A Collection of Resources For Building Product Management Knowledge and Skills
In this post I’ll provide some links, and my own additions to, a pretty comprehensive list of Product Management Knowledge & Skills resources. As I mentioned in a previous posting, ProductBC is working hard on developing an ecosystem intended to help develop brilliant product management professionals. We need product people to become expert in the areas of being business saavy, developing market intimacy, having technical appreciation and understanding customer value. The following collection of blogs, podcasts, books, courses, workshops, conferences and other product management resources is assembled from the product community in Vancouver (many thanks to Product of Vancouver Slack group, ProductCamp Vancouver LinkedIn group and others).
Product Management Bloggers, Tweets and Podcasts
Blogs, prolific product tweeters and podcasters all offer nuggets of product wisdom that you can apply to your product, company or market situation. The great thing about this type of media is that you can access it on your schedule (as long as you allocate the appropriate time to focus, be present and actually absorb it). There is a lot of material to choose from, but be selective and try a few over the course of about a month to see what works best for you. Sara Aboulafia (of UserVoice) offers this list of bloggers: https://community.uservoice.com/blog/top-10-product-management-blogs; also have a look at https://blog.leanstack.com from Ash Maurya.
Here is Matt Anderson’s list of product managers to follow on twitter: https://www.mattanderson.org/blog/2014/02/17/150-product-managers-to-follow-on-twitter/
Alex Mitchell publishes this list of product podcasts (I believe it is updated annually): :https://medium.com/startup-study-group/top-10-podcasts-for-product-managers-in-2017-1c45709f9e55 , and check out this link from Suzanne Abate https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/100-pm/id1141601653?mt=2
As you have discovered by now, there is a ton of great material on product management, product marketing, agile, lean yada yada yada. Face-to-face networking with other product professionals (or subscribing to an on-line community) is a really good way to get honest reviews and exchange physical materials. Here are a couple of decent lists of books on product to get started:
You should also have a look at these resources:
- User Story Mapping (Jeff Patton)
- Running Lean (Ash Maurya)
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Chip and Dan Heath)
- Creativity Inc (Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace)
- The Advantage (Patrick M. Lencioni)
- The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company (John Rossman)
Courses, Workshops, Seminars
Once again on the topic of courses and such, these are high investment (time and money) and may (or may not) be perfect to kick-start or refresh your product management learning. Here is a comprehensive list of resources compiled by Francois Le Nguyen (needs to be updated, and some links need to be updated, but in most cases you can Google the description to find the current resource link):
In addition there is a product boot camp offered by UBC Sauder School of Business (here is the link to the April 2018 course → www.sauder.ubc.ca/Programs/Executive_Education/Open_Enrollment_Programs/All_Courses/Product_and_Service_Management_Boot_Camp )
Teresa Torres keeps a good list of product management conferences and offers an opinion on which ones are worth attending https://www.producttalk.org/2017/11/product-conferences-2018/
As with most things in life, you will get out what you put in. You should approach any of these resources prepared to invest an appropriate amount of time and focus, and try to apply what you have learned to real-world situations.
To maximize the benefit of any of these resources, you should be making
notes, discussing with your product teams and figuring out how to apply
learning in the context of your product, company or market to build the
four key areas (business saavy, market intimacy, technical appreciation
and customer value).
Please consider any investment in courses, workshops and conferences very carefully - they could require a large amount of time and money. My advice is that you first have some very clear goals and expectations as learning outcomes and update them in sync with the changing needs of your career (at least annually). Don’t expect one of the multi-day immersive courses or workshops to magically transform you into a product manager if you don’t already have the right foundations in place. You should practise ruthless prioritization in all of your professional development choices and seek advice from your mentor and community peers.