How your team’s qualitative metrics act as the canary in the coal mine

Giff Constable management, product management

There are three qualitative metrics I find interesting to use with a product team to help spot, and deal with, changes that could be opportunities or problems. 1. Retrospectives: scoring the “sprint” My former colleagues from Edgecase used to have every product team “score” how things felt since their last retro on a 1 to 10 scale. They didn’t over-think it …

Getting Tactical: Product Team Working Agreements

Giff Constable management, product management

We talk a lot about how assumptions in business can kill you. But assumptions on a team can do the same. One of the best way to preserve a transparent, low-politics culture is to keep everything as visible and explicit as possible. This applies to strategy, vision, and values, but also to working methods. We were forced to deal with …

What is good product management?

Giff Constable management, technology

I gave this talk to the CTO School in NYC the other week. The focus was on three key topics: what is good product management, how can the head of engineering be a good partner, and how to hire good PMs. Enjoy: What is good product management from Giff Constable

What Pixar Got Right

Giff Constable innovation, management

Pixar is an inspiring place. In addition to prioritizing storytelling, they got a lot right when it came to process and human interactions.  Fast Company has a nice piece interviewing Pixar alumni, and I pulled out my favorite bits: “There’s still a back and forth between creative and the audience, and you can’t be like ‘if I build it, they …

Hiring an Intrapreneur Team

Giff Constable innovation, management

Let’s say you’re a leader at a Fortune 500 company. You know you need to move faster and take on more risks with your digital products. How do you conquer your “innovator’s dilemma”? You need the right structure and the right people. Today, I wanted to talk about the people. You need dynamic, passionate, multi-skilled, highly talented people. In other …

The Intrapreneur’s Team

Giff Constable innovation, lean, management

Neo spends a lot of time working with large companies on new product innovation. One question we often get is how to best structure roles and teams. Here are a few high-level bullets: Senior Executive’s Role: define the vision and desired outcomes allow the team to explore and define the solution create funding structure and timing “gates” provide physical infrastructure …

Aging into Obsolescence

Giff Constable management, startups, technology

The structure of modern business forces people to become stale as they age. The economic incentives of most creative industries, including tech, all point in this direction. When you are young, you *make* stuff. You code, you design, you write, you execute. You constantly get to practice and improve your making skills. The normal definition of success implies moving up …