What Birzer said about A/B tests also resonated very deeply with me:

A/B testing is one of the ways that product teams can accelerate the evolution of their product. But just looking at the data is not enough, you need a deeper understanding of the qualitative reasons behind it. Why are people leaning one direction or the other?

For more, please read my summary or watch the original talk.