Tactic: Diverge and Converge

Giff Constable leadership, product management

You’re an inclusive leader. Maybe you’re an executive trying to find good ideas and give more people a voice. Maybe you’re a PM trying to foster the creative juices of your team. What’s your move? Do you get everyone in a room (virtual or real) for a brainstorm, break out the sticky notes (virtual or real), and let the conversation …

Case: The Sudden Resignation

Giff Constable case, management

Last week’s case prompt, to both the executive cohort and the aspiring-executive cohort (senior/director level) in Case Camp, went as follows: As CPO, you spent 6 months looking for a senior PM to lead up a new effort. You went looking for a particular skillset in wearables, which is in high demand and short supply, and so were excited to …

Magnets & Repellants

Giff Constable culture, product management

There were lots of takes on Basecamp’s (formerly 37Signals) latest announcement on internal company policies. Ben Thompson was interested in the work-life separation inside the large tech companies and how the lack thereof is coming home to roost at places like Google. Melissa Perri noted that the “no politics” policy could have an impact on ethical design (or the lack …

Proposing “Valuation Weighted Returns” as a Better Way to Prioritize Projects

Giff Constable leadership, management, product management

This post, I admit, is aimed pretty squarely at senior executives, but hopefully others can follow along as well. As an executive, how would you decide between projects that could: a) improve retention; b) increase growth; c) protect against a lawsuit or regulatory fine; d) get ahead of debilitating tech debt; e) improve customer love and brand strength; f) build …

What’s in my newsletter?

Giff Constable newsletter

It took me forever, but I’ve finally started sending out a weekly email with a roundup of my own posts as well as interesting things that caught my eye during the week. I have no intention of charging for it, substack-style. I’ll probably experiment with the format, including sharing more cases tied to Product Case Camp. Here’s what was in …

4 Questions from CTOs to a CPO

Giff Constable product management

I was asked to give a talk to a group of CTOs recently. Going into the interview, they asked four questions: What makes a good, modern PM? What are the ingredients for a strong product organization (prod-eng-design)? How can engineering help? How should a good, modern PM organization think about metrics in 2021? I tried to push past some of …

The Truth Curve and the Build Curve

Giff Constable lean, product management

In my two books on testing new business ideas, I have a diagram called the “truth curve”. I often get credit for a variation that my friends Jeff Gothelf and Jeff Patton created, but their diagram makes a different, equally valuable point. I’m going to take the liberty of calling their graph the “build curve”. Let’s look at them both. …

Case: The Struggling Team

Giff Constable management, product management

Preface: I’m going to experiment with sharing some cases here. They are always better live, but I inserted a couple of moments for you to think asynchronously. This scenario is based on a blend of real situations, but has been adjusted for learning purposes. Setup One of your teams is really struggling with pace and progress against their goals, which …

Winning Strategic Roles

Giff Constable product management

“Female PMs tend to be promoted to operational roles, not strategic ones. If I want to be strategic, how can I avoid that?” A bright, experienced PM asked that question last week, and I wanted to offer a few suggestions. Before I do, I want to remind executives (myself included) of our responsibility to be aware of, and take steps …