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Escaping the Build Trap

Book Description

To stay competitive in today’s market, organizations need to adopt a culture of customer-centric practices that focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Companies that live and die by outputs often fall into the "build trap," cranking out features to meet their schedule rather than the customer’s needs.

In this book, Melissa Perri explains how laying the foundation for great product management can help companies solve real customer problems while achieving business goals. By understanding how to communicate and collaborate within a company structure, you can create a product culture that benefits both the business and the customer. You’ll learn product management principles that can be applied to any organization, big or small.

In five parts, this book explores:

  • Why organizations ship features rather than cultivate the value those features represent
  • How to set up a product organization that scales
  • How product strategy connects a company’s vision and economic outcomes back to the product activities
  • How to identify and pursue the right opportunities for producing value through an iterative product framework
  • How to build a culture focused on successful outcomes over outputs

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. I. The Build Trap
  4. 1. The Value Exchange System
  5. 2. Constraints on the Value Exchange System
  6. 3. Projects Versus Products Versus Services
  7. 4. The Product-Led Organization
    1. Sales-Led
    2. Visionary-Led
    3. Technology-Led
    4. Product-Led
  8. 5. What We Know and What We Don’t
  9. II. The Role of the Product Manager
  10. 6. Bad Product Manager Archetypes
    1. The Mini-CEO
    2. The Waiter
    3. The Former Project Manager
  11. 7. A Great Product Manager
    1. Tech Expert Versus Market Expert
    2. A Great Product Manager
    3. Start with Why
    4. One Role, Many Responsibilities
  12. 8. The Product Manager Career Path
    1. Associate Product Manager
    2. Product Manager
    3. Senior Product Manager
    4. Director of Product
    5. VP of Product
    6. Chief Product Officer
  13. 9. Organizing Your Teams
    1. Marquetly’s Product Team
  14. III. Strategy
  15. 10. What Is Strategy?
  16. 11. Strategic Gaps
    1. The Knowledge Gap
    2. The Alignment Gap
    3. The Effects Gap
    4. Autonomous Teams
  17. 12. Creating a Good Strategic Framework
    1. Strategy Deployment
    2. Strategy Creation
  18. 13. Company-Level Vision and Strategic Intents
    1. Company Vision
    2. Strategic Intents
  19. 14. Product Vision and Portfolio
    1. Product Vision
    2. Product Portfolio
  20. IV. Product Management Process
    1. Marquetly Product Initiatives
      1. Initiative 1
      2. Initiative 2
  21. 15. The Product Kata
    1. Context Matters
  22. 16. Understanding the Direction and Setting Success Metrics
    1. Product Metrics
    2. Pirate Metrics
    3. The HEART Framework
    4. Setting Direction with Data
  23. 17. Problem Exploration
    1. Understanding the Problem
    2. Users Don’t Want an App
    3. Breaking Down Barriers and Getting Creative
    4. Validating the Problem
  24. 18. Solution Exploration
    1. Experimenting to Learn
      1. Concierge
      2. Wizard of Oz
      3. Concept Testing
    2. When You Don’t Need to Experiment Robustly
    3. Experimenting in Complex Industries
    4. Experimenting on Internal Products
    5. Choosing the Right Solution at Marquetly
  25. 19. Building and Optimizing Your Solution
    1. Evolving the Product Vision
    2. Prioritizing Work
    3. The Real Definition of Done
  26. V. The Product-Led Organization
  27. 20. Outcome-Focused Communication
    1. Cadences and Communication
    2. Roadmaps and Sales Teams
    3. Product Operations
  28. 21. Rewards and Incentives
  29. 22. Safety and Learning
  30. 23. Budgeting
  31. 24. Customer Centricity
  32. 25. Marquetly: The Product-Led Company
  33. Afterword: Escaping the Build Trap to Become Product-Led
  34. A. Appendix: Six Questions to Determine Whether a Company Is Product-Led
  35. Index