Escaping the Build Trap: A Practical Guide to Product Management, Product Strategy, and Ensuring Product Success

Escaping the Build Trap: A Practical Guide to Product Management, Product Strategy, and Ensuring Product Success

by Melissa Perri


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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491973790
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/29/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 462,680
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Melissa Perri believes the key to creating great products is growing great product leaders. As the CEO and founder of Produx Labs, she helps companies effectively scale their product organizations. Melissa also founded the online school Product Institute and started a program to train the next generation of Chief Product Officers. She is an internationally recognized, sought-after keynote speaker. Melissa graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Operations Research and Information Engineering.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Part I The Build Trap 1

1 The Value Exchange System 7

2 Constraints on the Value Exchange System 11

3 Projects Versus Products Versus Services 13

4 The Product-Led Organization 15

5 What We Know and What We Don't 19

Part II The Role of the Product Manager 21

6 Bad Product Manager Archetypes 25

7 A Great Product Manager 31

8 The Product Manager Career Path 41

9 Organizing Your Teams 49

Part III Strategy 55

10 What Is Strategy? 61

11 Strategic Gaps 65

12 Creating a Good Strategic Framework 71

13 Company-Level Vision and Strategic Intents 79

14 Product Vision and Portfolio 85

Part IV Product Management Process 91

15 The Product Kata 97

16 Understanding the Direction and Setting Success Metrics 101

17 Problem Exploration 109

18 Solution Exploration 119

19 Building and Optimizing Your Solution 133

Part V The Product-Led Organization 141

20 Outcome-Focused Communication 147

21 Rewards and Incentives 155

22 Safety and Learning 159

23 Budgeting 163

24 Customer Centricity 165

25 Marquetly: The Product-Led Company 167

Afterword: Escaping the Build Trap to Become Product-Led 169

A Appendix: Six Questions to Determine Whether a Company Is Product-Led 171

Index 175

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