Sunday, 28 January 2018

What I've been reading w/c 22/01/2018 Design and focus

This week has been about kicking off projects at work and a major release for my side project. Because of this my reading has probably gravitated towards thoughts of design, focus and leadership around both. 

Voice-Enabled Design is different enough to "point and click" that I think it will lead to some change of the profile of Product People. Interesting theory here that Drama Teachers will be the ideal people to lead the charge here. 

Drama teachers may be one specialism IT could do more of. Critical thinkers is another. For example 
“I think it will make for a perfect alarm clock”  Trusted Reviews - Amazon Echo Spot
Here it looks like part of the problem with technology is the largely uncritical approach of what could go wrong, in building and selling, no mention of privacy concerns apart from throw away comment about a "mute" feature.


Maybe they fell foul of the issue in this great quote from Davide Vitiello in his Focus vs Product Team Structures talk
“Finite resources” is an undeniable truth in business that product managers come across constantly  
which gives a solid business case for focus due to limited resources. But be careful not to fall into trap told by Havoc here on not focusing on the "user's problem" and not your solution in software development. Here he uses the example of The dangerous “UI team” to show how separation of concerns in an organisation can go wrong. Also what goes wrong with too much focus on how you solve the problem.

If you have user problems that cause large business impact but low volumes, it can be hard to see how changes are doing. In How Booking.com increases the power of online experiments with CUPED Simon Jackson (Data Scientist at Booking.com) give a great explanation of how Booking.com tackle experiments with low volumes (and also nice to see how R is being used!)  

Good advice for team building, collaboration, and leadership here from Camille Fournier to Stop Answering Your Own Questions in An episode of “Bad Management Habits” . 

Reading all this I am thinking that 2018 might be a year for me to brush up on my Critique skills. I took undergrad art history courses specifically for this but fear I’m getting rusty! According to co.design Critique is vital to building an innovation culture. Even if it doesn't do that, it should help build things in a more deliberate way.

And finally I had my first run of 2018. A nice easy recovery run to learn to love it again. Which got me thinking. Software development has taken the concepts of "sprints" and "marathon pace" from running ... why not "rest days" or "recovery runs"? Both vitally important for high performance in running, and I suspect the same for any knowledge work

Returning to code, worth it for a Product Manager?

The past couple of weeks have given me opportunities to reflect on what I like about my job and previous experience. Partly because we are e...