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 …

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 …

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 …

Part II of “As a leader, what have you left unsaid?”

Giff Constable leadership, management

Last week, I wrote about the importance of communication as a leader. I gave some examples where I did a less-than-stellar job and left things unsaid. This week, I’ll give three examples where things went well. “This is going to suck” When I arrived at Meetup as CPO, the product management team had about a dozen people. The team had …

Where do you learn from?

Giff Constable management

I’ve learned more about being a good product leader from people outside of product than inside. There, I said it. Maybe this is because there were fewer to learn from back in the day. Nowadays we have amazing people like Gib Biddle, Melissa Perri, Teresa Torres, Tommi Forsstrom, just to name a few among so many I respect and follow. …

The Kind of HR I Want

Giff Constable management

I was listening to a really interesting CultureLab podcast on culture with Patty McCord, the former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix. She spoke for over an hour with no puffery, zero buzzwords, and total common sense. It made me ask myself a question: what do I want out of a people-ops/HR organization? My answer is three things. The first two …

interview image

Interviewing Designers and PMs: The Design Challenge

Giff Constable design, management, product management

It’s really hard to interview product designers and product managers. The most effective step I added to my cycles several years ago is a design challenge. The challenges themselves are a 2-hour take-home challenge, and then a 1-hour presentation with cross-functional members of the team. Because of the time commitment, it is best saved for late in the interview cycle. …

Team Comms for Product Management

Giff Constable management, product management

Like many of you, I’m constantly playing with how to run and scale effective communication across multiple product managers, cross-functional teams, and a broader organization. Here’s a quick take on some of my current approaches. Across PMs I typically run a weekly hour-long meeting for all PMs. The agenda typically looks like this: 20 min on goals/OKRs, 30 minutes on …

Every Critical Metric Needs a Counter Metric

Giff Constable management, metrics

The other day I tweeted, “Every critical metric at a company needs a counter-metric to prevent the wrong kind of optimization.” It got a reaction and I thought to expand on the topic. Have you seen any of these examples of metrics + reward systems gone awry? The marketing and demandgen teams are tasked with bringing on leads, so they …

Seinfeld, Business Models, and Culture Shifts

Giff Constable business models, management

I recently watched an old video on the making of the hit TV show Seinfeld. What struck me is how both the creators, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and the network executives seemed to be amazed that it ever got on the air. Network executives kept on telling them what to change and do, and the two creators kept on …