Untrapping Product Teams: Simplify the Complexity of Creating Digital Products

Book description

Empower Product Teams to Rock the World by Uncovering and Overcoming Dangerous Traps

Untrapping Product Teams guides you to simplify what gets unintentionally complicated and equips you to overcome dangerous traps while steadily driving customer and business value. This isn't just another book about product management. It's a thought-provoking guide filled with simplicity, encouraging you to act today for a better tomorrow.

This book is for anyone facing the challenges of working on or with product teams. It lays out leading best practices, combined with "secret ingredients" crafted by the author based on years of experience. Learn what makes or breaks product teams so you are ready to do what it takes to thrive with digital products.

  • Learn the differences between coordinative and collaborative workflows

  • Recognize dangerous traps and the strategies to overcome them

  • Explore the product journey: simplify decision-making, apply mindful product discovery, use delivery to accelerate value, and measure results beyond outputs

  • Craft product principles and set solid foundations for product teams

  • Benefit from proven product health checks to uncover where to act today for a better tomorrow

"This is my new favorite book on product management. Untrapping Product Teams covers everything you need to know to lead a product team and be successful as a product manager. Author David Pereira does an excellent job of pointing out biases and thinking traps that doom products. The book is full of many insights and tools that will be useful for years to come."

--Mike Cohn, co-founder of Agile Alliance

"David's book shares several hard-earned lessons of what happens when product leaders, product managers, and especially product owners are not trained to succeed in their jobs, and they go on to make predictable and avoidable mistakes. This book can help you avoid some of these pitfalls."

--Marty Cagan, partner, Silicon Valley Product Group

"This book touches on all the daily essentials for a product person. It's a practical guide and a meta-analysis rolled into one, serving as the 'Greatest Hits' album of Product Management. Ideal for newcomers and an excellent refresher for those already immersed in the field."

--Petra Wille, author of Strong Product People

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Contents
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Foreword by Ash Maurya
  6. Foreword by Jim Highsmith
  7. Preface
  8. About the Author
  9. Introduction
    1. Who Can Benefit from This Book
    2. How to Read This Book
    3. What to Expect from Untrapping Product Teams
  10. Part I: Facing Dangerous Traps
    1. 1. How Common Ways of Working Trap or Untrap Teams
      1. How Feature Factory Companies Work
      2. Coordinative Flow: A Logical Way of Working with Unexpected Results
      3. Nine Out of Ten Ideas Will Fail
      4. Collaborative Flow: A Simple Way of Working with Outstanding Results
      5. Key Takeaways
    2. 2. The Mindset Impacts on Dangerous Traps
      1. What’s a Growth Mindset?
      2. What’s a Fixed Mindset?
      3. Identifying the Mindset’s Impacts
      4. Output over Outcome
      5. Opinions over Evidence
      6. Prescriptive Roadmaps over Embracing the Unknown
      7. Meeting Deadlines over Achieving Goals
      8. Implementing Solutions over Solving Problems
      9. Key Takeaways
    3. 3. What Distracts Teams from Creating Value
      1. Facing the Real Enemy: Bullshit Management
      2. Gathering Requirements: A Distraction to Value Creation
      3. Extensive Product Backlog: When the Past Limits the Future
      4. Output Reports: Wasting Time
      5. Consensus-Driven Decisions: Slowing Down Progress
      6. Output Approval: Limiting Teams Accountability
      7. Meeting Marathon: Long Days with Little Value Created
      8. Fear of Saying No: The Art of Getting Overwhelmed
      9. Bridge Communication: Becoming the Bottleneck
      10. Opinion-Driven Decision: Ignoring Evidence, Creating Waste
      11. Failure Avoidance: Killing Innovation Chances
      12. Bullshit Management Check
      13. Key Takeaways
  11. Part II: Overcoming Dangerous Traps
    1. 4. Using the Right Ingredients for Product Teams
      1. How a Simple Restaurant Became the World’s Number One
      2. Understanding the Right Ingredients for Product Teams
      3. What a Solid Product Strategy Enables
      4. Accelerating Learning with Product Discovery
      5. Approaching Product Delivery Mindfully
      6. Finding the Right Ingredients for Your Situation
      7. Key Takeaways
    2. 5. Crafting a Meaningful Product Strategy
      1. Identifying Who You Serve
      2. Understanding Your Product Stage
      3. Product Vision: Knowing Where to Land
      4. Lean Canvas: Defining the Key Aspects to Thrive
      5. Value Curve: Designing to Differentiate
      6. Roadmap: Establishing Clarity on What to Achieve
      7. Key Takeaways
    3. 6. Forget What You Know to Get Ready for the Unknown
      1. My Unforgettable First Date with Product Discovery
      2. Biases: Blocking Learning Opportunities
      3. Confirmation Bias: The Art of Missing Opportunities and Creating Waste
      4. Commitment Escalation: Making a Bad Situation Even Worse
      5. Sunk-Cost Fallacy: The Fear of Losing Triggering More Losses
      6. Bandwagon Fallacy: Following the Masses Without Knowing Why
      7. Value Drivers: Doing What Matters for Customers and the Business
      8. Do What’s Right, Not What’s Easy
      9. Key Takeaways
    4. 7. Embarking on a Journey to Discover What Matters
      1. Understanding the Discovery Journey
      2. Clarify the Goal: Know What Success Looks Like
      3. Understand Your Audience: Know How Customers Use Your Product
      4. Uncover Value Drivers: Identify What’s Worth Pursuing
      5. Prioritize and Focus: Take One Value Driver at a Time
      6. Reinvent the Future: Diverge and Converge
      7. Deal with Assumptions: Drop Bad Ideas Fast Enough
      8. Use Evidence to Progress: Experiment, Learn, Decide
      9. Key Takeaways
    5. 8. Enabling Product Delivery Beyond Outputs
      1. How the Wrong Approach to Product Delivery Leads to a Feature Factory
      2. Product Backlog: Organizing What Drives Value
      3. Refinement: Building Shared Understanding
      4. Alignment: Setting the Next Goal
      5. Getting Things Done
      6. Using Tech Debt: Accelerate Learning to Avoid Poor Investment
      7. Review: Getting Business and Product Aligned
      8. Improve: Strive to Continuously Become a Better Team
      9. Key Takeaways
    6. 9. Defining and Measuring Actionable Metrics
      1. Data Traps: Avoid Common Traps
      2. Leading versus Laggard Metrics
      3. Input versus Output Metrics: Understanding Control and Influence
      4. Defining Metrics: Focus on Signs While Ignoring Noise
      5. Measuring Results: Be Careful, You’re Not a Stockbroker
      6. Sharing Results: Spread the News about Outcomes
      7. Pro Hints: Saving You Hours per Week
      8. Usual Metrics: The Bread and Butter of Analytics
      9. Key Takeaways
    7. 10. Getting the Teams Right
      1. Common Product Teams Setup
      2. Roles and Responsibilities: Who Takes Care of What
      3. Product Managers versus Backlog Managers
      4. Software Engineers versus Coders
      5. Product Designers versus Pixel-Perfect Designers
      6. Agile Coaches versus Agile Rulers
      7. Key Takeaways
    8. 11. Building Solid Relationships
      1. Who Are the Stakeholders?
      2. Power and Interest: How to Improve Collaboration with Business Stakeholders
      3. Sharpening Communication: How to Ensure Shared Understanding
      4. Establishing Alignment: No More Confusion
      5. Breakthroughs Occur with Real Interactions Instead of Shallow Ones
      6. Key Takeaways
  12. Part III: Remaining Untrapped
    1. 12. Establishing Product Principles
      1. Why Product Principles?
      2. How to Craft Product Principles
      3. How to Ensure Principles Are Kept Alive
      4. Evolving the Product Principles
      5. Principles That Helped My Teams
      6. Key Takeaways
    2. 13. Assessing Your Company’s Dynamics
      1. Leadership: Creating a Space Where Great Ideas Can Happen
      2. Product Perception: Are You Ready to Thrive?
      3. Product Leadership: Coordination or Collaboration?
      4. Team Topology: Setting Teams Ready to Rock
      5. Risk Tolerance: From Fear to Courage
      6. Key Takeaways
    3. 14. Evaluating How Your Product Strategy Implementation Simplifies Decision Making
      1. Ownership: Clear Accountability, Better Results
      2. Prioritization: Moving from Serving to Partnering
      3. Decision Making: Progress over Analysis
      4. Goals: Clarity on Where You Want to Land
      5. Collaboration: Getting Together to Create What Matters
      6. Key Takeaways
    4. 15. Understanding How Quickly You Can Drop Bad Ideas
      1. Value Proposition: Clarity on What’s Most Important
      2. Customer Interviews: Creating Insights to Unlock Learning
      3. Identifying Assumptions: Knowing What We Don’t Know
      4. Testing Assumptions: Confronting Reality
      5. Ideation: Creating a Better Future
      6. Key Takeaways
    5. 16. Examining How Fast You Can Drive Business and Customer Value
      1. Implementation: Output versus Outcome
      2. Measure Results: Focusing on What Moves the Needle
      3. Feature Removal: Getting Rid of Distractions
      4. Facing Failures: Learning versus Blaming
      5. Product Backlog: Past Promises versus Future Opportunities
      6. Key Takeaways
  13. Wrap-Up
  14. Appendix. Untrapping Lessons
  15. Bibliography

Product information

  • Title: Untrapping Product Teams: Simplify the Complexity of Creating Digital Products
  • Author(s): David Pereira
  • Release date: May 2024
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 9780135335376